Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC

The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection - Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC
The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection

The capital city of the United States of America is one of the most famous and historic in the world. This is one of the best places in the country to check out museums and observe history. It’s also got some of the best and most historic boutique hotels in America.

Check out this list of some of the best and most famous hotels in the Washington D.C. metro area. These luxury hotels all have historic value and most of them have hosted countless famous historic figures and events.

The Hay-Adams

The Hay-Adams - Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC
The Hay-Adams

The Hay-Adams is one of the most famous hotels in Washington D.C. The hotel is named after John Hay and Henry Adams.

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John Hay was Abraham Lincoln’s personal secretary and he was also the Secretary of State for two different presidential administrations. Henry Adams on the other hand was a Harvard professor and a descendant of two presidents of the United States: John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

These men both lived near Lafayette Square in the 1800s, and their homes served as a popular gathering spot for several famous figures, including Mark Twain and Teddy Roosevelt. The Hay-Adams Hotel was built on the site of their homes, and it features historic artifacts spread throughout the hotel.

The iconic Hay-Adams room even features original wood paneling from John Hay’s private residence.

Willard InterContinental Hotel

Willard InterContinental Hotel - Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC
Willard InterContinental Hotel

This famous hotel is affectionately known as “The Willard” and it began in 1818 as a series of small houses on Pennsylvania Avenue. Henry Williams purchased the homes in 1847 and combined the buildings to create a four story hotel.

This is one of America’s most historic hotels. It is the home to the Round Robin Bar, where Henry Clay introduced the Mint Julep outside of Kentucky for the first time. This bar is still open today.

Abraham Lincoln stayed here at The Willard before his first inauguration as President of the United States, and this hotel is where Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The Jefferson, Washington D.C.

The Jefferson, Washington D.C. - Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC
The Jefferson, Washington D.C.

This historic hotel is just four blocks away from The White House and is named after the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.

The Jefferson was built in 1923 as a residential building with a Beaux Arts design. By 1955, it had become a historic hotel and was redesigned in 2009. It now features Jefferson artifacts and a set of 1923 skylights in the lobby that had been previously covered over for several decades.

Washington Hilton

Washington Hilton - Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC
Washington Hilton

The Washington Hilton opened in 1965 and has hosted numerous presidents, events, and world leaders in its famous international ballroom. These include the White House Correspondents Association Dinner. On a more sinister note, the Washington Hilton Hotel also marks the site where John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate then-president Ronald Reagan on March 30 1981.

Capital Hilton

Capital Hilton - Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC
Capital Hilton

The Capital Hilton Hotel is home to the world famous Truman Executive Suite. The Capital Hilton Hotel is just two blocks away from The White House. This hotel gives residents awesome views of downtown Washington D.C. and it also features the baby grand piano that President Harry Truman played on his many visits to stay in the Capital Hilton Hotel.

Omni Shoreham Hotel

Omni Shoreham Hotel - Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC
Omni Shoreham Hotel

The Omni Shoreham Hotel is nicknamed “The Omni” and it overlooks Rock Creek Park. This is a site packed with unusual history and is a popular destination in the music world. This is where the Beatles stayed on their first trip to America, when they played on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The Rolling Stones are also known to have stayed here when they first came to America. Additionally, former U.S. President John F. Kennedy dated Jackie Kennedy in The Blue Room before they got married. Starting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Omni hosted the inaugural ball of every 20th Century President of the United States.

The Watergate Hotel

The Watergate Hotel - Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC
The Watergate Hotel

The Watergate Hotel might be the only hotel in the world whose name is synonymous with political scandal. In 1972 a team of burglars raided the Democratic National Committee headquarters and when they got caught, America became privy to a host of crimes committed by the Nixon Administration.

This controversy directly led to Richard M. Nixon becoming the only President of the United States to ever resign office, to date. The hotel also re-opened in 2016, embracing its history. The hotel now features a “Scandal Room” that is decorated with Watergate memorabilia.

The hotel also features a rooftop bar, called Top of the Gate, in addition to two other bars in the hotel. The hotel is also home to Kingbird, a restaurant that serves three meals a day.

The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection

The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection - Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC
The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection

The Mayflower bills itself as the “second best address in D.C.” and it is the largest luxury hotel in the city. The Mayflower is also the oldest continually operating hotel in the area. The hotel has nearly 100 years of history within its walls including Calvin Coolidge’s inaugural ball, and the launch of Harry Truman’s reelection campaign.

Additionally, J Edgar Hoover ate lunch here at the Mayflower every day from 1952 to 1972. The GI Bill was also drafted here on hotel letterhead in Room 570.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington D.C.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington D.C. - Most Famous Hotels in Washington DC
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington D.C.

The Kimpton Hotel has had several past lives.

The building used to be the original General Post Office, which first opened for operation back in 1839. The building’s original purpose was to serve as Blodgett’s Hotel in one of the city’s busiest areas, back in 1795. After a fire damaged the hotel, the building was converted into the original post office.

The post office was moved to a different location in 1897, and several different government agencies used the building for various purposes for the next one hundred years.

The Kimpton Hotel Monaco was opened in 2002, and features historical details throughout the hotel, including a medallion of a lion’s head in each room. Two of the most famous attractions are the Paris Ballroom and the Dirty Habit, a bar.

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