PHOTO: Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

The Swankiest Hotels in Washington D.C.

Barbara Noe Kennedy | January 09, 2018

Washington D.C. has plenty of beautiful luxury hotels, but a few stand out for their downright opulence—from crystal chandeliers to gilded trim to presidential suites to impeccable, white-glove service. One even offers an evening champagne sabering in its lobby. What’s that, you say? Read on!


The St. Regis Washington, D.C

Why it made the list

The opulent “drawing room” in this 1926 landmark hotel looks like something out of a Gilded Age mansion, with its red velvet and leather furniture, gold and tapestry accents, and stunning painted coffered ceiling. An evening champagne sabering takes place here daily—that is, the bartender opens a bottle of bubbly using a sword to celebrate the transition of day into night. But this grande dame just two blocks from the White House is sumptuous all-around, down to the Louis XVI chandeliers in the guest rooms, Palladian windows and silk wall coverings. No wonder it’s long been the go-to destination for heads of state, dignitaries, diplomats, and business moguls.

The palatial St. Regis has reigned since 1926 just two block Read More


Omni Shoreham Hotel

Why it made the list

Tucked away in a residential Northwest DC neighborhood, this sprawling retreat feels like grand European hotel, with its sprawling lawns, nostalgic décor, and resort-style outdoor pool. It’s been a go-to destination for dignitaries, entertainers (including the Beatles in their first USA show) and world leaders since opening its doors in 1930; indeed, its posh halls hosted every presidential inaugural ball from FDR to Obama.

Elegance and rich history prevail at this sprawling, resort- Read More


Rosewood Washington DC

Why it made the list

From the exquisite parquet floors (reclaimed from a French chateau) to locally inspired contemporary art to the sumptuous private library for guest-use only, this hidden-gem boutique on Georgetown’s C&O Canal is the epitome of modern posh. It’s the only hotel in DC with an infinite pool … on the roof; and the hotel restaurant and bar are super swish with their regal décor and huge picture windows looking out on the canal.

A relatively new property (it formerly was the Capella), thi Read More


The Ritz-Carlton Washington, D.C

Why it made the list

Everything about this newly renovated Ritz is welcoming and beautiful, its exquisite architectural details playing off historic DC. And while “sophisticated” may be a more appropriate word than “swanky,” there is no question this hotel is decidedly high-end. Take the real-life “vault” in the Quadrant bar, for example, where the Reserve List is kept; it’s opened for special guests with dramatic, white-glove service.

Everything about the recently renovated Ritz is welcoming an Read More


Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Why it made the list

Incorporating an old incinerator into its design, the smallest of DC’s Ritz hotels might sound like a luxury miss. But by mixing the industrial feel with a modern sensibility and upscale taste, the designers masterfully achieved the feel of a sumptuous boutique hotel in a very unique way. And every last detail is meticulously curated, down to the gallery-plucked artwork in the fire-focused Living Room lobby, spa level rooms with Vitamin C aromatherapy showerheads, and top-notch service from check-in to check-out.

This cozy, intimate Ritz–Carlton incorporates a turn-o Read More


Mandarin Oriental

Why it made the list

A capacious, gorgeously designed lobby, on-site art gallery, and sparkling, 10,500-square-foot spa (perhaps the city’s finest) add to the poshness of this five-star property near the Jefferson Memorial. East meets West in the décor, meaning lots of rich dark woods, red fabrics, and feng-shui inspiration. And big as it is, the staff’s discreteness and polish make you feel like the only guest.

A swanky, deluxe world near the Jefferson Memorial and South Read More


The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection

Why it made the list

The grand marble lobby, a block long with chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling mirrors, dazzles the second you enter this national landmark. Host to inaugurations since opening in 1925, it’s classic DC, with more inlaid gold than any other DC building outside the Library of Congress. Need we say more?

Ever since the Mayflower opened in 1925 for Calvin Coolidge' Read More


Willard InterContinental

Why it made the list

The crown jewel of Pennsylvania Avenue, just a block from the White House, this grandiose, opulent, Beaux-Arts Hotel has sat in the middle of the city’s political and social scene since 1818. The epitome of historical elegance, with its ornate sculptural decorations, golden chandeliers, and gilded details, along with its top-notch service, has long drawn celebrities and international dignitaries.

This grandiose, opulent Beaux-Arts hotel, the Crown Jewel on Read More


The Hay-Adams

Why it made the list

This romantic, Italian Renaissance grande dame near the White House is often rated as one of the world’s finest hotels. Indeed, it has welcomed presidents and other distinguished guests since 1928, including Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, and Sinclair Lewis. As stately as it is, with its grand columns, period ceiling details, and rich woodwork, it feels like a distinguished private mansion—one with top-notch service.

This romantic, Italian Renaissance on Lafayette Square, ofte Read More


Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, D.C

Why it made the list

The brand’s first outpost in the US is downright regal, with its grand, sparkling lobby, its vast collection of art, its temple of a spa offering lavish massages and body treatments, and its restaurant is headed by celebrity chef Michael Mina. No wonder DC’s political elite are often spotted here.

The luxury brand’s first outpost in the US, the sumptu Read More

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