The Willard Intercontinental Hotel,
The White House excepted, real-estate in Washington DC doesn't come much better than the Beaux-Arts grandeur of The Willard Intercontinental Hotel. In fact, it is a near neighbour of The White House. Both share Pennsylvania Avenue addresses and are only a couple of blocks apart.
Suits, and more suits interspersed with elegantly-coiffed society matrons and tourists who know their place. Often described as Washington's crown jewel, the Willard InterContinental Hotel has hosted nearly every President since 1853. Due deference should be shown.
er the Willard's stately lobby and you experience a frisson of awe, such is the history that has taken place within its majestic interior.
You can almost hear echoes of some of the greatest orators through the ages, and sense the brinksmanship of the final days leading up to the Civil War - the southern drawl of Confederate sympathizers and the twang of Union supporters. You could also have identified which side they were on from the hotel exits they chose: Confederates - F Street, Union supporters - Pennsylvania Avenue. You daren't get your crinoline caught in the wrong door!
You might also re-imagine the flirtatious chatter of Confederate spy Antonia Ford, the tinkle of champagne glasses and chandeliers at the magnificent Napier Ball in 1859 - held to farewell the outgoing British ambassador Lord Napier. It was the last social event prior to the Civil War.
American writer, Nathanial Hawthorne, covering the Civil War for The Atlantic Monthly wrote: 'You exchange nods with governors of sovereign states, you elbow illustrious men and tread on the toes of generals. You are mixed up with office seekers, wire pullers, inventors, poets, and prosers until identity is lost along them'.
The Willard is mere footsteps steps from the White House - you could walk there in your ball gown. It is only a stroll to the Washington Monument (in one of the hotel's rooftop suites, a bull's-eye window perfectly frames the monument), is close to the Capitol, not far from the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian, and downtown business and theatre districts.
Besides, it is the preferred address for heads of state, the world's business leaders, and the cultural, social and political elite. It has ever been thus. As early as 1860, The Willard housed the first Japanese Delegation to the United States, comprising three ambassadors and a retinue of 74 and 80 tons of baggage.
ith the enthusiasm generated by Steven Spielberg's film masterpiece Lincoln, and Daniel Day-Lewis' Oscar-winning performance as President Abraham Lincoln,
The Willard InterContinental is offering an immersion package: Lincoln at the Willard Hotel.
Lincoln and his family stayed at The Willard in 1861, prior to moving into the White House.
The package is for two and is available year-round. It features a weekend night in a Deluxe King Room, a Sunday morning tour of Lincoln Cottage from where
the President commuted to the White House during the Civil War, and a signed copy of author Harold Holzer's Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America. This new book - a companion to Spielberg's film - traces how Lincoln came to view slavery, and to end it. You can also visit the hotel's histo
ry gallery which features memorabilia relating to the President's 1861 stay, including a copy of his Willard hotel bill of $773.75.
Here at the Willard, Julia Ward Howe wrote the stirring words to The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and another Julia of note has also been a guest - Australia's first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
The term 'lobbyist' was coined here during Ulysses S Grant's Presidency, when identities of various persuasions, political and otherwise, would approach him as he sat smoking his cigar and warming his boots in front of the fire in The Willard's lobby. Later, writer Mark Twain was a familiar sight as he preened and strutted up and down the hotel's famous Peacock Alley in his signature white flannel suit.
In more recent times, the revered Dr Martin Luther King drafted his momentous 'I Have a Dream' speech within the Willard's hallowed halls.
Today, the hotel's 335 well-appointed guestrooms including 41 elegantly furnished suites combine heritage and luxury with
contemporary comfort and the latest technology. The hotel's bistro, Café du Parc is overseen by Michelin-star consultant chef Antoine Westermann. Its
Parisian-style outdoor seating during DC's spring and summer months is a lovely leafy spot to soak up atmosphere and play spot the senator. Other eateries are The
Occidental Grill & Seafood which features contemporary American fare (watch out for the soft-shell crabs - yum), traditional Afternoon Tea in Peacock Alley and take in the classic Round Robin Bar just off the lobby.
It has been a lively meeting place for DC's political and social elite since the days of Abraham Lincoln. The bar is indeed round, and competition for a slot is fierce. Lurk in the lobby, watch the traffic then make your move for a ring-side spot.
Eavesdropping is a given and doubtless 'top secret' twitters originate right here. Long celebrated as one of the best in DC, the iconic bar attracts a smart, stylish cross section of DC movers and shakers. Be there.
1401-1409 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington DC USA.
Tel. 202-628-9100, 1-800-827-1747
Most Indulgent Moment:
A stay in the sumptuously outfitted Presidential Suite.
Hanging out in the Round Robin Bar overhearing...insider secrets
The Little Things:
I love the old concierge desk in the lobby and wonder what billets-doux or state secrets might have been pigeon-holed here.
win-win address for kids and parents alike. It parents behave, the kids will allow you to accompany them to Washington's most popular attraction, the
National Air & Space Museum Space museum.
Dent in the platinum:
Luxury Hotels Link:
Maggy Oehlbeck 8/5/13
- LUXURY HOTELS: Lewtrenchard Manor, Devon, England
- LUXURY HOTEL: La Reserve Hotel & Spa, Paris
- LUXURY HOTELS: Chedi Andermatt,Switzerland
- LUXURY HOTELS: Miami Beach EDITION, Miami USA
- LUXURY HOTELS Mondrian London, England
- LUXURY HOTELS The Beaumont Mayfair, London
- LUXURY HOTELS Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Beijing
- LUXURY HOTELS: Le Meurice, Paris, France
- LUXURY HOTELS: Raffles Istanbul
- LUXURY HOTELS: Four Seasons Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
- LUXURY HOTELS: Four Seasons Bosphorus, Turkey
- LUXURY HOTELS : Peninsula Paris, France
- LUXURY HOTELS: Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel's Art Rooms
- LUXURY HOTELS: Four Seasons Hong Kong
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Peninsula Bangkok
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Goring, London, England
- LUXURY HOTELS: Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE
- LUXURY HOTELS: Fairmont's Canine Ambassadors
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Kempinski St Petersburg, Russia
- LUXURY HOTELS: Culloden Estate and Spa, Northern Ireland
- MY FAVOURITE ROOM... Howard Hastings
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Nikol'skaya, Moscow
- LUXURY HOTELS: Love Stories
- LUXURY HOTELS: American Trade Hotel and Hall, Panama City, Panama
- LUXURY HOTELS: Rosewood London, High Holborn, UK
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Langham London, London, England
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy
- LUXURY HOTELS: Le Hotel Monceau - Raffles Paris
- MY FAVOURITE ROOM... Jeremy Goring
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Indigo, Hong Kong, China
- MY FAVOURITE ROOM... Petter A. Stordalen
- LUXURY HOTELS: Nobu Hotel at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Langham, Sydney
- LUXURY HOTELS PREVIEW: The State Hermitage Hotel, St Petersburg, Russia
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Willard Intercontinental Hotel, Washington D.C.
- LUXURY HOTELS: Andaz Fifth Ave, New York, USA
- LUXURY HOTELS: El Encanto, Santa Barbara, USA
- LUXURY HOTEL: The Warwick New York Hotel, New York, USA
- LUXURY HOTELS: Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh
- LUXURY HOTELS: Kerry Hotels, China
- LUXURY HOTELS: Villa d'Este, Como Italy
- LUXURY HOTELS: Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel
- LUXURY HOTELS: Ritz Carlton Los Angeles
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Knickerbocker Hotel, New York, US
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Greenbrier, West Virginia, USA
- LUXURY TRAINS: The Royal Scotsman
- LUXURY HOTELS: Sydney QT, Sydney, Australia
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Como Melbourne, Australia
- LUXURY TRAVEL: Hotels as Movie Stars
- LUXURY HOTELS: 'Four Stories' at W HOTELS
- LUXURY HOTELS: Dorset Square Hotel, London, England
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Valley Wing at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Plaza, New York, USA
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, California, USA
- LUXURY HOTELS: Villa La Massa, Candeli, Italy
- LUXURY HOTELS: Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento, Italy
- LUXURY HOTELS: Centurion Palace, Venice, Italy
- LUXURY HOTELS: Punta Tragara Hotel, Capri, Italy
- LUXURY HOTELS: Royal Suite, Relais Santa Croce, Florence, Italy
- LUXURY HOTELS: Palazzo Margherita, Bernalda, ITALY
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill, London
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hesperia Isla de La Toja, Galicia, North West Spain
- LUXURY HOTELS: Mandarin Oriental Hotel, New York, USA
- LUXURY HOTELS: Four Seasons Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
- LUXURY HOTELS: Armani Hotel Milano, Milan, Italy
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Darling, Sydney, Australia
- LUXURY HOTELS: Peak Edge Hotel, Chesterfield, England
- LUXURY HOTELS: Celebrity Hotel Reviews
- LUXURY HOTELS: Travel Bible TV
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hilton Queenstown, New Zealand
- LUXURY HOTELS: Peninsula Shanghai, China
- LUXURY HOTELS: Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai China
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Le Bristol, Paris, France
- LUXURY HOTELS: Babington House, Somerset, England
- LUXURY HOTELS: Mandarin Oriental, Paris
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Hesperia Lanzarote
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Royal Livingstone Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zambia
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Istanbul EDITION, Istanbul, Turkey
- LUXURY HOTELS: The iPad2 checks-in
- LUXURY HOTELS: Royal Wedding Packages
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Missoni Kuwait
- LUXURY HOTELS: Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest, Hungary
- LUXURY HOTELS: Alila Bangalore Hotel & Residence, Bangalore, India
- LUXURY HOTELS: W London-Leicester Square
- LUXURY HOTELS: Coworth Park, Ascot, England
- LUXURY HOTELS: Viceroy Snowmass, Aspen, USA
- LUXURY HOTELS: Rimrock Resort Hotel, Banff, Canada
- LUXURY HOTELS: Post Hotel & Spa, Lake Louise, CANADA
- LUXURY HOTELS PREVIEW: The Savoy
- LUXURY HOTELS PREVIEW: Coworth Park
- LUXURY HOTEL: The Cullen, Melbourne, Australia
- LUXURY HOTEL: Luna Hotel Baglioni, Venice, ITALY
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Blackman, Melbourne, Australia
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Olsen, Melbourne, Australia
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Rees, New Zealand
- LUXURY HOTELS: Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa, New Zealand
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris
- LUXURY HOTELS: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
- JUST UNPACKED FROM... Melbourne, Australia
- LUXURY HOTELS PREVIEW: Metropole Taormina
- LUXURY HOTELS: Maison Moschino Hotel, Milan, Italy
- LUXURY HOTELS: Sanderson, London, UK
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado, USA
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Le Notre Dame, Paris
- LUXURY HOTELS: Crosby Street, New York, USA
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Ritz, London
- LUXURY HOTEL: Chapslee House, Lakkar Bazaar, Shimla, India
- LUXURY HOTELS: Glenburn Tea Estate, India
- LUXURY HOTELS: Murano Urban Resort, Paris, France
- LUXURY HOTELS: Palazzina Grassi, Venice, Italy
- LUXURY HOTELS: Palazzo Versace, Australia
- LUXURY HOTELS: Rosewood Beijing
- LUXURY HOTELS: Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire, UK
- LUXURY HOTELS: Belmond Charleston Place
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Ritz at Christmas
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Lanesborough, London, UK
- LUXURY HOTELS: Sanctum Resort, Myanmar
- LUXURY HOTELS: Historic Hotels
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Knickerbocker, New York, USA
- LUXURY HOTELS: Luciano K Hotel, Santiago, Chile
- LUXURY HOTELS: Casa Higueras, Valparaiso, Chile
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Awasi Patagonia, Patagonia, Chile
- LUXURY HOTELS: Tierra Atacama, Chile
- SUITE LIFE: The Savoy Suite, An Artist'sResidence
- SUITE LIFE: The Savoy's Royal Suite
- LUXURY HOTEL: The Savoy, London
- Christmas at Peninsula Paris
- LUXURY HOTEL: Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Italy
- LUXURY HOTEL: RITZ-CARLTON TOKYO JAPAN
- LUXURY HOTELS: Sage Hotel, James Street
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Silo Cape Town, South Africa
- LUXURY HOTELS: Watergate Hotel, Washington D.C.
- LUXURY HOTELS: Moxy Times Square, New York
- LUXURY HOTEL: The Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, Basel, Switzerland
- LUXURY HOTELS: Villa Maia, Lyon, France
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Social Season at The Ritz
- LUXURY HOTEL: Belmond Mount Nelson, Cape Town, South Africa
- LUXURY HOTELS: Capella, Singapore
- LUXURY HOTELS: Hotel Narutis, Vilnius
- LUXURY HOTELS: Penthouse Suite, The Mark, New York
- LUXURY HOTELS: World's Best B&B
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Art of Hotel Suites
- LUXURY HOTELS: Sofitel Darling Harbour, Sydney
- LUXURY HOTELS: East Hotel, Canberra
- LUXURY HOTEL: Juliet's House, Verona
- LUXURY HOTELS: Alàbriga Hotel & Home Suites, Spain
- LUXURY HOTELS: Pennyhill Park & Spa, Surrey, UK
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Park, New Delhi, India
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Peninsula, New York, USA
- LUXURY HOTELS: The Surrey, New York, USA