The Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.

D.C.’s lodging scene is fun, varied, and constantly evolving, with everything from luxury hotels near the National Mall to boutique stays around Dupont Circle. Whether you’re looking for a hotel with an indoor pool, views of the Washington Monument, or easy access to key neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and Foggy Bottom, the nation’s capital has something to suit your needs. Here, you can even book a stay within walking distance of the White House and feel a part of American history.

800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
Not everyone gets to live across the street from the White House. Before the current Italian-Renaissance hotel was constructed in 1927, the prime real estate was occupied by the homes of two little-known American icons: John Hay—personal secretary to Abraham Lincoln, ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Secretary of State under both William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt—and Henry Adams, Harvard professor and great-grandson of John Adams. Their houses were hubs of D.C. culture for decades at the turn of the last century, and so, when the Hay-Adams opened, it was only logical that the hotel would continue that tradition. Washingtonians play at the sultry bar scene, everyone from Amelia Earhart to the Obamas has stayed in its elegantly Old World rooms overlooking historic Lafayette Square and the White House beyond, and the hotel is known for its discreet and comprehensive, no-questions-asked service. Should guests need a ride to one of the District’s many important meetings, the house Mercedes drops off anywhere downtown, guaranteeing a first impression worthy of a luminary. Though if you insisted on the meeting coming to you, no Beltway insider would mind.
Hotels
1310 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
In a city that takes itself so seriously—running the United States is an intense business, after all—the Hotel Madera is a breath of fresh air. Just a couple of leafy blocks from always-lively Dupont Circle, the Kimpton-run boutique hotel looks like a 1960s apartment building on the outside, belying interiors adorned in colorful, batik-inspired fabrics and perks like in-room yoga mats and an evening wine hour. In other words, the Madera is the kind of place where you relax. The laid-back and trendy restaurant takes its design cues from a fairy-tale forest, and pets are as catered to as children and bachelorette groups. It’s hard to beat the Dupont Circle location, too, which puts the White House, the Kennedy Center, and trendy neighborhoods like Logan Circle and U Street all within throwing distance. No, it’s not the fanciest stay in town, but D.C. doesn’t need another fussy hotel to attract visiting dignitaries—and you’ll have more fun at the Madera, anyway.
1155 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA
With its 2014 renovation, the Donovan, a Kimpton hotel, injected a sense of fun and whimsy into the neighborhood’s boxy buildings with its sleek chrome-and-leather lobby and rooftop pool bar. Named for “Wild” Bill Donovan, the founder of CIA predecessor the OSS, the hotel subtly takes its cues from glamorous secret agents, and an Asian-inspired decor derives from some of Donovan’s favorite destinations. Rooms are slick and clean-lined, with just a hint of mid-century modernism in the egg-chair seating and canopy-style leather headboards. The trendy Zentan—its name taken from the Mandarin word for “spy”—is a popular spot for staffers to gather after work over fresh sushi and hard-to-find sake, while its rooftop sibling, DNV, becomes one of the area’s hottest nightlife spots in the warmer months.

The Donovan isn’t just looks, though; like at all Kimpton hotels, hospitality is key, and the staff here bends over backward for kids, pets, and discerning adults alike, with a wide range of perks that run the gamut from in-room yoga mats to daily happy hours.
Hotels
1500 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
Why we love it: An elegant stay where guests hobnob with D.C.’s best and brightest

The Highlights:
- The recently renovated—and thoroughly stylish—lobby, bar, and restaurant
- Spectacular new rooftop suites with heated terraces
- A prime location in one of D.C.’s finest neighborhoods

The Review:
Fortunes and friendships change quickly in D.C., but leafy Dupont Circle, with its charming shops and trendy restaurants, has yet to go out of style. Perched right on the circle itself, within walking distance of several desirable D.C. spots, The Dupont Circle Hotel takes pride of place, rivaled only by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s no surprise, then, that the hotel’s new Martin Brudnizki-designed restaurant, The Pembroke—which features plush velvet banquettes, chic marble tables, and an expansive outdoor terrace—and the walnut-and-brass clad Doyle bar are see-and-be-seen spots for everyone from staffers to diplomats (Embassy Row is just around the corner, too). That the food is top-notch, the wine list impressive, and the scotch fit for cigar-swilling politicians is a bonus. There’s also Doyle & Co, the new coffee and chocolate bar where guests and locals alike can grab a quick refresher.

Sleek and sultry rooms take similar advantage of their surroundings, most with large windows overlooking the circle. Upstairs, the Rooftop Floor was recently transformed by Irish design team Clodagh to include an elaborate penthouse and 13 other suites with enormous heated terraces overlooking the Washington Monument. Clodagh also redesigned the lobby, which is exclusive to guests and features the look and feel of a high-end apartment, thanks to details like a cozy fireplace and a look-through bookcase with brass accents. Best of all, though, is the feeling of walking out the front door in the morning and knowing that the capital is at your doorstep.
1075 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
A city crammed with ambitious young staffers willing to work long hours in hopes of shaping the country, Washington is a place that works hard and plays hard. One of the newest additions to its burgeoning boutique hotel scene, the Graham—its name a tribute to inventor Alexander Graham Bell—honors that tradition in retro-inflected style. The rooftop bar is a glam scene where the beautiful and powerful come out to play against the backdrop of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial. The sultry downstairs restaurant–cocktail bar plays on the neighborhood’s historic aesthetic and the Mid-Atlantic region’s cuisine to attract discerning locals and visiting lobbyists. Rooms—mostly suites, of course—are pleasantly trendier than the District is used to, but bold pops of color and midcentury-inspired lines are balanced out by patterned wallpaper and elegant marble bathrooms that add a familiar dose of homey Southern style. Throw in a just-off-M-Street location, and the Graham just might be the quintessential Georgetown hotel.
515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
Considering its pop-art aesthetic and high-tech perks, it’s hard to believe the W Washington D.C. was built in 1917. Okay, so that’s not exactly true; the elegant building spent most of its life as the Hotel Washington—an Old World landmark whose location next to the White House, overlooking the National Mall, made it one of the District’s most popular pieds-à-terre for politicians and celebrities. Presidential balls have been held in the grand halls, parts of The Godfather: Part II were filmed on the rooftop terrace, and Elvis and President Nixon met here.

These days, in its incarnation as the W, the hotel projects a more modern vision of glamour, complementing the historic Beaux-Arts architecture with colorful lighting, and street art–style murals. The rooms are less flashy, but gilded mirrors, tufted velvet couches, and large windows looking out on the Mall guarantee they’re no less glamorous. And, while its look has changed, the rooftop bar is still one of the hottest spots in town, thanks to its unparalleled views; with the White House and the Washington Monument both looming nearby, it’s like having a drink with the President.
Hotels
2015 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
The white-bricked Embassy Row Hotel has been catering to visiting dignitaries and diplomats since 1970, and a massive renovation in 2015 brought refreshed retro rooms, a rooftop pool, and a new lobby-level restaurant and coffee shop. Cheerful rooms are done up in deep blue and bright yellow and in-room massages and spa treatments can be arranged. Dogs are welcomed with no fee and optional curated treats from BarkBox. Station Kitchen & Cocktails (named for the nearby Dupont Circle streetcar station, now a subterranean art space) aims to be an all-day hangout spot, from morning coffee by Swing’s Coffee Roasters—a D.C. fixture for a century—to evening bottled cocktails and burgers. In summer, there’s no hotter spot in Dupont Circle than the rooftop pool and lounge with panoramic city views and an innovative aqua-cycling fitness class that puts a new spin on spinning. The hotel is rooted in the community, regularly supporting local charities and arranging behind-the-scenes tours of the consulate neighbors.
1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA
The Darcy is high on style and also loaded with substance, thanks its eye-popping design, contemporary art collection, and free amenities that make every guest feel like a VIP. Kids can check out a Darcy Daypack full of items chosen to encourage a space or art-themed adventure in the city. Gentlemen can take advantage of the in-house haberdashery service to borrow or buy a pair of cufflinks or accessory, or have a whole suit custom-tailored in their room. A bike and scooter rental helps guests explore beyond the trendy Logan Circle neighborhood, while a nightly happy hour gives a taste of local grain-to-glass Green Hat gin. The swank captain’s quarters of Siren Restaurant serves a seasonal seafood menu, raw bar and caviar service, and craft cocktails, while the Lil’B Coffee Bar goes full Southern with a day menu of espresso drinks and New Orleans favorites.
1201 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA
Why we love it: A socially conscious spot that connects like-minded travelers

The Highlights:
- Inspiring community vibe
- Comfortable, well-thought-out rooms
- A critically acclaimed on-site restaurant

The Review:
Founded by third-generation hotelier Katherine Lo (her family runs the upscale, Hong Kong–based Langham group), the Eaton brand aims to bring together travelers, locals, and members who share a like-minded sensibility—namely, one centered on creativity, awareness, and making change. As with Eaton’s Hong Kong location, the D.C. outpost—the first in the U.S.—fosters new ideas by providing private and communal working spaces, areas designed to inspire connection and conversation, and a regular calendar of programming.

Those checking in among all this buzz can choose from five comfortable room categories, from cabins to suites. All have a “global nomad” vibe, with colorful textile accents, Himalayan salt lamps, and organic cotton-and-latex pillow-top mattresses, along with Grown Alchemist bath products, healthy mini-bars, Bluetooth speakers, and USB charge points. Some, like the Artist Studios, have wall canvases where you can leave your lasting mark. Once settled in, gather with others at the on-site American Son restaurant (Chef Tim Ma’s Asian-accented spot), enjoy wellness treatments and classes, or do whatever else helps get spark your imagination.
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