UPDATE: There are a few DC hotels that have closed or are under new management, but this list remains up-to-date and I thoroughly recommend them. For more information, please check the websites.
The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan
1770 Euclid St. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-588-0525; thelinehotel.
This trendy, new hotel was a 110-year-old historic bank in Adams Morgan. The founding was a community effort from various local chefs and broadcasters, and it has taken the city by storm. It’s a favorite hangout for the locals, too, and the neighborhood gets a little noisy and rowdy on weekends. The rooms are decorated with eclectic touches, and configurations vary from a traditional king to a corner suite with views of the Washington Monument. Guests enjoy the three restaurants, two bars, a coffee shop, and watching the live DJ spin tunes from the lobby. The Line Hotel serves high-tea in the lobby. If you’re looking for a stylish, upbeat, quirky time in D.C., this is your place, but it’s not recommended for travelers with children.
AKA White House in Downtown DC
The leading international luxury long-stay brand, the AKA is two blocks from The White House. Near historic Lafayette Park, the hotel puts you within walking distance of many major attractions. The guest rooms, with both one and two bedrooms, as well as the penthouse suites, are the peak of sophistication and comfort, with full kitchens, dining areas, a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, and marble bathrooms. Many have balconies, where you can sit and watch the action. The Technogym is small but with state-of-the-art equipment. AKA is a new brand to D.C., and they are making their mark with their apartment-like suites, rooftop terrace, and cinema. Must be 21 to make a reservation. The property is three to four blocks from the McPherson Square, Farragut North, and Farragut West Metro stations.
801 Wharf St. SW, Washington, D.C.; 202-800-0844; ihg.com
If you’re a young-at-heart visitor looking for a D.C. neighborhood that is lively day and night, then staying at The Wharf is perfect for you. This brand-new hotel has rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the marina, East Potomac Park, and the Potomac River. Walk to the new live-music venue, The Anthem; make s’mores on the boardwalk fire pit; and tour the historic Maine Avenue Fish Market. The hotel has a sparkling fitness center and a rooftop pool.
The Conrad Washington DC in City Center/Penn Quarter
950 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-844-5900; conradhotels3.hilton
This brand-new hotel is steps from D.C.’s most upscale shopping and dining spots in CityCenterDC. Three blocks from Capital One Arena, Shakespeare Theatre, the National Portrait Gallery, and two Metro stops, you can’t beat the location if you want nightlife and culture. The rooms are equipped with espresso machines and Bluetooth speakers, and the design feels residential like a chic apartment. The Conrad is also known for offering a unique hotel refuge called the Sakura Club (named after Washington’s famous cherry blossoms), with expansive suites that include a gourmet buffet three times each day, evening libations, afternoon tea, and priority access to Conrad’s rooftop bar and Estuary, a restaurant owned by Top Chefs, the Voltaggio brothers, that showcases the flavors of nearby Chesapeake Bay. There’s no pool, but the fitness center features Precor equipment. The hotel caters to international business travelers, so it’s quieter on the weekends when the rates drop.
The Motto Hotel in Penn Quarter
627 H St. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-847-4444; thepodhotel.com
Right in the middle of Washington’s Chinatown, this new Hilton hotel is a minimalist’s dream. As some guests say, “It has everything you need, and nothing you don’t.” The rooms are small—some have bunk beds called “Bunk Pods”—but views of the city are glorious, especially from the hotel’s Crimson View rooftop bar. If you’re averse to buzzy and sometimes noisy nightlife, you should avoid the Pod. If you want to be in the heart of the action, you’ll be happy. The hotel employs a team called The Pod Squad, who are available to advise guests on what to do, where to go, and how to get there. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi and free access to the Washington Sports Club. Rooms are limited to two people, but the price is so reasonable, you can rent a separate room for the kids. You’ll share a block with Capital One Arena, dozens of restaurants, shops, and are just a few blocks from the National Mall. Right outside the door is the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station.
Hotel Indigo in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia
220 S. Union St., Alexandria; 703-721-3800; hotelindigooldtownalexandria.com
While this isn’t in DC-proper, Alexandria is a prime location for visitors who love history and want to enjoy the delights of Old Town Alexandria. The splendid views of the Potomac River from the hotel help explain how, during its construction, builders unearthed a 50-foot sunken vessel from the 1700s. This boutique-style hotel offers visitors the ability to walk to shops, waterfront parks, and the Torpedo Factory Art Center, along with an endless array of restaurants. While it’s not close to the Alexandria Metro station, you can take the Old Town Trolley there, or hearty souls can walk the 16 blocks through the safe and charming neighborhood. You will walk in the footsteps of our founding fathers when you stay in Old Town.
Attractions; Free Things to Do in DC Hotels MidAtlantic Travel Top sights in DC Travel Virginia Travel Adams Morgan DC Neighborhoods DC travel DC Wharf New Hotels in Washington DC 2019 Penn Quarter DC
Freelance writer and photographer specializing in vivid, deeply reported stories about food, travel and family.