A team of Oyster reporters spent weeks exploring 61 hotels in Washington, D.C. We slept in the beds, ate in the restaurants, tested the service, and scoped out the neighborhoods, all with an eye toward selecting the most distinguished properties. Many, if not most, of the district’s hotels cater largely to business travelers so we have decided to break down this list by two more variables: neighborhood and price.
The Willard is best known for its history -- a hotel has occupied the plot of land since 1816 -- but it's also a solid business pick, especially for those with liberal expense accounts. It's located in the heart of "old downtown," just blocks from the White House, the Mall, and two Metro stations. And as you'd expect from a hotel owned by InterContinental, the hotel caters largely to business travelers, with amenities like property-wide Wi-Fi, 20,000 feet of meeting space, and a business center with audiovisual equipment available for rent.
Located four blocks from Dupont Circle and almost as close to D.C.'s business district, this boutique-style property is especially popular among business travelers for its newly updated rooms, well-equipped fitness center, innovative restaurant, free Wi-Fi in the lobby, and solid business center. Bonus: it's a Doubletree, so it's owned by Hilton. HHonors points, baby!
For business travelers tired of D.C.'s myriad Marriotts and Hiltons, the Washington Plaza is one of the best values in town. This newly renovated hotel boasts great new rooms, one of the city's best outdoor pools, and a convenient central location within blocks of five Metro stations.
This hip boutique's urbane lobby, swank rooms, well-equipped fitness center, and top-notch French restaurant make it a solid choice for anyone, not just business travelers. But it's also a quick walk to both Union Station (where you can catch both Amtrak and Metro trains) and the Hill. What to do when you're done lobbying? Unwind with Kimpton's signature free wine receptions (pictured, left) on weekdays from 5 to 6 p.m.
Located in D.C.'s compact southwest quadrant, this Marriott with 233 large, suite-style rooms opened in 2005 and remains popular with lobbyists and other business travelers during the week. And no wonder -- it's encircled by federal buildings. Business-friendly highlights include complimentary property-wide Wi-Fi and a free business center; to work off the stress from work, there's a spacious fitness center and an indoor pool and Jacuzzi.
The central location of this all-suites Hilton makes it a great pick whether you're doing business on Embassy Row, at the White House, or at the Convention Center. Toss in a plethora of free bonuses -- 24-hour business center, spacious 24-hour gym, daily breakfast, indoor pool and Jacuzzi -- and it adds up to the one of the best business-hotel values in the city. It's especially good for longer stays.
Perfect for those doing business at the Washington Convention Center (it's several blocks away) who don't want to drop $300-plus a night. This Hilton is consistently listed among the city's best budget choices, and it's easy to see why. Besides the basics (clean, comfy rooms; friendly service; business and fitness centers), the Hampton provides useful extras like free breakfast and an indoor pool and Jacuzzi.
This Starwood property is perfectly situated on Embassy Row -- two blocks from Dupont Circle and near great dining, nightlife, and plenty of sights, yet still quiet enough for you to rest up for work the next day. The business center, gym, and room service all run 24 hours. The rooms, though small, feature 36-inch flat-screens, coffeemakers, and very comfortable beds.
On the off-chance you are doing business in Foggy Bottom -- a relatively sleepy residential neighborhood with only one Metro station -- the River Inn is a great place to park yourself, no matter your budget. It boasts huge 450- or 700-square-foot suites with full kitchens (each of which includes not only Starbucks coffee beans but a coffee grinders), free Internet, a business center, passes to a nearby Bally Total Fitness gym, and a bright, pleasant bar (what better way to blow off steam after a stressful afternoon meeting?).
Fresh off a $40 million renovation, the Four Seasons consistently hits the high notes, with luxuriously appointed rooms, a Michael Mina restaurant, a massive tri-level fitness center, and exceptional service from a devoted staff. Business-friendly bonuses include a 24-hour business center with three computers, including an iMac, and loaner Kindles at breakfast so you can catch up on yesterday's news before going out and making today's.