20024 Travel Guide
It’s the start of the magical cherry blossom season in Washington DC and it's also HC’s unofficial “Bathroom Tuesday”. So what better way to celebrate both than highlight a hotel with a stunning bathroom that will give you views of the city’s natural pride and joy?
The baths at the swank Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. are filled with glossy marble and have both separate shower and deep soaking tubs. Some rooms and suites (those are the ones you’ll want for this time of the year) have views of the Washington Monument. And if peeping the cherry blossom trees while you’re having a soak in your tub isn't enough, you can always turn on the in-bath television.
JFK famously described Washington DC as a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm, an unfortunate trait that many would say still holds true. But our nation’s capital’s Southern edge is fortunately also explored at many restaurants, with upscale soul food restos particularly trendy of late.
DC’s Mandarin Oriental is the latest to go ga-ga for fancy grits. Next month the hotel will launch a new restaurant, called Sou’Wester, which will feature traditional and interpretive takes on classics like Chicken and Dumplings, Braised Rabbit Leg with Creamed Grits, and Sauteed Perch with Old Bay Chowder, plus lunch specials like Shoat Rillette with Pickled Green Tomatoes, Maryland Blue Crab with Mango and Avocado, and Sauteed Pork Belly and Pickled Watermelon Rind. Sandwiches will be served with housemade piccalilli.
Jetsons lovers, take note: The NYT checked in to an off-the-beaten-path DC hotel and deemed it somewhere the space-age family "might have vacationed — a giant concrete submarine headed back to the future.” Though it’s docked between the Capitol and the new-in-2008 Nationals ballpark, the Capitol Skyline Hotel takes up a city block in a weirdly void location in the small-and-unloved Southwest quadrant of Washington.
Originally designed by Miami Beach’s Morris Lapidus in the 1960s, the 203-room hotel later became a Best Western. In 2001, the hotel was purchased by the late Steve Rubell’s brother’s family, who have been quietly transforming the hotel ever since, starting with a “playful modernist lobby that includes two Frank Gehry twisted wood chairs, and a large pool out in back,” says the NYT.
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C. is apparently not running as smoothly as one would think, despite being open for a year now.
One guest told the New York Post that:
[The cleaning staff] certainly weren't doing a deep-clean - we found the last guest's underwear in the dresser."
Also, the valets appeared more concerned with the tips they were getting on a $30 parking fee, rather than retrieving the car promptly.
But the "rooms are gorgeous - very Asian, very elegant decor with super-luxe pillows, interesting wall hangings and an ornate luggage rack/chest of drawers. Bathrooms are huge and plush."
Somehow finding other peoples underwear (OPU) in your room outweighs "gorgeous" rooms, at least in our minds.