The Jefferson Hotel
May 1st 2010
Finding myself in DC this weekend for personal reasons, I decided to check out the newly revamped and highly lauded, JEFFERSON HOTEL in downtown DC. Located just south of Dupont circle on 16th Street, the Jefferson offers a pleasing location for both tourists and DC regulars, not far from shops and cafes in Dupont and just four blocks from the White House.
With only 99 rooms, the Jefferson portrays a small, luxury hotel persona yet with big city panache, towering over the corner of 16th and M streets. The recent reconstruction (completed August 2009) includes a magnificent skylight atrium from the early 1920’s that covers the sun-filled dining room, the Greenhouse. What I noted first were the dapper doormen with their starched, tassled uniforms and the gleaming glass and carved stone entrance setting the stage for Art Deco glamor.
Continuing into the lobby and small reception area – a mere three secretary desks – the mixture of Beaux Arts charm and polished formality is readily apparent. The transition from 16th street’s bustle (and DC’s heat) to the refined elegance of The Jefferson’s interiors feels wholly transformative – making you recheck your own appearance to ensure you blend in.
My check-in process was remarkably fast and I was then escorted to my DELUXE ROOM on the 6th floor overlooking M Street from large bay windows. The provencal-style furnishings; antiqued white desk, a matching sage accented armoire and a textured leather and wood carved bed frame comforted me with its soothing, English-style prettiness.
I was drawn to the bay windows and their classic green and cream toile (featuring Monticello, of course) floor-length curtains and trimmed valances. Framed prints of early century sketches and federalist carvings complete the traditional style while a geometric print carpet keeps the room fresh and updated. The revamp of the rooms focused on the decor, of course, but classifieds portlandmercury com health other vigorelle also the addition of flat-screen televisions, marble bathrooms with large walk-in showers (so spacious the knobs are a good two feet away from the shower head) and TV screens embedded in the bathroom mirrors. My bed was deliciously plush with all the necessary down-comfort of multiple pillows and duvets and I slept soundly with zero noise from the street or hotel neighbors.
Strict to its namesake, the hotel displays totems to our country’s most prized Renaissance man, such as original Thomas Jefferson-signed documents and a classically-styled Book Room filled with leather-bound volumes on Jeffersonian-era subjects and signed editions by contemporary authors who have been among the hotel’s guests.
DINING: The restaurant PLUME has met with rave reviews though I’m afraid I didn’t get a chance to try it. I’m did indulge in the GREENHOUSE restaurant for breakfast and enjoyed the sun’s rays through the atrium ceiling and the prompt service. I had the Power Crunch yogurt with berries and one of the better cappuccinos I’ve ever had outside of Italy. ** I also ordered room service for dinner the night before and found the chicken to be shockingly flavorful (though a tad pricey)**
The hotel’s SPA has also received glowing reviews though the prices – $90 for a 30min (yes 30 min) treatment – made me resist the temptation for a prenatal massage. Though – they do have them! Their spa menu is actually quite comprehensive, doting on the Jefferson Man-themed packages of executive face, hand or foot treatments. Though all the necessary massage categories are listed and you can even pre-customize your own right down to the pressure, oil scent and area of focus. Spa guests are then met in their rooms (or the Book Room for day guests) prior to treatment, served a hot beverage and then personally escorted down to the Spa.
I did however, get to the fitness area – open 24 hours a day. It is fully-loaded with the ‘right’ kind of machines, securing my decision that The Jefferson is my new favorite spot to stay in DC.