A bustling metropolis on the Potomac River, Washington, DC is the buzzing capital city of the United States. Formally known as the District of Columbia and home to our nation’s government, the city boasts iconic American monuments, national memorials, world-class museums, and vibrant performing arts spaces. Visiting DC can feel like experiencing history as it’s happening, so it’s no wonder why Washington is such a popular vacation destination for history buffs!
With historic sculptures and architecture around every corner, Washington, DC is ripe with opportunities for sightseeing, from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. Visitors can stroll through the National Mall, tour the US Capitol and gaze up at the inside of the massive rotunda, and see where the President lives at The White House.
DC is also home to the Smithsonian Institution’s museum complex, including the National Museum of American History, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. For families, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is another big draw to the area.
There is no shortage of historic sights to be seen around Washington DC, but the city is also chock full of exciting nightlife destinations, delicious cuisine, and funky marketplaces to discover. If you time your visit right, outdoor enthusiasts can marvel at gorgeous pink cherry blossoms near Tidal Basin and the Washington Monument when they’re in bloom and attend the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. Plus, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts is an iconic venue with numerous shows and concerts throughout the year.
If that’s not enough, Washington, DC boasts all sorts of historic hotels, luxury retreats, and mid-century boutique hotels. So many, in fact, that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect one. So we’ve created this list of the 12 best hotels in Washington, DC to help you plan the perfect getaway!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: 12 Cool Boutique Hotels In Washington, DC
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Where to Stay In Washington, DC
Most hotels in Washington, DC are centrally located so that it’s easy for visitors to access the city’s biggest attractions. Many of the top places to visit are clustered around the National Mall, so hotels in this area are situated within walking distance of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, many of the Smithsonian museums, and the Capitol Building.
The pedestrian-friendly Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom neighborhoods are home to many of the best boutique hotels located along Washington DC’s Metro rail system, which provides easy access to different areas of the city. Even if you decide to stay a bit further outside of the city, most of the best hotels in Washington, DC are located close to metro stops.
Another popular place to stay in Washington, DC is west of the city in the historic residential area of Georgetown, where there are plenty of small shops and restaurants to enjoy. This area is close to the Potomac River, and many hotels offer waterfront views of the nearby harbor at Georgetown Waterfront Park.
The 12 Best Boutique Hotels In Washington, DC
Located inside of a historic 110-year-old church, the eclectic and artsy style of The Line Hotel is ideal for travelers who want to experience the more down-to-earth side of DC like a local. Situated between the Dupont Circle and Columbia Heights metro stations, guests at The Line can easily navigate from the hotel to all of Washington, DC’s major tourist draws and historic locales.
From couples looking for a romantic getaway to creatives who want to be inspired by natural light and rooftop views, this luxury hotel checks all the boxes! Each guest room is decorated in an elegant, modern style with wood floors and unique furnishings that will make your stay feel more like a visit to a cool friend’s downtown apartment than a hotel room.
Enjoy locally-distilled spirits and regional ingredients when you dine at Chef Pie Crook’s No Goodbyes, open all day and night. A hub for local happenings, The Line also hosts a variety of live events as well as seasonal experiences for guests. For a sweeping, can’t-miss view of the Washington Monument and Washington National Cathedral, be sure to visit the hotel’s rooftop.
Just a short walk away is The Smithsonian National Zoological Park, and a fleet of Priority Bicycles is ready for those who want to explore the city on two wheels. All pets of all sizes stay for free at The Line, and their Guest Experience team is happy to recommend nearby parks for walks, as well as pet-friendly eateries and bars in DC
Modern meets classic at Riggs Washington DC, where guests can expect to be enveloped in the bright, vibrant spaces within the hotel’s historic walls. Located in the heart of DC’s Penn Quarter neighborhood, this boutique hotel is within walking distance of the National Mall, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
A nod to the building’s former life as Riggs National Bank, each of the 181 rooms and suites is designed to make guests feel like they’ve accessed a private safety deposit box with personal touches like bespoke wallpaper and headboards and D.S. & Durga signature scented bath amenities. You can book a garden view room or enjoy sweeping city views of Penn Quarter.
Dine at the cozy, European-style Cafe Riggs or visit Silver Lyan in the building’s original basement vault for a craft cocktail made by master mixologists. Guests can also dine al fresco on the Garden Terrace, surrounded by seasonal florals with views of the National Portrait Gallery.
3. Lyle DC
Surrounded by some of the city’s most luxurious mansions and historic homes just northeast of Dupont Circle, the Lyle is a new boutique hotel in DC that boasts modern furnishings within the walls of a refurbished 1940s apartment building.
Guest rooms are bathed in calming, neutral colors with furnishings made from natural materials like rattan seating and Burl wood headboards. Each room will make you feel right at home with a fully-stocked mini-bar, an in-room espresso machine (available by request), and the option to upgrade to a room with a kitchenette.
The hotel’s gallery space features art by Strauss and comfy furniture where special events like wine tastings and rotating exhibits occur throughout the year. Plus, the basement is home to the hotel’s fitness center and several cozy lounge rooms to enjoy at your leisure.
Grab a complimentary coffee from the lobby before you head out to explore the city by bicycle from the rental station just 800 feet from the hotel. Nearby, guests will find a bevy of top-notch restaurants, unique shops, and trendy bars on popular 14th street. After a day of sightseeing, you can mix and mingle at the hotel’s complimentary wine hour each evening!
Offering a personalized boutique hotel experience just blocks from the White House, The Jefferson Hotel offers an old-world feel that strikes the perfect balance between classic and contemporary thanks to its unique, elegant spaces.
Awarded top honors from Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and US News & World Report, as one of the best hotels in Washington, DC and across the US, it’s easy to see why The Jefferson is one of the city’s most celebrated venues!
Expect to experience personalized service from The Jefferson’s staff, including complimentary shoeshines, Michelin-starred room service cuisine, and access to Pelotons in the hotel’s fitness center, open 24 hours a day. Nosh on award-winning cuisine and sip on craft cocktails at Quill or fill up any time of day in the hotel’s main restaurant, The Greenhouse.
Enjoy luxurious Italian marble in each bathroom, plush bedding, and opulent details in each exceptional guest room. For an added treat, be sure to request a room with views of the DC skyline!
Small groups can gather in the hotel’s cozy, wood-paneled cabinet rooms. The Book Room is the perfect spot to sip coffee or a cocktail or browse signed editions of books by contemporary authors who have visited the hotel. Another personal touch, for each room booked, the hotel sponsors the purchase of a children’s book for the DC Public Library’s Books from Birth program!
Experience the historic luxury of our nation’s capital at The Hay-Adams, a luxury 5-star hotel centrally located among all of the city’s major attractions. From eloquent amenities to an ultra-attentive staff, there are plenty of reasons this is one of the best boutique hotels in DC.
Deluxe rooms offer guests a refined place to relax and unwind away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Sleep tight on fine Italian bed linens and wake up to a freshly brewed cup of coffee from the in-room Nespresso machine. Plus, you’ll love the sweeping views of iconic locales like St. John’s Church and Lafayette Park.
One of downtown DC’s premier event spaces, the hotels’ Top of the Hay venue features a stunning panoramic view overlooking the White House from a wraparound rooftop balcony. It’s the perfect spot for special occasions and gatherings!
Dine on-site at the Lafayette Room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as Off the Record Bar, which serves a nightly dinner. If you’re keen to explore, the hotel’s concierge is happy to guide guests to the city’s top hidden gem restaurants and activities – many within walking distance – to create a truly unique getaway.
6. Hotel Hive
Located just steps away from the iconic Lincoln Memorial, Hotel Hive is DC’s first micro-hotel. Since 2017, the hotel has offered guests an experience that is authentically local and unique!
The top-notch hospitality you’ll find at Hotel Hive rivals larger luxury hotels but packs it into a buzzing space that’s inspired by actual beehives. Marvel at beautiful exposed brick walls, murals from local artists, and a bevy of fun graphic quotes located around this cool, modern hotel.
Ideal for one to two travelers, each room or “hive” is a quaint 125 to 250 square feet with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom with a shower. The efficient use of space is perfect for explorers and adventurers who want to experience a touch of luxury while steeped in all that the surrounding neighborhood has to offer.
For travelers who love to connect with others, Hotel Hive touts plenty of opportunities to socialize with creative minds, wanderers, and other adventure-loving guests. The hotel is also pet-friendly and welcomes all four-legged guests without added pet fees or deposits. If you want to stay in one of the most unique hotels in Washington, DC, this is the place!
One of the most distinguished DC hotels on this list, The Willard InterContinental Washington boasts the type of contemporary luxury and historic charm travelers expect from the nation’s capital.
Thanks to its gorgeous setting, opulent ballrooms, and top-notch service, Brides magazine named The Willard InterContinental one of the “Top 50 Hotels in America for Weddings.” It’s a romantic space for couples, but the grandeur of this elegant hotel can be enjoyed by everyone, from business travelers to families.
The hotel boasts some of the largest guest rooms in the city. Choose an elegant classic room, a premium room with upgraded amenities, or one of 69 unique suites named after US presidents, opera singers, and naval officers.
In the various suites, guests will find over-the-top luxury furniture, sweeping views of the hotel’s courtyard, walk-in showers, large dining tables, and plenty of space to enjoy the fine furnishings. There’s a reason this place is considered to be one of the best hotels in Washington, DC!
To accommodate the needs of their various clientele, the hotel offers a variety of packages with options like complimentary parking, a sunrise breakfast in bed, and connecting rooms. Guests can also take advantage of a 24-hour fitness center and sauna, a cozy lounge, premium concierge services, private limo services, plus a florist for special occasions.
On the weekends, enjoy the hotel’s traditional Afternoon Tea with boutique blended loose-leaf teas by J’enwey Tea Company, accompanied by freshly baked scones, pastries, and finger sandwiches.
8. The Graham
Located in Georgetown, just a stone’s throw from Washington University, The Graham is one of the best boutique hotels in Washington, DC It’s located in the heart of the historic port town, on the banks of the Potomac River. Plus, this vibrant, walkable neighborhood is filled with all sorts of unique shops and restaurants.
Each of the hotel’s 57 guest rooms and suites boasts modern yet comfortable furnishings with pillow-top mattresses and colorful accent furniture. The rooms are light-filled and airy, with ample space to relax after a day spent exploring the city’s numerous landmarks. Plus, you’ll love the oversized bathrooms with their marble accents and complimentary Molton Brown bath products.
Technology-driven and innovative, guests rave about the personal service offered at The Graham. Contemporary amenities like Peloton fitness equipment and complimentary Wi-Fi are added bonuses, while plush bathrobes and slippers are also cozy extras to enjoy.
In nearby Georgetown Waterfront Park, stroll through a cool, upbeat outdoor space that boasts plenty of shopping and places to grab a quick bite. For craft cocktails and small plates to share, head over to The Alex, which is open daily for breakfast and dinner. Be sure not to miss the sunset overlooking the city from the hotel’s rooftop bar and lounge, The Observatory!
If you’re looking to do DC in style, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel is a top choice. Located in Southwest Waterfront, close to Capitol Hill, it’s within walking distance of some of Washington’s most notable attractions, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument.
If pampering is on your agenda, the world-class spa offers premium facials, massage therapy, and body treatments in a serene setting. An ice fountain, vitality pool, sauna, and tranquil Zen lounges offer an enhanced, upscale spa experience for guests.
Each room is outfitted with contemporary decor, a flat-screen TV featuring on-demand movies and music, and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. You can also upgrade to one of the hotel’s luxurious suites with spa-inspired marble bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, or a balcony to take in the sweeping city views.
Start each day with made-to-order egg sandwiches at The Breakfast Room, where you’ll be greeted with expansive views of the waterfront district. Then, set out on foot to explore one of the hotel’s curated walking tours that hit the high points of the area, including idyllic Maryland Avenue, the Arena Stage, and the National Mall. Later, sip curated cocktails, eat light bites, or enjoy an afternoon tea at Empress Restaurant.
10. The Watergate
With its scandal-filled past, The Watergate remains one of the most unique hotels in Washington, DC – and one of its most popular! The type of retro glamour found at this historic site is unparalleled.
One major draw to this iconic site is the Scandal Room, the site of the 1972 Watergate break-in, which guests can tour to see relics from the Nixon era or book for a night’s stay. The room was decorated in collaboration with Scandal costume designer Lyn Paolo and outfitted with a manual typewriter, binoculars, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder!
Guest rooms feature sleek furniture, luxe linens, and flat-screen TVs, and each is decorated in a refined, elegant style. Balcony rooms, river view suites, rooms with garden views, and multi-room suites with upgraded amenities are all available. Plus, every marble-surfaced guest bathroom comes complete with complimentary La Bottega bath amenities.
The seasonally offered Winter Igloos at The Watergate offer a unique outdoor dining experience inside of clear, insulated domes under the night sky.
When it’s time to unwind, relax on a lush waterfront balcony overlooking the Potomac River or enjoy a treatment at the onsite Argentta Spa. If that’s not enough, the Top of the Gate rooftop bar offers breathtaking views of the Washington Monument and the nearby Georgetown Waterfront neighborhood.
Centrally located near Logan Circle, The Viceroy Hotel is a top choice for travelers who are looking for one of the most unique boutique hotels in Washington, DC. From the splashy painting on the hotel’s facade to the trendy rooftop bar, every detail inside and out is bold and hip! If you’re looking for a hotel where you can take Instagram-worthy photos, look no further.
Each spacious room is adorned with plush rugs in vibrant colors, chic furniture with metallic accents, and large windows that let in plenty of light. Get all the info you need for your stay with the voice-controlled Google NestHub virtual concierge in each room. Plus, you’ll love how the deep soaking tubs and walk-in showers paired with marble vanities give the guest bathrooms a luxurious feel.
Start your morning with coffee at BPM Coffee & Wine, where you’ll find locals stopping in to grab a drink on the expansive, open-air patio. Get cozy in The Salon, a lounge with book-lined shelves from floor to ceiling, velvet chairs to curl up in, and art displays from local artists. After that, take in the sweeping city views from Viceroy’s rooftop pool, where you can sip cocktails from the poolside Hush Rooftop bar or lounge on the teak wood deck.
The popular 14th Street Corridor and other DC landmarks are just a short walk away. For travelers with pets, the Viceroy offers pet-friendly accommodation.
12. Yours Truly DC
If you’re looking for a home-away-from-home during your stay in the city, the contemporary Yours Truly hotel is one of the best boutique hotels in Washington DC With modern amenities blended with an Art Deco feel and a central location near some of the city’s most popular attractions, it’s no surprise that Yours Truly DC was named a 2021 Travelers’ Choice hotel by Tripadvisor!
The bohemian decor is warm and inviting, so you’ll feel right at home. Plus, each room is bathed in modern luxury with eclectic details like vintage fringe rugs and funky light fixtures paired with spa-inspired showers, 65-inch smart TVs, and in-room vinyl record players.
Depending on why you’re in town, Yours Truly offers a variety of packages for business travelers, government workers, and diplomats. The hotel also hosts numerous events throughout the year, like comedy shows and charity fundraising events with guest DJs and specialty cocktails.
Just a short walk from DC’s many notable landmarks and monuments, the hotel is nestled between Georgetown and Embassy Row near George Washington University and the Georgetown Waterfront.
Nearby eateries Rasika, Cafe Deluxe, and Meiwah are popular with locals and tourists alike. But if you aren’t in the mood to leave the property, the onsite restaurant, Mercy Me, offers an excellent menu of South American fusion cuisine.
That completes our list of the 12 best Washington, DC hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels in Washington, DC? Comment below so we can add them to the list!
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