• Megan Winslett

History and Hotels in Washington DC

Updated: Jan 2

Lobby of the Trump International Hotel

Our nation’s capital needs little explanation, the history, the prestige, the power--but it is often overlooked as an exciting and even luxurious getaway. I toured six hotels--one that rivaled some of the most exquisite hotels I’ve seen in Europe. Each had a unique flare and provided a slightly different way of experiencing the same vibrant city.


Trump International Hotel

Stay here if: You want the most luxurious experience possible



Located on the site of the Old Post Office, which was built in 1899, Trump International Hotel exceeds expectations in every way. The hotel was created to retain the history of the former post office and incorporate that into it the most regal of hotel experiences.

The moment you step off Pennsylvania Ave and into the open air, palatial lobby your eyes begin to dart from the massive glass ceiling to the luxurious velvet couches. A stunning bar is adorned by a five story American Flag that stops you in your tracks. The original elevator bank and mail chutes remain, reminding visitors of the important messages and mail that passed through the same doors.

The rooms are to die for with massive windows, ornate beds and huge bathtubs that you could literally lie down in. Though no two rooms are the same, they all consistently offer elegant and pristine decor. I even have insight into which rooms offer the perfect view of the Washington Monument.

Book with me for the following Virtuoso amenities: Breakfast for two, upgrade upon arrival based on availability, early check-in or late check-out based on availability, $100 hotel credit


Hay Adams

Stay here if: You want to lay in bed and look at the White House



Just across Lafayette Park from the White House, Hay Adams is as close as you can get to calling 1600 Pennsylvania Ave home for the night. Built in 1928, the historic boutique hotel offers a more quaint option for guests seeking luxury on a smaller scale.

While the lobby features dark wood and ornate ceilings, the rooms are bright and spacious. Some have fireplaces and others offer stunning views of St. John’s Church, the church of the President on Inauguration Day.

Down in the basement you will find one of Forbes “World’s Best Hotel Bars”, Off The Record. With political caricatures decorating the walls, it is famous around DC as a “place to be seen and not heard” and is the perfect spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Book with me for the following Virtuoso amenities: Continental breakfast for two, upgrade upon arrival based on availability, early check-in or late check-out based on availability, $100 food and beverage credit


The Jefferson

Stay here if: You like a blend of old and new...and really amazing food



Much like the Hay Adams, The Jefferson is steeped in history. Built in 1923, the building was first used for luxury apartments before it became a hotel in 1950. While it does not offer the views of some other hotels, it has been updated with all the latest in amenities (think TVs embedded in bathroom mirrors) and was a 2019 winner of Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Award.

With just 99 rooms, The Jefferson gives the feeling of being in someone’s personal mansion with all sorts of nooks and crannies, perfect for sitting down with a book or cocktail. History buffs will enjoy the Jefferson memorabilia scattered throughout the hotel.

The Jefferson’s piece de resistance is it’s Michelin starred restaurant, Plume. Just beyond the most instagrammable rod iron gates, you’ll find the only Forbes five-star rated restaurant in DC. It is a must for foodies.

Book with me for the following Virtuoso amenities: Continental breakfast for two, early check-in/ late check-out based on availability, $100 food and beverage credit and upgrade upon arrival based on availability


The Conrad

Stay here if: You like new hotels with swanky rooftop bars



If you’re looking for new and modern, The Conrad is the place to be. Just opened in 2019, the hotel features sleek, contemporary furnishings and decor. A large bar and excellent restaurant draw lively crowds at night.

The highlight of the hotel is the Summit rooftop bar, which offers stunning views of the city and a full menu of sophisticated cocktails.

Located only five blocks from The Mall, and one block from Chinatown, The Conrad is the perfect location for anyone headed to the Capital One Arena for a game, concert or show.

Book with me for the following Virtuoso amenities: Upgrade upon arrival based on availability, $60 daily breakfast credit, $100 food and beverage credit, early check-in/ late check-out based on availability


Park Hyatt

Stay here if: You want to live like a DC native



Nestled among brownstones on a lively but quiet street near Georgetown, the Park Hyatt makes you feel like you actually live in DC. Great for families looking to hit the city running and then hang out in a more low-key environment at night, the hotel not only offers a complimentary courtesy car that will drop you off at various locations, but it also features a full-size salt water pool.

With Asian-inspired decor throughout, the hotel is beautifully but simply decorated. It is also home to the Blue Duck Tavern, a Michelin-distinguished restaurant where guests who book through me can enjoy their complimentary daily breakfast.

Book with me for the following Hyatt Prive amenities: Daily breakfast for two, $100 property credit, upgrade upon arrival based on availability, early check-in/ late check-out based on availability


Four Seasons Washington

Stay here if: You want an excellent spa in a hip area



Located in the ever-popular Georgetown area, the Four Seasons Washington was Washington DC’s first five-star, five-diamond luxury hotel. Located along the canal--with many rooms featuring canal views--it is close to the Potomac River, the Kennedy Center and both Georgetown and George Washington Universities.

In addition to having a ton of Georgetown restaurants and shops just steps away, the Four Seasons also has an onsite steakhouse as well as a breakfast and lunch restaurant. The highlight of the hotel to me was the huge, full-service spa and fitness club. Given a Forbes Four Star Spa rating, it has a full menu of services and is perfect for a girls trip, a romantic getaway or just relaxing after a day of touring the town.

Book with me for the following Four Seasons Preferred Partner amenities: Daily full breakfast for two (can be in-room), $100 spa or food and beverage credit, upgrade upon arrival based on availability


Megan’s Musts

  • Enjoy a meal at Old Ebbitt Grill --a D.C. institution and a great place to do some political people watching when Congress is in session.

  • Get fancy for an authentic High Tea at the luxuriously regal St. Regis--just be sure to make reservations in advance!

  • Call or write to your congressman to request a (FREE) tour of the White House. Spots are limited and are open three months prior to the requested date and close 21 days prior to the requested date.

  • Visit one of the 19 Smithsonian museums, galleries and the zoo--all for FREE! (Are you sensing a theme?)

  • Register in advance with your congressman for a tour of the U.S. Treasury. Kids of all ages will enjoy seeing how and where money is made (and I can confirm, it is not on trees!)

Contact me for more information or book at your own convenience through my Virtuoso online booking hotel tool.


Looking for a quick, driveable get-away to add onto a trip to the District of Columbia? Click here to read about my stay in Maryland's Inn at Perry Cabin.

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