Whether traveling to Washington, DC for business or pleasure, one can find a variety of ways in which to indulge in pure luxury.  Gone are the days of stodgy politicos with little style or magic — the nation’s capital is raising the bar for those of us who appreciate the finer things in life. Here are four stops you must add to your DC to-do list.


Stay at The Watergate Hotel

The Watergate Hotel recently underwent a $200 million renovation which took two years to complete. The result is a 15th floor, 336 “urban resort” that is the epitome of chic luxury. Complete with museum-quality lobby furnishing by Ron Arad for Moroso, The Watergate offers true, plush luxury for the hip and fashionable. Echoes of chrome and black are perfectly accented throughout the building.

The hotel’s sleek whiskey bar boasts nearly 250 bottles of liquor which are housed in a spherical art sculpture made from 2500 illuminated bottles. And that’s just one of many features that display the attention to detail and art that extends throughout the hotel. Fun touches such as outdoor, heated, transparent “igloos” make one’s stay even more enjoyable.  These creative, cozy sections are like the winter version of the exclusive hotel beach cabana. Rooftop ice-skating reinforces the winter theme via a state-of-the-art, professional hockey-level ice-skating rink.

Image courtesy of The Watergate Hotel.

Back inside the hotel, the rooms are outfitted in a retro 1960s style, but with sophistication via furnishings in shades of white, gray and camel.  The Presidential Suites feature 2400 square foot spaces that offer full, well-appointed dining room, kitchen, living room, gas fireplaces and more at $12,000 per night. There is also a saline pool for guest usage as well as a gym that rivals that of any exclusive club today. The most impressive detail, however, is the true service of the entire staff. Discretion and style are definitely the high-marks at this establishment which displays a true evolution in luxury.

Image courtesy of The Watergate Hotel.

Shop at City Center DC

Flanked by residences for such political powerati as former Attorney General Eric Holder, City Center DC is home to more than 30 world-class boutiques and restaurants. Located on 10 prime acres in the center of the city (as the name implies!), it’s the prime location to access high-end brands like Gucci, Burberry, Carolina Herrera, and Caudalie, as well as dining options including Del Frisco’s and Fig and Olive. 

For the holidays, the Center takes the style up a notch by opening a modern, life-size ice igloo made of 36,000 pounds of ice blocks. Styled with plush interiors by Joseph Ireland of JD Ireland Interior Architecture + Design, this one-of-a-kind, frozen structure adds an elegant, unique touch to outdoor shopping at its finest.

Image courtesy of Joy Asico.

Have drinks at The St. Regis 

A cocktail at The St. Regis Washington, DC is a true taste of opulence. Not only is the setting reminiscent of all things regal, but the attention to detail, particularly for that of a whiskey drinker, is nearly unparalleled.  Naturally, bourbon is the drink of choice and, as any bourbon drinker knows, ice can be the enemy of a beautifully rich blend.  This is never an issue at the St. Regis, which ensures that each and every sip is sublime.  The experience begins with ice balls that are specifically packed at a certain level thereby ensuring that the ice melts at slowly as possible due to the extremely tight, compact nature of the composition. The balls are then frozen within molds that are created for a circumference specific to the high-ball glasses of the St. Regis. The result?  A beautifully compact ball of ice that becomes lodged in the glass at just a little under an inch from the bottom of the glass.  Thus, the whiskey is just gently chilled as one tilts the glass allowing the liquid to barely caress the surface of the ice. Bordering on that coveted experience of the famous martinis at The Hemingway Bar of The Ritz Paris, this offering at the St. Regis must be experienced.

Image courtesy of Jetsetter.

Rejuvenate at The Argentta Spa

While many hotels feature lackluster spas that hardly measure up to the rooms, The Watergate Hotel’s Argentta Spa leaves nothing to be desired.  This $3.5 million luxury spa and wellness center offers rejuvenation within the setting of European elegance combined with technical attributes of the Swiss and French. Inspired by the Italian word for silver, this spa is well-appointed with beautiful gray and white undertones throughout the space.  When it comes to treatments, there is the choice of 60, 90 or 120-minutes offerings of facials, massages, body scrubs, manicures and pedicures.  The signature treatment, however, is the most luxurious. This is about a 90-minute, seven-part ritual where fresh, organic ingredients are leveraged to create a toxin-free solution that restores aging skin to optimum health.  The spa also offers a whirlpool and sauna. However, the after-treatment area rivals that of most other spas given the ergonomic design of the lounge chairs and the lighting.  One may want to remain here for the duration instead of returning to the hotel room.

Image courtesy The Watergate Hotel.

Written by DLX contributor Lauren DeLisa Coleman.

Lauren is a contributor at leading media outlets such as Forbes, CNBC.com and Inc. She tracks the convergence of cultural trends with that of emerging tech and the impact of that on business and politics. When she’s not on-air or speaking at events, she is all about listening to the best in hip hop. 

Featured image courtesy of Stella’s Place

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