Old World charm meets modernist elegance at the Fairmont, established in 1985 in this well-heeled Washington neighborhood adjacent to historic Georgetown. The hushed open lobby is the hotel’s beating heart; oversize silk sofas and nightly live piano music set a soothing tone, with a large marble-topped bar from which is served a prodigious list of cocktails. There’s alfresco dining in the adjoining garden courtyard, with tables set around urns of pink lilies, and a burbling 19th-century Italian fountain.
Bed and Bath
Guestrooms and suites are peaceful and spacious, with soft lighting and an olive and chocolate-brown palette. Leather-backed armchairs, mahogany furniture and large honey marble bathrooms with walk-in rain showers all conspire to create a laid-back, homey vibe. On the ninth floor, Fairmont Gold takes the hotel’s reputation for excellent service to the next level with a separate concierge, an impressive guest-to-staff ratio and added goodies like silk canopy beds, direct phone lines and a breakfast buffet.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown’s low-lit Juniper restaurant offers a tempting menu of farm-to-table American comfort food. Book ahead to score a table overlooking the courtyard and tuck into signature crab cakes with heirloom hominy succotash, or the equally delicious Pineland Farms strip loin steak. But be sure to leave room for dessert: The crème brûlée is made with fresh honey from the hotel’s rooftop beehives. After a feast fit for a king (or at least a high-ranking politician) take the elevator to the basement level and work off those calories with a CrossFit class at the gigantic Balance gym or a few lengths in the 20-meter indoor saltwater swimming pool.
In the Area
The White House and the National Mall are must-sees, of course. But for a fresh perspective on the city’s rich history, head for George Washington’s Mount Vernon
. The 18th-century mansion is packed full of the president’s paintings and furnishings, and the formal gardens remain uniformly spectacular. Art lovers need look no further than the Phillips Collection
; the permanent collection, housed in an elegant Georgian mansion, includes works by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and Van Gogh. And foodies will not be disappointed by the award-winning contemporary American cuisine on offer at nearby 1789
, a Washington mainstay for more than 50 years.