Stealing much of Washington’s hotel buzz this month is Marriott’s inauguration of its 4,000th hotel, the enormous 1,175-room Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C. next door to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. While we love brand-new, convenient meeting digs, after looking a bit deeper in the city, we uncovered three classic luxury properties that are making news in their own right with monumental summer offerings.
In two big ways, Westend Bistro, the first-floor eatery at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel, beckons you this season. For starters, the beloved neighborhood spot just appointed Adam Barnett to chef de cuisine. Barnett’s name may ring familiar to city diners because he was a master of French-American fare at Poste Moderne Brasserie over the past year. This marks Barnett’s second stint at Westend; he was sous chef a few years ago, back when the famed chef Eric Ripert was associated with the restaurant. In addition to the big move in the kitchen, Westend sommelier Michael H. Kennedy II recently acquired destination-worthy vintage wines at auction. Bought from a private cellar, the collection includes several vinos from Burgundy and Bordeaux that pair perfectly with the restaurant’s French flavors. Sample a three-ounce pour of the 1985 Louis Latour “Bâtard-Montrachet” Grand Cru, Puligny-Montrachet, white Burgundy, or indulge with the whole bottle. For red fans, three ounces of the 1970 Château Léoville Las Cases Deuxième Cru Saint-Julien can be ordered as well.
One of D.C.’s favorite boutique hotels, The Jefferson’s lobby is second to none in the city for relaxing in a delightfully calm atmosphere, with antique furnishings reminiscent of our third president’s tastes throughout and original writings and period artifacts framed on the walls. With the help of the hotel’s in-house historian, Aaron Killian, you can now analyze these period pieces in proper fashion. Killian holds court at the Four-Star property each Saturday morning. After learning fascinating facts about the historical icon and the city he lived, you’ll receive complimentary Capital Bikeshare rentals with historical scavenger hunt maps to explore the region and deepen your knowledge. Of course, all of that trekking works up a patriot’s thirst, so book one of The Jefferson’s 17 suites where the decorating themes, each reflecting an interest of the former commander in chief, come with specialized wine pairings this summer. We recommend the Jefferson Botanical Suite with a perennial red blend from Flowers Vineyard & Winery in Cazadero, California.
Rooftop pools will never grow passé. One of only a handful of hotel watering holes with a skyline view, Dupont Circle’s Embassy Row smartly devoted a portion of its $15-million renovation (rooms and public spaces are to be remodeled by March 2015) just to a 4,130-square-foot outdoor lounge area with modern teak furniture and curtained resort cabanas overlooking the Circle. Stellar scapes of the Washington Monument and Washington National Cathedral will establish the hotel’s June 23-opening section as a go-to destination for July 4 fireworks, as will the new food and cocktail menu offering items such as ramen burgers and the Rooftop Escape (vodka, açaí liqueur, lime juice). The hotel will offer 50 summer memberships for purchase and as-available day passes. Hotel guests, of course, will have unlimited access.
Photo Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Inc.