A Comprehensive Luxury Travel Guide To Washington DC

Washington DC
Washington Monument on the Reflecting Pool in Washington DC

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com


Four Seasons Washington DC

The Four Seasons Washington DC
The Four Seasons Washington DC

Photo Credit: The Four Seasons Washington DC

Located at the entrance of Georgetown, one of the most charming neighborhoods in America, is the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC. It is the only 5-Star, 5-Diamond hotel in Washington, DC, meaning, luxury here is top notch. There are six presidential suites, in a residential style with warm neutrals, shimmery golds and deep browns, and its Royal Suite — where many a. president and celebrity has stayed — is the only bullet resistant suite in DC.

It’s also an art lovers paradise, with a 1,650-piece collection, including Andy Warhol’s rare 1986 screen print trial proof Indian Head Nickel; Robert Mangold’s Curved Plane/Figure I; and Andrea Rosenberg’s Untitled No. 3 (though the lobby, as designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, is a work of art in itself).   

The spa is a marvel, with three floors of cutting-edge fitness equipment, a heated swimming pool and a whirlpool, and it’s own VIP members-only fitness club for residents and hotel guests alike. The treatments are next-level, though we love the Codage “Haute Couture” facial, a luxurious treatment for the face, neck and décolleté that resurfaces and hydrates and ends with a personalized 30ml “My Codage” serum delivered directly to your home within 15 days

There’s a gorgeous garden patio with Veuve Clicquot-branded cornhole, and fabulous fare courtesy of Michelin-starred chef Michael Mina, who presents some serious steaks in a glamorous setting at Bourbon Steak, as well as the hotel’s signature eatery, Seasons.

2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007

Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC

Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC
Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC presidential suite

Photo Credit: Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC

Here, the 373 rooms and 51 suites all have that signature MO feel, though truly none can compare to the three-bedroom Presidential Suite, which includes 3,250 square feet of space, two ensuite bedrooms, a circular living room, a dining room for eight, a kitchen, and butler pantry. There is also an office with private entrance, and a relaxed den with plush seating.
It’s signature eatery, Empress, overlooks the hotel’s lush Empress Garden, and also takes its name from the “Above Washington, D.C.” painting that overlooks the lounge, depicting Empress Dowager Cixi, The Last Empress of China, swinging over the eternal federal city. The piece enhances Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s blending of Eastern and Western cultures and philosophies.It is THE spot for afternoon tea in the city, with all the elevated elements one might expect from the experience: scones, tea sandwiches, tea, and, of course, champagne.

1330 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024

The Inn at Little Washington

The Inn at Little Washington
Room 6 at The Inn at Little Washington

Photo Credit: The Inn at Little Washington

The Inn at Little Washington is a unicorn, a small but mighty space with only 23 guest rooms and suites as conceptualized by Joyce Evans, a London stage and set designer. All guest room reservations include a welcome cocktail upon arrival, afternoon tea, house breakfast, complimentary valet parking and a guaranteed dining reservation each evening — be it at DC’s only 3 Michelin starred dining venue, or at its casual new concept, Patty O’s. At the former, Chef Patrick O’Connell’s American-inspired eatery has been likened to performance art. The experience evokes a romantic dinner party in a private country house from another era. Whimsical touches such as a rolling cow (named Faira) displaying cheeses invite guests to have fun and not take the quintessential Michelin-star experience so seriously.

309 Middle St, Washington, VA 22747

Willard Intercontinental

Willard Intercontinental
Willard Intercontinental lobby

Photo Credit: Willard Intercontinental

The foundation for the Willard Intercontinental was first built in 1818, which should say it all for history buffs. Guests will discover that this was the first hotel to feature the Mint Julep outside of Kentucky, and as such, that it is the property’s signature drink; that President Franklin Pierce made it his home in 1853; that it was the home of the Peace Convention in 1861 as a last-ditch effort to end the Civil War; and that in 1868, it became the place where Memorial Day was first declared. The term “lobbyist” was first coined here about Ulysses S. Grant, who sat in the lobby smoking cigars and drinking brandy; the University Club of Washington was founded here, as was the National Press Club; where then VP Calvin Coolidge lived; and where Martin Luther King Jr. made his final edits to his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Nowadays, it’s just as opulent, with presidential-themed suites — the most opulent being the Thomas Jefferson suite, with 2300 square feet of space overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue with views of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial, featuring a bedroom with a king bed, separate sitting area, walk-in closet, walk-in shower and adjacent soaking tub, a living room with two separate sitting areas, as well as a grand formal dining room stylishly fitted with a Federalist-style dining table that can seat eight, along with a butler pantry with separate exterior entrance for increased privacy.

1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

Riggs Washington DC

Riggs Hotel
Cafe Riggs at the Riggs Hotel

Photo Credit: Riggs Hotel

Like most properties in DC, Riggs Washington DC is one with history. It was initially built in 1891 as the Riggs Bank building, which was known as the ‘Bank of Presidents’ as they handled the personal finances of many U.S. Presidents in addition to many of the embassies in Washington, D.C. Twenty three Presidents and their families banked with Riggs, including Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon. Accounts were also held by Senators Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun and Daniel Webster, American Red Cross founder Clara Barton and suffragist Susan B. Anthony. The bank described itself as “the most important bank in the most important city in the world.”

Now it is a beautiful and timeless hotel with a focus on the women behind the men, with designs inspired by the eccentricities of four first ladies: Ida McKinley, Caroline Harrison, Louisa Adams, and Angelica Van Buren. each of these more than 500-square-foot suites has a unique personality all its own, offering guests access to remarkable features such as a baby grand piano, opulent details and intricate floral design. Freestanding soaking tubs and separate living rooms provide plenty of space to relax.

There’s all a 24-hour gym with Pelotons, water row machines, and yoga and meditation kits; a lovely eatery in Café Riggs, which was inspired by the grand brasseries of Europe, with a backdrop of the space’s ornate ceiling and original Corinthian columns; and Silver Lyan, an underground world created by bar visionary Ryan Chetiyawardana (“Mr Lyan”) in the hotel’s historic bank vault, where each drink pays homage to the spices, flavors and traditions that make up America’s diverse cultural heritage. It was also named Best US Hotel Bar at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards back in July.

900 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Watergate Hotel

The Watergate Hotel
Rose Suite at The Watergate Hotel

Following an extensive $200 million renovation, The c — yes, that Watergate Hotel — has very few whiffs of its scandal-heavy heyday thanks to a bold, mid-century modern design, which blends classic elegance with extravagance and warmth with interiors courtesy of designer Ron Arad along with intriguing sculptural furnishings from Italian furniture company Moroso. The Watergate Hotel in Foggy Bottom boasts 336 stylish guestrooms, including six Diplomat Suites, 24 premier suites and two stately Presidential Suites, which feature large dining rooms, full kitchens, sitting rooms, living rooms with a gas fireplace, walk-in closets, two bathrooms, and two lavish balconies with breathtaking river views.

There’s a lot to unpack here, literally and figuratively. The hotel is home to the Top of the Gate rooftop bar and lounge with 360-degree views of the city; the quiet retreat The Library, with tufted couches and chairs by Patricia Urquiola in hues of gray, deep blues and yellows; layers of vintage oriental rugs curated by Moroso; and unique modular bookshelves built from clay by Moroso; Kingbird restaurant; and The Next Whisky Bar, and spectacular space tucked away within the hotel’s lobby and ornamented with some of the world’s finest bottles of spirits, with a spherical art sculpture created from 2,500 bottles of illuminated whisky bottles, each with a stainless steel hand- designed label by Ron Arad. There’s also Argentta Spa and fitness facility, complete with a lavish indoor pool, and, it’s tongue-in-cheek nod to its salacious past, the Scandal Room. Originally Room 214 – which was used in the 1972 Watergate break in that eventually resulted in the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, the room has now been decorated in collaboration with Lyn Paolo, the costume designer for Shonda Rhimes’ hit series, Scandal, and contains items from the Watergate Scandal period. Binoculars, a manual typewriter, a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and curated book collection are just some of the pieces that evoke the spirt of the 1970s, though modern amenities such as a 48″ flat screen TV with episodes of Scandal available for viewing, a spa-like bathroom with custom amenities and two custom “Cover Up” robes to enjoy during your stay keep it fresh.

 2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037

The Jefferson DC

The Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson Suite at
The Jefferson

Photo Credit: The Jefferson

Although The Jefferson opened in 1923, it has a much more vintage feel, something from a beyond bygone era. This beautiful hotel, which was first known as The Jefferson Apartments, a luxury residential building by architect Jules Henri de Sibour that quickly became the address of
choice in government and social circles, became a 99-room hotel (with a Presidential Suite featuring not one but five Juliette balconies, a private kitchen, and private study) in 1955, with nods to the city’s past. Here there are two distinctive dining concepts in Quill Bar & Lounge and The Greenhouse, helmed by Executive Chef Fabio Salvatore, as well as The Book Room, the perfect respite surrounded by leather bound books that has its own in-house historian on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm. Beyond this, concierge services are provided by the unparalleled Clefs d’Or Concierge, there’s a fitness center with two Pelotons, elliptical machines, treadmills, and a TRX Training Center.

1200 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, Washington DC

The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
The Living Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Two miles from the nation’s capital downtown district and set within a historic industrial building, The RitzCarlton Georgetown, Washington, D.C. offers the ultimate experiences: a killer spa, beautiful spaces, and proximity to everything in DC’s most walkable neighborhood. As such, it makes sense that treatment on offer here is the Sole Reviver, which focuses on the reflex zones of the feet to alleviate aches while restoring harmony to the body and mind, and even muscle recovery massages for me. Treatments are complemented by relaxation lounges with saunas and steam rooms. Its restaurant, Degrees Bistro, is also unmissable. Set inside a historic structure transformed into an industrial chic style, this restaurant and lounge in Georgetown D.C. offers exclusive elegance and a relaxed ambiance for a personalized and tailored experience. Try the Rocket Rickey: made of cucumber-infused Assembly gin, arugula puree, lime juice, simple syrup, and soda water, best paired with the seafood-heavy menu of items such as oysters, crab cakes, day boat scallops, and the sublime tuna poke.
3100 South St. NW, Washington, DC 20007



Photo Credit: Jennifer Chase

Your fine dining guide to the Capital.



Photo Credit: Rey Lopez

The Michelin-starred “Maydān” (table) — is built around the concept of sharing, and as such, the centerpiece of every table is the bread, which is made to order in the restaurant’s clay ovens. Another focal point is its roaring, live fire hearth, where all food is cooked, overseen by Chef Darnell Thomas, and drinks take inspiration from Middle Eastern flavors and lesser-known wine regions.  

 1346 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

Nobu Washington DC

The king of consistently incredible Japanese cuisine, Nobu Matsuhisa, delivers once again at his DC location.

2525 M St NW, Washington, DC 20037

The Inn at Little Washington restaurant

See above and be wowed at DC’s only 3-Michelin starred eatery!

309 Middle St, Washington, VA 22747


ReveriePhoto Credit: Casey Robinson

Inspired by Chef Johnny Spero’s global travels, yet rooted in his Mid-Atlantic upbringing, Michelin-starred Reverie, tucked away in a Georgetown alleyway, is a transportive fine-dining experience without pretension or fuss. The tasting menu skews heavily coastal, from Maryland crab to Spanish turbot, with a sense of humor and novelty that balances the sheer beauty of Spero’s cooking. Sadly, due to a fire in August 2022, Reverie is temporarily closed but is slated to reopen.

3201 Cherry Hill Ln, Washington, DC 20007

Cafe Milano

Cafe Milano Photo Credit: Conor Harrigan/Courtesy Cafe Milano

Cafe Milano is one of the hottest see-and-be-seen spots for diplomats, politicians, journalists, broadcasters, lobbyists, and entertainers in DC to this day, though owner Franco Nuschese opened his eatery’s doors over twenty-five years ago. Here, diners will experience gorgeous Italian cuisine in a setting reminiscent of a stylish Milanese boutique. Framed designer scarves adorn the walls as a nod to fabulous Italian fashion, while the ceiling gives way to coves of hand-painted murals celebrating Italian culture, including a portrait of famed opera singer, Placido Domingo, in the room named in his honor. Cafe Milano is incredible year-round, though in the summer months, its front wall of floor-to-ceiling windows opens onto an outdoor sidewalk patio, adding a true Italian cafe flair to the Georgetown streetscape.

3251 Prospect St NW, Washington, DC 20007



Photo Credit: Greg Powers

Minibar, a two Michelin-starred restaurant from Chef José Andrés is a study in avant-garde cooking and one of the nation’s most exciting dining experiences. The imaginative menu combines art and science with tradition and technique in an intimate, VIP sitting. For the most exclusive dining experience possible, reserve José’s Table, a private dining room adjacent to the kitchen that gives diners the chance to have a first look at Andrés newest creations and ideas, as well as unique and rare wine pairings.

855 E St NW, Washington, DC 20004


At the Michelin-starred Albi (Arabic for ‘my heart’), located in DC’s Navy Yard neighborhood, chef/owner Michael Rafidi, draws inspiration from his roots in the Levant region, blending coal fired cuisine with local, seasonal ingredients for a winning combination.

1346 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Imperfecto: The Chef’s Table

Imperfecto: The Chef’s Table

Photo Credit: Jennifer Chase
Imperfecto’s Degustación Experience at it’s Chef’s Table was recently named as one of the four new Michelin starred concepts in DC, giving Chef Enrique Limardo the first star of his career and making him only the second Venezuelan chef in the world to have the honor. The Degustación, which changes daily, features a 12+ course omakase style tasting menu that takes diners on a journey from South America into theMediterranean.

1124 23rd St NW, Washington, DC 20037

Oyster Oyster

Oyster Oyster is that rare, unexpected kind of restaurant that we love: entirely plant-forward restaurant, Oyster Oyster with a seasonal, local menu focused on sustainability, with a Michelin star to boot.

1440 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20001



Photo Credit: Rey Lopez

A meal at Ryan Ratino’s Jônt is an unmissable experience. A dining experience here at this Michelin-star eatery located in BRESCA consists of over 20 presentations serviced directly around the kitchen over the span of about three hours. The meal is broken into a few parts consisting of small bites or finger food and composed plates. Here, it’s about the journey, not the destination.

1904 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Pineapple and Pearls

Pineapple and Pearls isn’t a traditional Michelin star (especially because it has not one but two stars) restaurant: it’s a party! Its dining room and chef’s counter menu is designed as a large format, four-course experiential menu, though those who would rather drink their dinner or eat small bites are welcome to sit at the bar.

715 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Photo Credit: jorik/Shutterstock.com

DC is home to some of the most important cultural landmarks in America, including (but not limited to): The White House, The National Air and Space Museum, Renwick Gallery, the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Phillips Collection, National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, but there are a slew of new and fun exhibits that bring a youthful touch to the city.

Make sure to check out the latest interactive experiences, which currently include One with Eternity at the Hirshhorn, which showcases the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection of works by Yayoi Kusama, including two of her Infinity Mirror Rooms; The Office Experience, an inside look at the Dunder Mifflen crew, which is in DC until January and has a VIP package; Mexican Geniuses: A Frida and Diego Immersive Experience and the AFRO FREQUENCIES experience at Artechouse. Hillwood Estate, the former home of socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post, is also a must thanks to its current Grace Kelly exhibition, with all of her Dior on display.

There are beautiful boating experiences, with private rentals and sightseeing tours, our recommendation being the six-seat Embark DC, for a historical day on the water; a visit to the White House; golf galore (our pick: Creighton Farms, which features a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course); high-end shopping at CityCenter and upscale boutique labels in Georgetown; and, for a spooky yet interesting way to learn about the nation’s capital, a historical evening ghost tour (our pick: DC Ghost Tours).