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The Willard InterContinental, Downtown 

1401 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 628 9100
view web site ›'s insider take:

This cavernous Beaux Arts masterpiece has been the centerpiece of official Washington since it opened in 1850; in fact, Abraham Lincoln stayed here the night before his inauguration. The current version of the hotel dates back to 1901, its grandeur restored by a renovation in the late 1980s. A more recent makeover—completed in time for the Obama inauguration—focused on the lobby, restoring the original marble-and-wood front desk and adding a Scotch bar. Marble columns, mirrored panels, mosaic floors, and ornate chandeliers abound, along with lavish curtains and tufted settees in the 341 rooms and suites. One special suite, the Jenny Lind, has a wrought-iron canopy bed and a view of the Washington Monument from the Jacuzzi. For a true power spot, book the Jefferson Suite: It's 2,800 square feet with a dramatic entrance foyer enhanced by black-and-white marble, Aubusson rugs, and a view down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
This corner limestone block near the Smithsonian museums has a design combining Federal and Empire styles with a ruby, blue, and green color scheme and custom furniture. Guest rooms, currently being renovated, will remain bright and contemporary. The Occidental Grill serves classic American dishes like grilled New York strip steak. "It's comfortable, and the staff does its best to meet all requests."

(335 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 88.1
  • Design: 90.8
  • Food: 81.3
  • Location: 93.1
  • Rooms: 87.9
  • Service: 87.4

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2007, 2006, 2005

Amenities: Spa

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