Are all luxury hotels stylish, asks the gal? Surely the answer is no, and conversely some stylish hotels are not luxury. The Jefferson Washington DC, however, is one property that is both luxury and stylish, and a few other qualities as well, of the calibre of perfection and precision (see a room service dinner order, on the right). When the private dining order taker repeats the order exactly, and gives the time and the meal is brought, by a charming Nepalese exactly at that minute, that adds efficiency to the list. One could also add consistency, but honestly, the list of attributes of a good hotel could go on for ever.
This hotel was built in 1923 as private apartments for DC society, and during WWII it housed a British Army mission. The building was turned into a 96-room hotel in 1955, and today its strong corporate market sees a staggering 80% repeat rate. They come back because of the thoughtfulness of the rooms – though why suite 303 had a copy of The Global Impact Bible, published by Worthy Publishing on behalf of DC’s new Museum of the Bible I am not quite sure (perhaps the hotel is a sponsor?). I was more interested in Passions, the story of Jefferson’s interest in wine, and a guide to Greek Architecture and its Sculpture, books likely to appeal to the typical Jefferson guest.
Other elements of the suite added yet another quality – generosity. It is not ubiquitous that top hotels provide bathsalts for their bathtubs and few (a list that includes Cheval Blanc Randheli Island in the Maldives) offer a choice of salts). Here, The Jefferson wins the prize for the biggest pot of bathsalts, enough for about a hundred baths. It wins another prize for its gorgeous breakfast table top, with grey on white Tea Party Treat china, by Juliska Country Estate, on coordinating grey Chilewich mats on smoky glass tables, and lovely orange flowers – as above – and Regency silver. All this matches the grey plush chair upholstery.
The hotel honestly has some gracious and lovely team members. I missed the famous canine ambassador, Monti (Lord Monticello, named after Jefferson’s estate south in Charlottesville VA) – he was away writing his memoirs. Aly Aghamehdi was in charge when I was there and I so enjoyed talking with this would-be track star who was, like so many hoteliers, diverted to hospitality. She has always enjoyed working in small-size luxury hotels, especially those that are family-owned, like this one – it is a delight to meet hospitality professionals who have done everything, including working night shifts day after day, or rather night after night. How did she cope? Cat-napping during the day so she could continue with a social life. NOW SEE A VIDEO OF LOVELY SUITE 303