PHOTO: Accommodations at Park Hyatt Washington DC. (photo by Scott Laird)
There’s a sense of anticipation that comes along with opening the door to a hotel room for the first time.
Part of it is the comfort of knowing that the journey is finally over—that you’re seconds away from kicking off your shoes and taking in the glorious silence of stillness in a sanctuary that’s been prepared just for you. Another is the excitement of knowing you’re soon to discover exactly what lies beyond the door. Will the room be large or small? Will it have a nice view? Will it be a pleasant surprise or a disappointment?
Deluxe rooms at the Park Hyatt Washington D.C. are a surprise of immensely pleasant variety.
When you open the door to a hotel room and see furniture, but not immediately a bed, you think you’ve hit the jackpot and been upgraded to a suite. Not here—these standard rooms feel like suites, with entry foyer, sitting area separated from the sleeping chamber by a partition and a swivel television.
There’s a selection of hardback books to browse through if the jetlag takes hold and you’re unable to drift off at the usual time, plus plenty of comfortable seating for entertaining guests. Or, maybe you're like me and just prefer the bedding to be pristine and unruffled until bedtime (another reason to love turndown service, which allows bed lounging with full abandon knowing it will be remade before you retire for the evening).
For standard or deluxe rooms that feel like suites, the bathrooms similarly don’t disappoint in size.
A sliding barn door with a full-length mirror can separate the room from either the bedroom or the walk-in closet, and the separate rainfall shower and tub in a rather Soviet-esque Brutalist style melt away the journey or the workday. The bathroom is certainly "open plan", with an alcove rather than a cubby for the plumbing fittings; It's big enough for ballet-while-bathing or to invite a crowd into the shower.
Beds are meltaway soft, with intuitive controls to dim the lights in the entire room and bathroom—with the exception of the paper lantern orb of a night light which can be stepped on to light during an early morning stumble to the in-room Nespresso machine.
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Although D.C. is often quieter than most large cities of comparable size—aside from the peculiar glut of first responder sirens in all neighborhoods at all hours—the hotel is tucked away in a quiet residential corner of the West End and is surrounded by other upper upscale and luxury hotels, condos, and offices of embassies and NGOs.
It’s a great location—the bricked charm of Georgetown, cerebral wonk of Foggy Bottom and boozy languor of Dupont Circle are all just a few blocks away.
The hotel easily reflects the quiet sophistication of the neighborhood it occupies—a walk through the lobby with polished stone and avant-garde art feels like one of the newer Smithsonian outposts. It’s a place for people who appreciate modern art, antique books and Michelin stars.
Speaking of those stars, the hotel’s restaurant Blue Duck Tavern has one, and the neighborhood knows it. Reservations are certainly recommended, and the coconut macaroon waffle with a locally roasted coffee is a don’t-miss at breakfast or brunch, which can be taken indoors or outdoors.
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There’s a small echo chamber of a saltwater pool and Jacuzzi with DC-evocative décor (lovely, vaguely Asian-style panels depicting cherry blossoms) that is well-designed to cater to families via large wicker basket of pool toys for the young and young at heart waiting to entertain. There is also a workout room with a view and plenty of bottled water on hand, all tucked away on a lower floor in a corner through a maze of corridors and back stairs.
The Takeaway: The Park Hyatt Washington DC is a cozy hideaway for lovers of finer things to unwind after high-powered business or a madcap tourist crush.
The Damage: Rates start just under $300 a night during slow demand periods.
Instagrammable Moment: Guest rooms are worth a shot, as are most meals served in Blue Duck Tavern.
Good to Know: The house car shuttles guests to destinations within a close radius of the hotel, but hours and availability may be limited.