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8 Coolest Hotels in Washington, D.C. | A Historic City You Won't Soon Forget

Stay at one of these eight coolest hotels in Washington, D.C. and you'll have a trip to the nation's capital you won't soon forget.

With my refreshingly chill pomegranate mojito in hand, I make my way back to my high top table at the far end of this rooftop lounge. This panoramic view is a sight to behold. I see the Key Bride directly in front of me, running straightly across the Potomac River, whose waters now reflect the soft, orange-and-pink-toned hues of the impending overhead sunset. To the left of the river lies Rosslyn, an urbanized metropolis of skyscrapers and directly in contrast to the historic buildings and quaint row houses in Washington, D.C. on my right.

It’s the end of a long summer’s workweek, and in the nation’s capital, there’s no better place to celebrate the start of the weekend than on a rooftop serving libations and snacks. When the weather gets chillier, I retreat indoors to feast on Michelin-starred meals while turning my focus to handcrafted cocktails from subterranean speakeasies, intimate, mid-century-themed bars, or in the case of a weekend staycation, from my very own in-room mixologist.

In the burgeoning district, where history seamlessly melts in with contemporary design and development, you don’t have to go too far to experience something memorable. Even if your trip to the capital focuses on the National Mall and its monuments, planning your stay at one of these eight coolest hotels in Washington, D.C. will leave you with memories you soon won’t forget.

A Period Stay at This Historic Washington, D.C. Hotel

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Just four blocks from the White House, this storied 99-room property in a beaux-arts building comes complete with antiques, period artifacts, and documents signed by the property’s namesake, Thomas Jefferson.

Elegant guest rooms and suites at The Jefferson, with their warm, earth-toned furnishings, offer envious views of the nation’s capital; some like the 1,900-square foot Thomas Jefferson suite feature multiple Juliet balconies offering a prime shot of the Washington Monument in the distance.

Unwind after a long day of sightseeing and museum hopping with a thrilling novel from the hotel’s countless leather-bound book collection, neatly displayed in deep bookshelves in the Book Room, or by sipping on handcrafted cocktails like the Bermuda Blue while listening to the in-house pianist at the intimate cocktail bar and lounge, Quill.

Gourmands will particularly enjoy dining at Plume, the property’s refined Michelin-starred restaurant. The seasonally changing prix-fixe menu features New American fare like the truffle risotto and seared Alaskan halibut topped with Ossetra caviar.

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The Jefferson, Washington, DC

Top rated
Washington D.C., 27.2 miles to Baltimore–Washington International Airport
9.4 Excellent (943 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.6 / 10
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At the Crossroads of Wellness and Progressiveness

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Founded by hotel heiress Katherine Lo, Eaton DC does not follow your traditional hotel model. Instead, it functions as a purpose-driven company and creative lab—with hotel, house, media, wellness, and impact components—focused on enacting progressive social change and providing an inclusive gathering spot for creatives and community change-makers.

Contemporary quarters feature a selection of hand-picked rare book and cleansing Himalayan salt lamps, along with colorful pops of orange and blue furnishing accents. Guests can comfortably work in their rooms or at Eaton House, the warmly decorated co-working space adjacent to the property.

Indulge in alternative healing with on-site wellness classes focused on crystal healing, sound baths, reiki, and shamanic journeys. Recharge with a meal at American Son, which focuses on progressive American cuisine with inspiration from Executive Chef, Tim Ma’s Asian roots. For a more casual vibe, head upstairs to Wild Days, the chill rooftop music venue with a rotating schedule of DJs and its very own taco stand — the mushroom tacos with chile creamy and vegan chicharrones are favorites.

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Eaton DC

Top rated
Washington D.C., 27.1 miles to Baltimore–Washington International Airport
9.0 Excellent (275 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.9 / 10
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A Washington DC Hotel With a Scandalous Past

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Political enthusiasts will find utopia during their stay at The Watergate Hotel, most famously known as ground zero for one of America’s most prominent political scandals. This infamous hotel underwent a $200 million renovation in 2016 and emerged with a bold midcentury modern design, to remind guests of the scandalous era it first made headlines in.

The midcentury aesthetic is stringently followed right down to the staff, who wear outfits designed by Janie Bryant, the renowned costume designer for Mad Men. Head to the rooftop lounge, Top of the Gate, for panoramic 360-degree views of Washington DC and the Potomac River, along which the sprawling 337-room property sits.

Along with a heated indoor pool, the hotel offers a 12,500-square-foot luxe spa and 24-hour fitness center. Guests can dine on Mediterranean cuisine at the on-site restaurant, Kingbird followed by an evening of whiskey tasting at The Next Whiskey Bar, a sleek watering hole with an eye-catching wall made of 2,500 illuminated whiskey bottles.

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The Watergate Hotel

Top rated
Washington D.C., 28.3 miles to Baltimore–Washington International Airport
8.9 Excellent (1868 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.1 / 10
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Grab Cocktails at this Boutique Hotel's Intimate Subterranean Speakeasy

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The main draws to The Graham, a chic boutique hotel in Georgetown, are its two drinking establishments. The Graham Rooftop, which offers guests impressive sunset views over the DC skyline is a place to see and be seen. While its subterranean speakeasy counterpart, The Alex—named after famed local Georgetown local Alexander Graham Bell—offers a more intimate atmosphere.

Vibes at the 57-room property are sophisticated with high-end linens and L’Occitane bathroom amenities. For more space, reserve a king suite, which comes with a separate living room and a sleeper sofa.

Both the scenic waterfront and the shops and restaurants along Georgetown’s quaint M street stretch are a block away, giving guests with an ideal home-base to explore one of the district’s most charming neighborhoods.

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The Graham Georgetown

Top rated
Washington D.C., 28.2 miles to Baltimore–Washington International Airport
8.8 Excellent (1224 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
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A Stay at Washington DC's Oldest Hotel

In operation since 1922, the Tabard Inn is one of DC’s oldest hotels housed in a trio of quintessential DC row houses that collectively date back to the late 1800s. The quaint, period-style rooms feature antiques and offer glimpses of a bygone era. The inn itself was host to numerous women’s social gatherings before serving as a boarding house for women accepted to WAVES (Women Accepted to Emergency Services) in the navy during World War II.

Part of Washington’s burgeoning culinary scene, the Tabard Inn’s eponymous restaurant is known for utilizing the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. But with no identifiable cuisine, expect to find a menu that includes everything from squash risotto and shrimp and grits, to Thai red curry and an adobo game hen in a vinegar-soy broth.

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Tabard Inn

Washington D.C., 27.3 miles to Baltimore–Washington International Airport
8.7 Excellent (630 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
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An Efficient Stay at Washington DC's First Micro Hotel

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Set across the street from George Washington University, this modern, cashless property offers guests efficient rooms with a sleek, industrial vibe and exposed-brick walls. As the district’s first micro-hotel, Hotel Hive features quarters that range from 150-250 square feet, with each room accommodating a maximum of two guests.

For more space and glimpses of the city in motion, opt for the loft king rooms with exposed-beam, high ceilings set on the property’s top floor. The hotel is also home to local-chain &pizza, where guests can craft their own pies or select from chef-inspired hits like American Honey with tomato, mozzarella, and basil, or the Farmer’s Daughter—a tomato-based pizza which comes with an egg, making it an ideal choice for breakfast.

Experience the sunset over the DC skyline at the property’s rooftop bar, which showcases local spirits like Civic vodka and Green Hat gin in their craft cocktails. Beer drinkers need not worry—they even make their own Hive lager.

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Hotel Hive

Top rated
Washington D.C., 28.1 miles to Baltimore–Washington International Airport
8.8 Excellent (760 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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Dine on Farm-to-Table Cuisine at the Boutique Dupont Circle Hotel

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Smack dab in the middle of Dupont Circle is its namesake boutique hotel, featuring the Pembroke, one of DC’s newest dining establishments. With plush coral couches and floor-to-ceiling windows, the restaurant allows you to watch the city go by as you dine on farm-to-table cuisine by Executive Chef Marlon Rambaran.

Begin your day with homemade pastries and single-origin Ceremony coffee from the quaint lobby cafe. At night, sip on cocktails like the Spicy Rita or Vieux Carre, inventive recreations of the 1950s and 1960s classics at Doyle, the property’s intimate bar with a mid-century modern feel.

Contemporary rooms and suites feature warm tones, luxe bed-linens, and marble bathrooms with heated flooring. Suites add outdoor terraces overlooking Dupont Circle and the views of the skyline stretching all the way into the neighboring state of Virginia.

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The Dupont Circle

Top rated
Washington D.C., 27.3 miles to Baltimore–Washington International Airport
9.1 Excellent (9229 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
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A Sleek Stay in the Trendy Logan Circle Neighborhood

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The Darcy, a chic boutique property in the heart of Logan Circle—one of DC’s trendiest neighborhoods—offers guests loaner bikes, kids’ scooters, and baby strollers, along with a complimentary daily cocktail happy hour featuring local distillers like Green Hat Gin.

Sleek rooms are design-focused with contemporary original artwork adorning the walls, while suites add separate sitting areas and sofa-beds, perfect for family travel. Fancy a cocktail? The property offers in-room cocktail butlers to make your specialty cocktails without leaving the comfort of your room.

Australian coffee shop favorite, Bluestone Lane also has an on-site location, serving daily lunch and weekend brunch. The elegant on-site restaurant serves American cuisine focusing on local seafood favorites like the Maryland crab cake sandwich and raw half-shell oysters.

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The Darcy Hotel, Washington DC

Top rated
Washington D.C., 27.1 miles to Baltimore–Washington International Airport
8.5 Excellent (2315 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.8 / 10
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Featured image courtesy of Sara Cottle, Unsplash


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