As volatile as the political climate can seem these days, the seat of our government is rooted in history and tradition, a fact that is mirrored by our readers’ consistent choices in where to stay. When it comes to the top hotels in Washington, D.C., renowned luxury brands like the Four Seasons, St. Regis, Mandarin Oriental, and Ritz-Carlton perennially make the World’s Best list, as do boutique, independent properties that have been welcoming political power brokers for decades.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
Set in the heart of tony Georgetown, the Four Seasons has spacious, contemporary guest rooms, as well as an impressive, mainly American art collection: 1,650 pieces grace the walls, some of which were commissioned for the hotel. The nearby Melrose Georgetown Hotel draws visitors for its cozy vibe and farm-to-table cuisine. “The staff was ever present and always ready to assist,” said one reader. “The location was excellent. I’d stay there again in a second.”
But with a few exceptions, the favored places to stay in Washington, D.C., adhere to tried and true. The Hay-Adams, which opened in 1928, has counted Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart among its visitors, and D.C.’s power players continue to assemble in its Lafayette restaurant. One reader suggests this “historic hotel for romantic weekends,” while another adds, “A must do, at least once. It lived up to its reputation, and it’s worth the splurge to stay in a room with a direct view of the White House.”
And at the 200-year-old Willard InterContinental, located in a Beaux-Arts building two blocks from the White House, “you can’t get more historic,” wrote one reader. “The location is outstanding; service is also excellent.” That opinion is seconded by another, who praises the lively bar scene: “Service is great, and the rooms are beautiful.”
This year’s No. 1 pick is another landmark, housed in a building that dates from 1923. Read on for the full list of winners and see how they scored.