The nearest airport is Ronald Reagan, six miles from the hotel. The airport operates flights to New York, Miami and Los Angeles. The drive should take 15 minutes. Dulles International Airport, 35 miles away, serves most major international cities.
Union Station, two miles away, is a major rail hub along the Eastern Seaboard for Amtrak. It is also the destination for Maryland’s regional MARC train, which travels to Baltimore.
Driving in Washington can be confusing, especially in the perpetually crowded neighbourhood of Dupont Circle. If you do choose to drive yourself, the hotel offers valet parking for US$20 a day, US$38 overnight (plus tax).
Washington’s underground Metro is an excellent option, since the Dupont Circle station is only a block from the hotel. Lines run to many major attractions, including the National Mall and Capitol Hill.
Worth getting out of bed for
Washington is America’s playground, and you can spend endless hours examining the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other historic documents at the National Archives (+1 866 272 6272; www.archives.gov), visiting the Capitol and popping into the various Smithsonian museums to see treasures such as the Hope Diamond (mnh.si.edu), the Spirit of Saint Louis (airandspace.si.edu) and Julia Child’s kitchen (americanhistory.si.edu). Though the monuments to Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson get the most attention, don’t miss the majestic World War II Memorial, the reflective Vietnam Veterans Memorial or the tribute to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Off the Mall and closer to the hotel, visit the Phillips Collection (www.phillipscollection.org) for an impressive array of Impressionist art – including Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party – in a converted Dupont Circle mansion. Be sure to visit the Collection’s Rothko Room, a tiny space lined with the painter’s works and a single bench in the middle from which to admire them all.
Dupont Circle is a hub for great restaurants. Make reservations well in advance for a table at stellar Greek-inspired Komi, two blocks from the hotel. One of the best on the East Coast, the restaurant serves up a slew of oft-changing small plates that could include an upscale take on the half-smoke, Washington’s version of a hot dog (+1 202 332 9200; komirestaurant.com). Just below Komi, chef-owner Johnny Monis travels to Northern Thailand at the trendy Little Serow, which only takes walk-in patrons (www.littleserow.com). The prix-fixe menu doesn’t hold back on spice, but adds herbs and sour flavors of the region. On the south side of Dupont, Pizzeria Paradiso fires up excellent pizzas, which it can serve on its spacious patio with a long list of microbrews (+1 202 223 1245; www.eatyourpizza.com). A five-minute cab-ride away, the bright Rasika West End serves award-winning modern Indian dishes in a dining room set around a reimagined banyan tree (+1 202 466 2500; www.rasikarestaurant.com).
A half-block from the hotel, salad shop Sweetgreen mixes vegetable-packed salads using produce from the nearby farmers’ market. In addition to an ultra-seasonal monthly salad, the menu includes a deconstructed guacamole affair with crushed tortilla chips (+1 202 547 9338; www.sweetgreen.com). If you visit the National Mall, skip the hot-dog carts in favour of lunch at Mitsitam inside the National Museum of the American Indian. The cafeteria-style restaurant serves tamale, planked salmon, quinoa and other dishes that represent the cuisine of tribes from across North America (www.mitsitamcafe.com). A few blocks up on 20th Street, Filter (+1 202 234 5837; www.filtercoffeehouse.com) pours some of the city's best coffee, and serves excellent breakfast pastries, including a tart lemon-poppyseed muffin.
Walk six blocks from the hotel to claim space at communal picnic tables on the large patio of Standard (www.standarddc.com). The 14th Street watering hole – once a plant nursery – pours Hofbrau and other German beers to go with some of the city’s best burgers and barbecue. Down the street, Black Jack, set above seafood restaurant Pearl Dive, has an indoor bocce court and vintage circus-inspired decor (www.blackjackdc.com).