Last weekend was the annual Virginia Gold Cup horse race
in Middleburg, Virginia and Washingtonians ceased the opportunity to escape the city for the countryside for mint juleps, bourbon and barbecue. As an event attendee for the past five years, I couldn’t resist the chance to leave Manhattan for the weekend for the occasion. With large hats and two suitcases in tow, my friend Ashleigh and I hoped on the Megabus for Washington on a hot and humid Friday. Though I do have family in the area, I welcomed the invitation from the Renaissance Washington Hotel Dupont Circle
(1143 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC) to be their guest for the weekend.
The Renaissance Washington Hotel Dupont Circle
is situated just off Washington’s famous Dupont Circle neighborhood and for those of you that know D.C. you will recognize that this is the best possible location imaginable. It’s five minutes walk from a plethora of restaurants, renowned attractions like the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, National Zoological Park, The White House, The Newseum, The United States Capitol Building
and Corcoran Gallery of Art
and less than 20 minute walk to Adams Morgan or Georgetown
for some shopping and active nightlife scenes. It acts just as a hotel should when you are in a city worth seeing – as a place to rest your head comfortably after a long day of shopping, strolling and sightseeing. My only problem was that once I checked in it took quite a lot of effort to get me back out the door. I didn’t want to leave!
Upon arriving at Renaissance Hotel Dupont Circle
we were greeted by a superb team of hotel employees at reception though we were one of over a dozen people checking in. We waited patiently for our turn to check in at the contemporary lounge and bar area, where we also unwound with a glass of champagne. This atmospheric area of the hotel had relaxing ambiance with soft lightning, plush seating and relaxing music. When we finally checked in, we were able to use the iPads at the lobby to check the local weather and browse some local attractions.
We we finally had the opportunity to retire to our room, we discovered a modern space so fabulous, if not more so than our apartment in Manhattan. My mom has always said, ‘Your trip is only as good as your hotel.” If a bed is horrible, if the hotel’s amenities are poorly, if the TV has only three channels and they are all in a foreign language or if you can’t get food delivered to the room past 9pm, you will find that your stress levels soar out of control and your work reflects your travel anxieties. This was not the case of the Renaissance Hotel Dupont Cirle.
My room was on the fourth floor. There are five types of rooms at the Hotel – Standard, Club Level, Deluxe, Junior Suites and Presidential loft suites. I was given a standard with two double beds for the weekend. Upon entering my temporary boudoir I walked down a short corridor and was immediately face to face with a work area – a modest technologically outfitted section with a state-of-the-art flat screen TV, ipod system and ample plugs for all our beauty tools. I threw my overnight bag down on one chair, sat in the other and took a deep breath before exploring the rest of the room. If that chair could have fit in my carry on it would have come home with me.
It was the bed, however, that was calling my name from the moment I walked in the door. As a writer I make no secret of the fact that I rarely get more than three hours sleep a night. It took all my willpower to stay off the bed long enough to snap this picture. I was ready to sleep and enjoy plush bed all to myself for a full eight hours, if I could remember how to do that. Later that night I laid my head down on the pillow and managed to log ten hours of shut-eye! I don’t think I’ve done that since I was twelve.
Between Ashleigh and my suitcases, four derby hats and a row of shoes, the closet looked as though there were permanent tenants in the room. It came with the basics, an ironing board, a good sized shelf, and garment bags to put dirty clothes in.
I loved the bathroom, which had a nice array of products from Aveda. As a huge fan of beauty products, I was happy to discover the rosemary mint product line, which I ended up buying when I got to Manhattan. Though we didn’t get a chance to try out the food or room service, the Renaissance Hotel Dupont Circle has three restaurants, the M Brasserie, M Bar and Illy Caffe, where you can get breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The only negative review I have of the hotel is that we had to pay for wireless internet in the rooms at a rate of $12.95 a day. The public areas did however have free wi-fi service. In terms of a view, we didn’t really have much of one because we were not that far up and we were in the back of the hotel, which gave us restful nights of sleep.
Your search for a hotel in Washington, DC ends here as I have one of the best and economical hotels in the area to stay. With lavish amenities for even the standard room, you will rest easy and get a chance to experience a home away from home.