That Vegas Feeling in Washington’s Grand Dames
Has anyone ever gone to the nation’s capital to experience the glitz? D.C. tends to be a staid and educational or work-related travel destination, one where a little history, a brush with power, and, increasingly, some good food, can be had. A quick visit to some monuments, a stop in at Kramerbooks, a bite at the Tabard Inn, a visit to the waterfront or Adams Morgan or Dupont Circle, and you’re done. Having lived in the District for a period of time, I’ve formed my own assessments of D.C.’s charm and efficiency, although they’re not far off from President Kennedy’s. The District always seemed southern to me, in its gentility, its clinging to old ways even as more liberal parts of the nation wanted to advance, its lagging in style and high fashion. New York is trendy; Washington, classic.
It’s the sort of place where young ladies used to be found sipping champagne in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel or drinking sugar-rimmed Irish coffees from stemmed glasses and listening to a piano player over at the Four Seasons in Georgetown or having tea and a little sherry at the Jefferson Hotel or brunching on the patio at the Hotel Washington.
More recently, some prominent D.C. hotels seem to have adapted more of a millennial sensibility, one vibrant and full of color and not caring quite so much about tradition or propriety. There are surprising hews in the Hotel Washington (now known as the W Washington D.C.) and in the Mayflower’s current lobby. There seems to be just a touch of Vegas in the interior aesthetic of these once more formal places.
Headed to Washington, D.C.? You might like these posts:
- Gawking at Ford’s Theatre
- Life and Death and History at Arlington National Cemetery
- Learning about Trades at the National Postal Museum
- God and the Space Age at the National Cathedral