Washington, D.C.

Cherry Blossoms Tidal Basin

Why here?
The capital city's hotel scene is being enlivened by imaginative reinventions, as at the Park Hyatt, and with the debut of new properties like the Darcy. To make it easier to visit, Reagan National Airport is embarking on a $1 billion plan to add security checkpoints and up the commuter experience.

The Wharf, a $2 billion waterfront development in Southwest D.C., will feature 3.2 million square feet of hotels, restaurants, retail, cultural venues and more. Three hotels will debut in the new complex on Oct. 12: The 278-room Wharf InterContinental; a 175-room Canopy by Hilton and a 237-room Hyatt House. In addition, the Anthem concert venue will seat 6,000, and plans include 10 acres of parks and public piers.

In the Shaw district, home to D.C.'s convention center, the Dacha Beer Garden serves German, Belgian and American beers, local meads and ciders, and seasonal food. A private loft can host up to 70 people.


Local Update

 New York-based interior designer Tony Chi, who redesigned the 216-room Park Hyatt Washington D.C. in 2006, has finished a makeover of the hotel's guest rooms and lobby. Coming soon to the in-house Michelin-starred restaurant, the Blue Duck Tavern, are new culinary options such as a seasonal garden table for an outdoor communal chef's-table experience. The hotel features 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

 Project Journey, a $1 billion, multiyear capital improvement plan for Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va., will commence this summer. Features will include new security checkpoints, an enclosed commuter concourse, and improvements to roadways and parking. The security checkpoints are scheduled to open in 2020, and the new commuter concourse debuts in 2021.

The 193-room Kimpton Donovan Hotel has completed a redesign of its meeting space, giving the rooms a journalistic theme that celebrates the sharp staff at the Washington Post during the Watergate scandal. The property now has a total of 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space.

 The ground-floor retail space of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center has new tenants. Smoked and Stacked is a sandwich spot featuring house-cured pastrami from Marjorie Meek-Bradley, a former Top Chef finalist. Set to debut at the end of the summer is the Unconventional Diner from chef David Deshaies, and the Urban Athletic Club opens this month.

 The Washington Marriott Georgetown has completed a $28 million renovation and redesign. The 470-room property now offers an M Club Lounge and a new restaurant. All 18 meeting rooms were redone and three were added, including a 4,800-square-foot ballroom that brings the property's total meeting space to 22,000 square feet.

 The 226-room Darcy, a Curio Collection by Hilton hotel, opened in April. The former DoubleTree property features some 4,000 square feet of meeting space, while the Siren restaurant offers fresh seafood.

 A guest-room refresh has been completed at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.  The 373-room hotel, overlooking the Tidal Basin, has more than 38,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 4,000-square-foot event lawn. The restaurant, Muze, serves American fare with Asian touches, and the spa has eight treatment rooms.

Street and market food from around the world informs the menu at Compass Rose. The restaurant's Bedouin Tent takes reservations of six to eight for a tour of its multinational offerings. (202) 506-4765

Spring marks the emergence of D.C.'s farmers markets. With more than 200 in the area, a few to try are Capital Harvest on the Plaza on Fridays; 14th and U Farmers Market on Saturdays; and the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market, which is open Sundays year-round. Find out more here.

Meeting Hotels: Group properties in D.C. include the 1,175-room Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.; 1,152-room Washington Marriott Wardman Park; 1,070-room Hilton Washington; 897-room Grand Hyatt Washington; 838-room Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill; 834-room Omni Shoreham Hotel; 807-room Renaissance Washington, DC, Downtown Hotel; 772-room JW Marriott Hotel Washington, DC; 581-room Mayflower Renaissance Washington, D.C.; and 544-room Capital Hilton.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.

Convention Center:
 Walter E. Washington Convention Center; meeting space, 125,000 square feet; exhibit space, 700,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 70. (202) 249-3000

Airport Transit: Reagan National Airport, 15 to 20 minutes from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, about $25; by shuttle, $16

Dulles International Airport, 45 minutes from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $75; by shuttle, $30

Taxes: Room tax, 14.5%; sales tax, 5.75%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14.5%

Group Venue: The former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973), the fabled socialite and one-time owner of General Foods, is now a gracious gathering place for lovers of gardens and mansions of the well-heeled. The Hillwood Museum & Gardens features Post's collections of Russian and French art, as well as 25 landscaped acres. Groups of up to 55 people are welcome. (202) 686-5807

Contact: Destination DC, (202) 789-7000