This spring, Washington, D.C., opened its first new-build luxury hotel in more than a decade — the U.S. flagship for Hilton’s high-end brand Conrad Hotels & Resorts.
Well-positioned within chic shopping and dining hub City Center, the 11-story, 360-room Conrad Washington, DC offers vacation seekers and business travelers a stylishly modern escape, with a rooftop bar, celebrity-chef-helmed restaurant and Zen-like concierge floor, the Sakura Club.
Here’s what we love most about this sleek and stylish D.C. stay.
See the City on the Rooftop
Washington, D.C., has a longstanding architectural rule that has prevented it from becoming a mass of skyscrapers like Chicago or New York. An act dating back to 1910 stipulates that no building can be taller than the width of the street upon which it is located, which roughly translates to 130 feet — about the height of the 11-story Conrad.
It’s a unique design principle that has given the capital much of its charm, and also allowed a special perk: from the roof of the Conrad, you get a 360-degree panorama of the city skyline, stretching from the Washington Monument to the Capitol building and even to the White House a few blocks away.
Take in the vistas at Summit, the hotel’s buzzy rooftop bar and lounge, where you can sip an on-tap Aperol spritz or nosh on avocado fries and 72-hour pot roast crostini.
Enjoy a Room with a View
Thanks to variations in size and layout, Conrad Washington, DC’s rooms feel like they belong in a boutique hotel.
Our favorite units are the Premier Corner Kings, which have not one, but two floor-to-ceiling window walls that flood the 450-square-foot spaces with natural light. A Zen-inspired design scheme of muted gray carpets, water-influenced photographs and white-on-white marble baths with custom Shanghai Tang amenities enhance the bright and airy feel.
Instead of a traditional desk, rooms feature a small worktable that doubles as a dining space with two chairs. Other perks include charging stations next to the bed (no more hunting for a USB plug) and a minibar boasting gourmet goodies like Honest Tea and José Andrés-branded chips.
Go VIP at the Sakura Club
We love a luxe concierge level, and the 10th-floor Sakura Club does not disappoint. From curb-side VIP arrival to a dedicated team of Ambassadors, you’ll be spoiled with extra perks during a stay in the special section.
Added touches include a Japanese whisky tasting each evening, as well as complimentary meal presentations throughout the day. Want a private shopping session at Gucci or need a hard-to-snag reservation at one of the city’s top tables? The team can whip that up, too — you need only ask.
Take In Artful Endeavors
Local art isn’t a new trend for hotels, but Conrad Washington, DC steps it up a notch with its array of styles, from a tapestry depicting the historic crossing of the Potomac in the lobby bar to local artisans like Matthew Langley paying tribute to the Washington Color School abstract expressionist movement.
But our favorite piece is one of the luxury hotel’s most Instagram-worthy works: the giant moon-shaped pendant suspended from the ceiling of the soaring multi-story atrium, which is programmed to adjust its color based on the time of day.
The impressive installation, along with the mile-plus of chain-mail-style metal imported from Europe, lend a striking yet minimalist vibe. This sort of modern-glam-meets-midcentury appeal comes courtesy of famed Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron (designers of Tate Modern and Parrish Art Museum) and well-known design consultants Rottet Studio (creative minds behind New York’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Surrey).
Explore the Area
While the hotel is large by D.C. standards at 360 rooms, the amenities are surprisingly minimalist. The hotel provides just one restaurant, Estuary, that’s helmed by Top Chef alums Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. Cuisine is playful (a crab roll is accented by crab-shaped chips) and locally inspired; nearly all ingredients come from the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
But you need not stay tied to the property. City Center is nicely positioned in the heart of downtown, just a quick walk to Capital One Area for a concert or Washington Capitals hockey game. You’re also mere steps from Ferragamo, Loro Piana, Dior and other boutiques. It’s easy to walk to a dining experience, too. Casual Centrolina serves up simple Italian classics and Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse makes a mean ribeye and Maple Bacon Manhattan.