The Dish: Stay Then Play

Twelve of Washington’s luxury hotels with food and drink scenes to write home about.

Off the Record // The Hay-Adams Hotel

“Trumpy Sour” cocktail at Off the Record. (Photo by Dan Chung)

Come for the political cartoon coasters, stay for the inventive, wonky cocktails – “Hillary’s Last Word,” anyone? A stone’s throw from the White House and frequented by a high level clientele for decades, we only wish the walls of this red-hued underworld could talk.

The Round Robin Bar // The Willard InterContinental Hotel

The Round Robin Bar. (Photo Courtesy)

Gather ’round the historic circular bar and ponder the types of conversations Mark Twain and Woodrow Wilson might have had over house classics like the Mint Julep, which is said to have been introduced to D.C. here.

Blue Duck Lounge // Park Hyatt

Whole duck from Blue Duck Tavern. (Photo Courtesy)

Arrive hungry to this West End gem where bites come from acclaimed restaurant Blue Duck Tavern. An extensive wine list matches perfectly with the lounge’s nightly cheese and charcuterie presentation.

POV Lounge // W Hotel

This trendy rooftop claims some of the best views in the city. Snag a glass of Veuve Clicquot at a seat by the window and try to spot Secret Service details posted on the roof of the White House.

St. Regis Bar & Lounge // St. Regis Hotel

St. Regis Bar & Lounge (Photo Courtesy)

This nook in the lobby of the St. Regis oozes class. Visitors can relax by an elongated fireplace and accompany their cocktail with fare from Alhambra, the hotel’s new Mediterranean restaurant concept.

Quill // The Jefferson Hotel

Mahogany and amber accents give this elegant lounge a vibrant glow. Cozy up with a traditional dirty martini, or any of the classics, during live piano performances five nights a week.

Next Whisky Bar // The Watergate Hotel

This “Mad Men”- esque bar has been a big draw since the hotel’s renovation and reopening in 2016. Living up to its name, visitors will find themselves surrounded by walls of illuminated whisky bottles. Swanky, indeed.

Degrees Bistro // The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown

High ceilings and a charming outdoor garden at the Ritz’s Georgetown location make it an after work go-to. Try the Peruvian Hemingway cocktail, made with pineapple-infused Pisco, lime juice and simple syrup.

The Lounge at Bourbon Steak // Four Seasons Hotel

Grab a booth and pair one of the sexy bar’s rare scotches by the glass with Bourbon Steak’s famous trio of duck fat fries. You’re welcome.

Siren // The Darcy

This Logan Circle newcomer simulates an underwater escape. Saddle up to the impressive raw bar and watch Robert Wiedmaier’s team construct seafood towers and platters laced with caviar.

The Rye Bar // Rosewood Hotel

As its name implies, whisky and scotch should be priority orders at this sophisticated haunt along the C&O Canal in Georgetown. Settle into a Chesterfield lounger and sip the popular Barrel Aged Manhattan.

Benjamin Bar & Lounge // Trump International Hotel

Politics aside, the view in the Old Post Office’s lobby is worth the trip in its own right. Luxe blue velvet sofas and grand crystal chandeliers are just the right amount of ‘extra’ for a special occasion.

This article appeared on page 22 of the May 2018 print edition of Washington Life magazine. 

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