Park Hyatt Washington DC celebrates American Revival, also known as Arts and Crafts of the great USA. This is a luxury hotel the gal associates with Shaker furniture, simplicity, proportion and style. Although Tony Chi’s interior colour scheme is generally muted – a typical Chi trait, as shown at Park Hyatt Shanghai – he includes elements of colour. Enter the hotel through its main entrance on 24th Street, straight into its single-floor reception lobby, and you look at a ceiling-high glass-walled box, about two by two metres, the glass painted with pink cherry blossom. A few steps on and you pass a scarlet apple sculpture, suitably above a simple-Shaker sofa.
Despite it being a weekend GM Terry Dunbar was there, greeting me and many others (he had started his career, here in this very hotel, 33 years ago – as some say, good Irishmen never lose their gift of the gab, or knack of story-telling). I was fascinated both by listening to his tales of moving around Hyatts in the USA and also by watching the elaborate ceremony that evolved from his simple request for a cup of tea. And then he left, and I went upstairs to suite 1024, looking out at 24th Street – and down to Blue Duck’s outside terrace..
I had a Shaker table, and a fascinating selection of books that included @NATGEO Most popular Instagram Photos. The bathroom’s wet area, with wood tub, was large enough for a party of 10, which undoubtedly it has had at times (this is the Foggy Bottom, George Washington University area of town). A ‘kitchen corner’ unusually has open shelving for storing china and glassware, and a wood chest opens to reveal cutlery drawers, and a white china sink: so much equipment makes me think this is ideal for families or small groups of friends. Head down to the hotel’s cheery and Michelin-starred Blue Duck tavern, and you see that this is indeed a meeting place. Sadly I was going out for dinner so I could not try Blue Duck chef Adam Howard’s enticing sounding wood oven-roasted bone marrow, Pondicherry aux poivre, beef threads and pickled chanterelles, from Creekstone Farms in Kansas.
This is a restaurant that lists farms and other suppliers on its menu, a commendable point that should be copied far and wide. Sadly, too, I was not able during my stay to try the stylish nail salon that has a street-side drawing room – for that is how it is decorated – next to this very comfortable luxury hotel. But of course I made a couple of visits to the 24/7 Technogym, and I had a splendid breakfast in Blue Tavern. I have no idea which hens produced the eggs (no provenance on the menu this time) but I loved the way they came in a skillet, with the ubiquitous American breakfast norm of some kind of hash potatoes. TAKE A SHORT TOUR OF THE LOBBY, BELOW, AND THEN SEE SUITE 1024