The excitement started to brew as the Pentagon, Washington Monument and more became visible through in our airplane window as we descended into Washington, DC. Living on the West Coast, a visit to the nation’s capital is a luxury for our family. Soon, our 7-year-old will see the famous monuments, museum artifacts and government buildings in her textbooks and (we’re hoping) the connection between these pages and visiting them in real life will engender even more of a desire to learn.
Truth be told, I’d forgotten how cool Washington, DC—especially the Georgetown neighborhood, where the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC is located. The hotel comfortably suits families and VIPs equally well. It’s the sort of place where you never know who you might see, with a roster of guests no doubt including heads of state, royalty, and Hollywood elite.
After a morning of travel, the welcome bag of goodies at check-in reset my daughter’s mood instantaneously. Brilliant.
Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC Location
The hotel enjoys a prime Georgetown location, giving guests a hip and happening break from edutainment. Exit the lobby and hook left on to M Street where everything from Barney’s CO-OP to AllSaints to cool restaurants and nightlife are located. Full of red brick charm… it’s a pretty street that you must to plan time to wander.
Georgetown Cupcake is a few blocks away from the hotel and worth every single calorie. A CVS for anything you forgot to pack is across the street with to-go sandwiches and salads at Le Pain de Quotidien next door. Need a gift to take home? The most adorable hotel boutique, M29 Lifestyle store, stocks unique kids’ books, toys, and clothes as well as clothing from emerging designers as well as names you may recognize.
We took Uber black to the National Mall, National Zoo and the airport. Everything we needed to do was more or less 15 minutes or so away by car (without traffic) though we took the Metro a few times between sights. There is a house car, but to be honest, I forgot about it (which is rare for me). It didn’t matter one bit as convenience is the name of the game here.
Pretty Rooms to Relax In
I’d also forgotten how large the National Mall is which means that we spent quite a bit of time in the hotel resting tired feet. Our Grand Premier Room had plenty of space for our family of three with a plush king-sized bed and the option of a fold-out sofa bed or rollaway bed (our daughter chose the latter).
And, of course, there was a huge tent for my daughter and her Monster High dolls to hang out in.
L’Occitane bath amenities awaited in the sizable bathroom, which had a separate tub and shower. Our room didn’t have a coffee maker, but you can request a pot to be placed in the room. However, I highly recommend taking advantage of the complimentary morning lobby coffee and tea where there is what must be a professional-grade Nespresso maker (not the average Nespresso most people have at home) that brews up all sorts of specialty coffees.
I mentioned our wedding anniversary months back when arranging our stay and they remembered by sending us a mind-blowingly delicious cake. However, my husband still talks about my daughter’s barbecue amenity. Below the grates are brownies for coals along with Swedish fish and edible gold for fire (so clever). The hamburger and s’mores were both made out of decadent sweets and, of course, I am weak for macarons and Veuve Clicquot.
Sophisticated Yet Relaxed Dining
The food is always outstanding in a Four Seasons Hotel. On our first night, we were hosted at the new ENO Wine Bar. The ENO Experience option allows staff to choose three cheeses, three meats and a glass of wine to match, based on your tastes. This delightful platter can also be ordered via the hotel’s in-room dining. It’s my version of a perfect meal, especially because a number of the cheeses and charcuterie are sourced in nearby Virginia and Pennsylvania.
There isn’t technically a kid’s menu but they custom made my daughter a grilled cheese panini (there’s also a Margherita flatbread) that my husband and I were jealous of. At the family-friendly hour of 5:00 p.m., the vibe was super chill and our server was extremely knowledgeable and spot-on with his recommendations. But, it is known for being a happening spot on the weekends and after work, if you can escape after the kids go to bed (babysitting through the concierge by request).
(There is an ENO Wine Bar in Coronado, CA but the emphasis there is less on the cheese and wine and more on the wood-fired pizza. It’s an entirely different experience.)
On another night we choose a comfy corner booth/table in The Lounge at BOURBON STEAK, to enjoy a sampling of menu items from Michael Mina’s award-winning BOURBON STEAK and unwind over a few drinks. Highlights included a trio of duck fat fries, black truffle mac and cheese, and ahi tuna tartare. The salad with shaved vegetables and yuzu dressing totally hit the spot, too.
My daughter loved her burger from the fairly extensive kid’s menu and my husband kicked off the evening with a Dealer’s Choice cocktail. Basically, you tell the server what you like and don’t like. The bartender then mixes up a special drink on your behalf. I am not sure what his was called or if it even had a name, but it had a touch of ginger and you could barely taste the booze. Yum.
The Lounge at BOURBON STEAK has a variety of rare scotches, bourbons and cognacs to pair with your trio of duck fat fries (they are that good, trust me).
Breakfast at Seasons—which is a play on the hotel’s name and a seasonal menu—was also a treat. I started my day off with a yogurt parfait each morning. Cards with trivia about the city’s important buildings entertained us while we ate. I can only imagine how amazing their Sunday brunch is.
Copious amounts of blue crab and amenity treats equaled scheduled gym time. Thank goodness for the TVs on the cardio equipment and pretty view over a canal. We were pressed for time, otherwise, I would have booked a spa appointment featuring my favorite skincare line, Kate Somerville, which has revolutionized my skin.
A two-lane lap pool downstairs from the fitness center and spa is heated with kickboards and pool noodles nearby. A jacuzzi soothes sore muscles after days of touring. My daughter and I swam laps in a lane next to someone else, but I would have given it up if someone was waiting. It’s more of an exercise pool than a splash-around-with-kids pool. She loved it though and I was grateful for the opportunity to burn more calories.
Also impressive were the luxury hotel flower arrangements and contemporary art scattered throughout the hotel.
Awesome Concierge Desk
Neither my husband nor I have traveled extensively around Washington, DC as adults so we leaned on the recommendations of the concierge a bit more than usual. I called from a few street corners to ask about this or that and when my husband requested a pound-crab-on-the-table kind of local joint, that is exactly where we were sent.
Because there is so much to do, take advantage of the fact that you can liaise with the concierge in advance of your stay so that there is nothing to arrange after you arrive. We had about four days on the ground but I so wish we had booked an entire week. Staying somewhat organized was our key to success.
I’m struggling here because nothing went wrong.
You could choose a hotel within walking distance of the National Mall, but if you like staying a bit removed from touristy spots in places with a more relaxed vibe (like we do), Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC is a perfect choice. Plus, the shopping and culinary scene in Georgetown is really not-to-be-missed.
Again, a week-long family vacation in Washington, DC would have been perfect for us. However, in four days, we managed to visit the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Memorial, National Zoo (where we took the private Asian Elephant tour), National Gallery, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian National History Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, National Museum of the American Indian, and the White House (photo opp only) as well as cruise Georgetown and eat amazing food. We never rushed and rested plenty in the hotel.
We highly recommend Four Seasons as your base for visiting Washington, DC with kids or anytime and will return.
(Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC is one of the luxury hotels I can book for you with agent-exclusive amenities that will enhance and add value to your stay. Please send me your dates and I’ll tell you what’s on offer.)
Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC
2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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