A Destination Unto Itself
Hotels & Hospitality - 2004
Named one of “The World’s Best Hotels” by
Institutional Investor magazine, the 400-room
Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. sets
luxury standards in the nation’s capital.
A rrive at Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. near the newly
established Southwest Waterfront and you know you have arrived
at someplace special. The Grand facade and unique porte-cochere
beckon. Walk through its doors and be swept away by a sea of
marble, limestone and glass. The lobby was inspired by the work of
John Russell Pope, designer of the Jefferson Memorial, and boasts
the familiar domed ceiling and column placement of the neighboring
Memorial. The columns are American walnut capped by American
white oak; and the patterned Emperador and Amarillo yellow marble
floor beneath a rotunda of gold and silver leaf is as striking as it is
Just beyond the circular lobby is the Empress Lounge, a sunken
enclave with inviting overstuffed lounge chairs resplendent with rich,
warm tones. A wall of glass looks over the tranquil Zen garden. All
is under the watchful eye of the Empress Dowager who is depicted
in a gigantic oil painting which looms over the lounge. Dressed in
traditional Chinese kimono and swinging playfully over the District
of Columbia, the work was commissioned by the hotel and is a
reproduction of an original work depicting the Empress swinging above
the forbidden city of Shanghai. The lounge also features an expansive
flagstone patio for el fresco seating.
Guestrooms and suites delight visitors with décor that fuses Asian
simplicity with traditional touches, all set against the hotel’s signature
water and city views. The golden palate and sumptuous fabrics
seem to embrace you, while the drop dead views are lightly diffused
through crepe silk window dressings fashioned into Roman Shades.
Several layouts are made possible by the unique shape of the hotel,
with deluxe guestrooms measuring between 400 to 700 square feet.
The three-bedroom Presidential Suite comes in at 3,500 square feet,
and was named one of ‘World’s Greatest Suites,’ by Elite Traveler.
Panoramic views from oversized windows stretch from Georgetown to
Old Town offering vistas of The National Cathedral, Lincoln Memorial,
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon,
Washington Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial with its tranquil
Tidal Basin and famed cherry trees. Step onto one of two Juliet
balconies and feel as if you can hold the storied monuments in the
palm of your hand.
Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. is a destination unto itself; a
true urban oasis perched on the edge of the most powerful city in the
11 Best of DC Best of DC 298