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Historic Hotels in Washington DC

Distinctive Landmark Properties in the Nation's Capital


Washington DC has several historic hotels that have distinct architectural features ranging from an 836-room art deco style property on 11 acres adjoining Rock Creek Park to a 54-room Victorian inn in the center of the city. These properties offer unique accommodations, restaurants and special event facilities that are popular among visitors and local residents. Following is a guide to Washington's most prominent historic hotels.

The Willard

© Willard InterContinental Washington
1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC (202) 628-9100. The Willard is a Washington institution that has hosted almost every U.S. president since Franklin Pierce in 1853. The historic hotel is located one block from the White House and within walking distance of the Smithsonian Museums, the National Theatre and other major attractions. The site on Pennsylvania Avenue was originally home to six rowhouses that served as a hotel and changed names and ownership several times during the early 1800s. The Willard Hotel was formally founded by Henry Willard in 1847, when he combined the buildings into a single structure. The original hotel was eventually demolished and the current building was opened in 1901. The hotel has 22,895 square feet of conference space and popular restaurants: Café du Parc, the Round Robin Bar and the Occidental Grill.

Hay Adams Hotel

© Rachel Cooper
800 16th Street, NW Washington, DC (202) 638-6600. Located in Lafayette Square across from the White House, the Hay-Adams is one of Washington's most prestigious historic landmarks. The luxury hotel occupies the site that was originally the homes of John Hay (personal secretary to Abraham Lincoln) and Henry Adams (a descendant of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams). In 1927, the Italian Renaissance-style, 138-room hotel opened to cater to prominent guests including Amelia Earhart, Sinclair Lewis and Charles Lindbergh. The hotel had a $20 million renovation in 2002. The Lafayette Room is a power dining spot featuring contemporary American cuisine. Top of the Hay, a stunning roof terrace with panoramic views, was completed in 2011. Meeting space is available to meet a range of group sizes.

Hotel Monaco

© Rachel Cooper
700 F Street NW Washington, DC (202) 628-7177. Located in the vibrant Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington DC, the 183-room boutique hotel is housed in what was the original General Post Office Building, designed by Robert Mills, the architect of the Washington Monument. Completed in 1842, the General Post Office was the first all-marble building in the city patterned after the first marble building in Rome – The Temple of Jupiter. From 1999 to 2002, the landmark building was rehabilitated into a modern hotel retaining the historic architectural grandeur of the building. Poste Moderne Brasserie is a popular restaurant onsite. More than 7,000 square feet of meeting space is available.

Morrison-Clark Inn

© Morrison-Clark Inn
1015 L Street NW Washington, DC (202) 898-1200. This restored 19th-century Victorian mansion in the heart of Washington, DC dates back to 1864. The hotel has 54 guest rooms and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It retains an elegant charm with Italian marble fireplaces and period furnishings. The award winning Morrison-Clark Restaurant offers southern style cuisine in an elegant atmosphere.

W Hotel (formerly Hotel Washington)

© Rachel Cooper
515 15th Street, NW Washington DC (202) 661-2400. The Hotel Washington, until it closed in 2007 for its renovation, was the oldest continually operating hotel in Washington. It originally opened in 1888. Famous hotel guests included Marilyn Monroe and Elvis. Films including No Way Out and The Godfather, Part II, were both filmed there. The historic property was rebranded as the W Hotel in 2009 and currently features 317 stylishly designed guestrooms, J&G Steakhouse, the P.O.V. (Point Of View) Rooftop Bar and Terrace and 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Churchill Hotel

1914 Connecticut Avenue NW Washington, DC (202) 797-2000. Originally designed as a luxury apartment building in 1906, the Churchill was converted to an upscale hotel in 1955. With its location on Embassy Row, guests have included diplomats, dignitaries, politicians, business travelers and prominent families. The hotel offers modern luxury combined with historic ambiance. There is an on-site restaurant and lounge, meeting and event facilities and a fitness center.

Hotel Harrington

© Library of Congress
436 11th St. NW Washington, DC (202) 628-8140. The historic hotel opened in 1914 and is still owned and operated by members of the founding families. Located in the heart of Washington DC, the hotel is one of the most economical places to stay within an easy walk to the National Mall. There are 242 guest rooms, including 26 deluxe family rooms, a full service restaurant, a fast food restaurant, and a pub.

Marriott Wardman Park

© Marriott
2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington DC. (202) 328-2000. The Wardman Park is the largest hotel in Washington DC with 1,175 guest rooms, 125 suites, and 195,000 square feet of event space. The property dates back to 1918 and has hosted a long list of U.S. Presidents, dignitaries and VIPs. Situated on 16 acres near the National Zoo, this hotel has extensive event space and an outdoor pool and sundeck.

Henley Park Hotel

© Henley Park Hotel
926 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC (202) 638-5200. Constructed as the Tudor Hall Apartments in 1918, this historic address served as the home of notable Senators and Congressmen. In 1982, the property was converted into an upscale hotel and carefully restored to retain the original archways, stained-glass windows and 119 grinning gargoyles. Formal tea is served in the Wilkes Room each day. The hotel features 96 luxury guest rooms and suites, an award-winning restaurant and event space to accommodate 60 people.

Hamilton Crowne Plaza

© Hamilton Crowne Plaza
1001 14th Street, NW Washington, DC (202) 682-0111. The historic 318-room hotel, built in 1921, is located one block from the McPherson Square Metro station, five blocks from the Washington Convention Center, five blocks from the White House and within walking distance to the National Mall. The hotel features the 14K Restaurant, 7,000 square feet of meeting space, 24-hour valet parking and fitness center.

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