This romantic, Italian Renaissance grande-dame on Lafayette Square, often rated as one of the world’s finest hotels, has welcomed presidents and other distinguished guests since 1928 (Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, and Sinclair Lewis among them). Though it looks and feels like a private historic home, the Hay-Adams is thoroughly modern, including Bose Soundlink Bluetooth systems and digitally-controlled heating and air-conditioning in all guest rooms. Some rooms have balconies overlooking the White House.
The neutral-colored rooms feel elegant and calming, with bright, multicolored Etro fabrics, colonial decorations, molded ceilings, toile fabrics, and fireplaces. The beds, with goose down duvets and pillows and Italian bed linens, define the epitome of comfort. The nightly turndown service with a fresh bottle of water is a nice touch.
Request a room with a view of the White House.
Gleaming marble bathrooms pamper with exclusive Asprey toiletries. The gleaming brass hardware and plush towels add elegance.
Rich wood paneling and marble floors with period décor give a sense of grandeur. Special touches include fresh-cut flowers and complimentary hot chocolate and cider served every winter afternoon.
The hotel hosted a prestigious salon in the late 19th century, and the tradition continues with its esteemed author series.
The fitness center has the basics: treadmill, elliptical, recumbent bike, plus weights.
YOU SHOULD KNOW For fitness buffs, the gym is small.
The Lafayette Room, noted for its impeccable service and White House views, is especially popular among the power elite; the menu features upscale contemporary American cuisine.
Off the Record in the basement is a classic DC bar, filled with the post-work crowd (some whose faces you may recognize from the news).
The Hay-Adams is located across the street from Lafayette Park and the White House, with DC's major monuments and museums within walking distance. Your best bet for public transportation is the Metro, with the McPherson Square metro station just two blocks away.
Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak and Stone Crab (4-minute walk) features a menu of steaks, seafood, and the legendary dishes of Joe’s Stone Crab, a Miami-based restaurant founded a century ago. Bombay Club (3-minute walk) is home to sophisticated Indian cuisine in an old-world setting, complete with live piano.
Le Bar (3-minute walk) is where masterful mixologists create innovative cocktails for DC’s power elite. Old Ebbitt Grill (7-minute walk) is a DC tradition since 1856, full of historic charm; Teddy Roosevelt allegedly bagged some of the animal heads over the Main Bar.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Hay-Adams remains a timeless destination, full of history and opulence and gracious hospitality, yet completely modern. It’s regal enough for political bigwigs, but exceedingly down-to-earth and friendly for families and visitors passing through town. The White House views are hands-down the best views of any Washington hotel.