Luxury Hotels

A very comfortable ‘American Revival’ luxury hotel in Washington DC

Terry Dunbar in Blue Duck

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.

Looking down from suite 1024

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..

Blue Duck interior …

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.

..and breakfast eggs

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