The Willard InterContinental has a long history in the nation’s capital. (In 1862, National Hawthorne wrote, The Willard "may be much more justly called the center of Washington and the Union than either the Capitol, The White House, or the State Department.”) To mark its 200th birthday this year, the legendary hotel is embarking on a new chapter. This grande dame has wrapped a six-month, $18 million renovation which touched all 335 guest rooms and suites.
Parker-Torres Design sought to retain the property's historic touches, while enhancing the bathrooms (walk-in marble showers) and in-room technology (a new electronic lock system, bespoke furniture with integrated power outlets and USB charging ports). In-room touches include customized drapery, reupholstered antiques, gold leaf embroidered custom designed headboards, and crystal lighting features.
Good to know: The Willard has some of the largest hotel rooms in the District, ranging from 375 to 3,000 square feet. Top digs: There are 41 one-bedroom suites, and three Presidential Suites. The Jenny Lind Suite has a sunken jacuzzi from where you can check out the views over Washington’s monuments. Booking tip: Reserve a room on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the hotel for views of the U.S. Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.
The renovation project also included a light refurbishing of the Round Robin Bar and Café du Parc, a favorite rendez-vous spot in the capital. A new private dining room was unveiled in Café du Parc this past spring; the Pershing Room overlooks the hotel’s stately lobby and Peacock Alley.