Luxury Hotels


THE USA OPENED ITS BORDERS LAST MONDAY. Girlahed says it’s a great opportunity to rush straight to the heart of that country, the White House.  No, sadly overnighting there is not an option, but the nearest bed, legally that is, is 100 yards north across grassy Lafayette Park, at the 145-room Hay-Adams – see a view from the hotel’s rooftop, above.

GIRLAHEAD MIGHT WELL HEAD QUITE QUICKLY DOWN TO OFF THE RECORD BAR.  This is the scarlet-hued speakeasy where household-legends and aspirants, plus lobbyists and hangers-on hang out repeatedly. Framed cartoons of current political Big Wigs, loaned from the Library of Congress, provide a unique collection of political likenesses by Politico’s Pulitzer-winner Matt Wuerker.

The Hay-Adams was originally two adjacent private homes, owned  by historian Henry Adams, 1838-1918, and politician John Milton Hay 1838 –1905. Privately owned today by a banking billionaire, the upper floors of what is now one building still hint at residences. One of my favourite suites is #512-4, on the south-east corner – look east across 16th Street to the Presidential church, the buttercup-and-milk hued St John’s, and look south to the White House.

Much of Lafayette restaurant’s produce comes from a 140-acre farm overseen by the University of DC College of Agriculture’s Urban Sustainability & Environmental Science department. Similarly, the decade-old addition of The Hay-Adams’ tenth-floor rooftop’s all-weather conservatory is absolutely 21st century. Book this space for anniversary parties, or weddings, any number, two to 350 – but add in the supposed presence of at least one more participant, virtual at least (if the Stars and Stripes are flying over his home, President Biden is as close as can be).

The Hay-Adams, led by MD Nicolas Béliard, is part of THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD, LHW.  Hear LHW’s boss here: