Washington, DC, the epicentre of American politics. World leaders flying in on a weekly basis, heads of state daily. As you could imagine, the market for high-end hotels comes with great demand. How does Hilton’s “Smart Luxury” brand Conrad hold up?
Positioned 5 blocks east of The Whitehouse on New York Avenue is a good start. You don’t have far to walk before you see something interesting. The corner of the hotel, for example, is sat on Tifanny & Co should you be in the market for a $200k necklace. Alternatively, if you want to walk around the corner you have the likes of the Dior boutique and Luis Vuitton store. Another 3 blocks east and you’re at RPM Italian one of the cities’ best restaurants.
From Dulles Airport it’s a good hours drive but when you get there the valet will park up for you in their underground car park and the bell boys will transport all your luggage from the boot of your car to your room before you have even checked in.
If you’re all about that driven life then uber will set you back $55. Alternatively, if you’re trying to save a bit of money or are environmentally conscious there’s a bus followed by a change to train that will take a similar time to drive but will only set you back $15.
First impressions count, my first impressions were knocked out of the park.
Fresh red apples and bottled water as you enter or leave which is a very small detail but it’s very well received.
Sitting there in what I can only describe as expensive seats, you feel small, surrounded by the grandeur. Grand walkways you can hear your echo, grand slabs of marble which must have been a logistical minefield to source, even a grand thing? of mass hanging above you.
There’s no drinks machine however a member of staff is practically always on hand should you want any refreshments. With no tv’s, magazines or even books it’s an area where you can just sit there and marvel.
Deluxe Twin Queen Room
Due to travelling with a family member I booked a twin room. Thinking back, every twin room I have booked has had 2 double beds in. Having 2 queens then does feel rather luxurious and less of a compromise.
The compromise is, in a none twin room you’d expect a king-size bed. The queens were fine though and the comfort was next level. The kind of bed that makes you a little annoyed when you have to leave it.
Sliding a rather hefty solid wood door open reveals a his and hers bathroom. Floor to ceiling marble, a solid counter, huge mirrors and frosted glass all convey the feeling of high-end luxury.
A little disappointing not to have a bath and whist I’m at it, the shower head was pretty poor in size. With that being said the temperature and pressure of the shower are perfect.
Hong Kong luxury fashion house Shanghai Tang provides the toiletries which are refreshed daily as is customary with the Conrad brand.
The 4K TV covered a rather large bit of area given how far you are away from it. The channel list was fairly expansive however a lot of that is news and panel shows. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, etc are all available.
A godsend and a nightmare encapsulated in 1 image. A plethora of power for plugs, be it USB or 110V handily located on either side of either bed so you’ll struggle to find somewhere not to charge things. The nightmare being the lights, more specifically the lighting control. A control board should only ever be used in situ by lighting engineers on large productions. You don’t want to be waking up, needed the toilet, trying to remember what does what then boom, retinas are burnt out.
All rooms come with floor to ceiling windows allowing vast amounts of natural light.
Located on the first floor, you’ll need your room key for access. Once inside the elegance continues, things like fresh apples, bottles of water and clean towels are neatly presented.
The Gym is split up into 2 sections, a cardio area with running, rowing and cross machines and a resistance training area with plenty of dumbells and kettlebells to get a good workout done.
Sheer elegance, interior designer Lauren Rottet has done one hell of a job. Firstly the 3/4 wrap-around bar with the other 1/4 being their wine rack. As you can see that’s a lot of wine.
Whilst it may be a bar, the emphasis isn’t on the bar. It’s all about comfort and relaxation. Slabs of marble for your coffee tables, low slung sofas, fresh plants/flowers. The whole area just oozes luxury.
How about some huge haberdashery hanging above a double-sided fire to make you feel like you’re in a country house?
If soft cotton sofas aren’t for you, perhaps a pair of leather armchairs will see you better.
The Presidential Suite
If you’ve got an abundance of points or rather deep pockets (around £2100 per night) and have the urge to live like a king, this is the room you want to be booking. You might struggle, I looked over a 300-day period and only found 16 nights available to book. If you are lucky enough to meet all of the above, firstly very good effort, secondly it’s beautiful.
Starting in the living room, where you can kick back and relax on the huge wrap around sofa in front of the fire watching the TV.
Perhaps you are in the mood for channelling your inner Bach on a £37,000 Shadd baby grand piano.
Next up is the kitchen. Fully kitted out with everything you need to cook up a storm. Chances are though if you’re spending over £2,000 a night on a hotel room, you won’t be doing any food prep. So when your chef is due to arrive, you don’t have to worry about the first world problem of having to let them in, they have their own private entrance, naturally…
Then the bathroom, a large walk-in shower (though a small shower head?), a huge clamshell bath for soaking in and finally a toilet hidden by frosted glass.
Opposite the bath you have his and hers sinks separated by storage. The large mirrors with built-in light panels are nice and offer beautiful, soft light.
The master bedroom filled with the bespoke 4-poster super king bed.
Very much a simple and elegant room. Floor to ceiling windows look onto The Park at CityCentre DC.
On the opposite side of the wall to the super king, a walk-in wardrobe. Perhaps you’re the kind of couple who still have to pay for excess luggage when you use more than your 6 x 32KG baggage allowance between you. Well, this wardrobe is catering for you.
Books on books on books. A lovely area next to the living room to just sit, chill out, read a book and maybe even have a game of chess.
The office, again very minimalist. A printer in the right draw, storage in the left. Perfect height for the solid desk and that seat, what a seat. I have yet to find out who makes it as I want one for my office. Slightly annoying the sockets are beneath the desk which whilst aesthetically pleasing, not very practical.
The hotel is huge and with all sorts of hallways and hideaways. The above being a secluded outdoor terrace I came across by chance. You know it’s secluded when you’re there for a good 45 mins just taking in some fresh air and you don’t see 1 person.
Walking along a corridor I came across another seating area. Upon further inspection it doubled down as an office at the end, should you need to print some tickets off.
The Rooftop Terrace/Bar
The crown jewel of the hotel, Summit.
Come 18:00 you’ll be queueing in the lobby for the one lift with accesses the rooftop terrace.
Waiting is a well-stocked bar with mixologists that know what to do with it all.
Everyone turns up dressed to the nines and it makes for a great atmosphere.
Watching the sunset over the capitol nibbling away on warm popcorn sipping away on cocktails.
If there’s a few of you or you’re planning on having a BIG night on the drinks for $500 guaranteed spend, you can reserve one of the 4 sofa areas.
Which offer tremendous views as the sun sets. There’s something about being on a rooftop, sipping cocktails and watching the sunset that gets me giddy.
The chauffeur will drive you anywhere within a 2-mile radius for free. The hours are 18:00 until 23:59 every day of the week. You can go further for a pre-arranged fee but with the hotel’s excellent location, a 2-mile circumference really does include a lot of places.
Oh, did I mention your journey will be in a brand new E-Class Merc? and that it doesn’t matter if you go almost 2 miles but take 40 mins because of the peak traffic, it’s still free. And the chauffeur himself is such a nice guy and knows the area like Mahomes knows the Kansas City Chiefs playbook.
This is where status comes in clutch. A $20 per night credit for breakfast is applied to your account. Otherwise, you’re paying $32 for an omelette and glass of orange juice. Steep.
As to be expected, the breakfast’s are nice but I couldn’t justify paying those sort of prices every morning.
Without a shadow of a doubt the nicest hotel I’ve stayed in. I think you’d struggle to find a nicer hotel in Washington DC regardless of your budget. Do bear in mind though, it’s a little on the pricey side, 4 nights in the Deluxe Queen Twin came to £1042 including tax with 1 night in the Presidential Suite costing an additional £2100. The staff are incredible and nothing is too much of an ask. Whether you’re an exec’ wanting that hassle-free life or someone splashing out on a once in a lifetime trip and want to be blown away, This is THE hotel for you.