PHOTO: Ashton Bingham

Fodor's Expert Review Omni Shoreham Hotel

2500 Calvert St. NW, Washington, DC 20008, United States See on Map Fodor's Choice

Elegance and rich history prevail at this sprawling, resort-like retreat in the residential neighborhood of Woodley Park. 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. With 834 rooms, 24 meeting rooms, ballrooms and 11 acres of landscaped grounds, its grand size attracts lots of tourist groups and conventioneers, but families are happy with two pools and a special kiddie program just for them.

If you sign up for the Omni Select Guest Loyalty program (it’s free), you’ll receive a complimentary bundle of privileges, including Wi-Fi, morning beverage room service, pressing service and shoe shine.

room

Originally built in 1930 as a hotel and apartment building, the rooms are more spacious than most in D.C.; they also have varying sizes and shapes. They exude classic style, with dark-wood furniture, pale yellow walls edged with dark ornamental molding, patterned carpeting, and matching drapes, and iconic images of D.C. sights. The best rooms are at the back of the hotel, with balconies overlooking Rock Creek Park. Some claim the in-room technology is lacking. If you feel like splurging, there are seven presidential suites, named after each one of the presidents who held his inaugural ball here.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Suite 870 is said to be haunted. Why wouldn’t it be, in such a historic hotel?

bathroom

The bathrooms are on the small side but elegant, with stainless steel fixtures, marble countertops, travertine tile floors, and plush towels and bathrobes.

lobby

Elegant arches, vaulted ceilings, sparkling chandeliers and gold accents in the spacious, art deco lobby provide a stately entrance to the hotel. Green-and-ocher armchairs entice you to sit and stay awhile.

pool

A large patio with lounge chairs and lush green planting surround the outdoor heated pool, open May through October.

spa

The Omni Shoreham Hotel Spa offers facial treatments and massage services.

gym

The 24-hour fitness center has state-of-the-art cardio equipment, weights, and a dry sauna.

dining

Local ingredients from nearby farms create the core of Robert’s Restaurant’s menu; dine on the terrace overlooking the hotel’s backyard gardens to Rock Creek Park in warmer weather.

drinking

Watch sports and snack on small bites at the clubby Marquee’s Bar and Lounge; this is where pianist comedian Mark Russell got his start.

LOCATION

Getting Around

The hotel is located in the residential neighborhood of Woodley Park, near the National Zoo and a local restaurant scene. It’s within easy reach of the restaurants and nightclubs of Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle. Otherwise, the major monuments and museums are several miles away. The Metro will be your best bet for public transportation, with the Woodley Park–Zoo/Adams Morgan metro station a block away.

Restaurants

A longtime neighborhood favorite for Mediterranean cuisine is Lebanese Taverna (3-minute walk). District Kitchen (3-minute walk) is a casual restaurant serving New American cuisine created from fresh, local ingredients.

Bars

Nanny O’Briens (19-minute walk) is a lively Irish pub with Guinness and live music in the adjacent Cleveland Park neighborhood. The Middle Eastern restaurant Medaterra (3-minute walk), on Connecticut Avenue, has a lively bar scene.

WHY WE LIKE IT

This grand old hotel feels like a country retreat in the heart of the city, and there’s no better place to soak it all in than on the restaurant terrace, overlooking Rock Creek Park. The pool, with all of its landscaping and pool furniture, is resorty, and why not sit back in our lounge chair and while away the afternoon, ordering drinks and snacks as needed?

QUICK FACTS

Business, Family, Historical, Service
834 rooms and suites
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe no
Room Service yes
$$$$
Gym, Pool
yes
Valet Parking,Parking Lot
Yes

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 202-234–0700;800-834–6664

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