Luxury Hotels


This, the Dupont Circle, is Washington’s convenient hotel, actually on Dupont Circle and New Hampshire. It’s lovely when the weather allows bar and restaurant patrons to sit outside, but the interiors are light and welcoming and the buzz of Capitol Hill conversation is at nonstop max.  You just know there’s an ambassador here, someone senior from Brookings there. Tonight the usual crowd is augmented by people in town for a big IMF meeting. Everyone seems to be meeting in the bar, which is more than ready, see above. The self-imposed dress code is decidedly conservative and the only body art’s on servers.

With 327 rooms and 100% occupancy, reception, on one facet of a steep bend going round to the busy bar, is itself working flat out. Concierge Michael, with all his visible hair channelled into a Father Christmas beard, deftly weaves in and out, to help wherever. With American efficiency coupled with natural Irish flair – this is a Doyle hotel – it all works splendidly. I LOVE this hotel, says a chicly coiffeured IMF female in a size-zero black pant suit. She, like others, appreciates top (ninth) floor suites, for their balconies and views, down to the garden in the middle of Dupont Circle and up to the cathedral.

Girlahead was dining with Doyle’s Man in America Joel Freyberg. His usual cocktail somehow arrived in an instant and he shared re-positioning. It’s big things, and little things, like orange pencils that exactly match bedroom notebooks’ orange covers.

It’s so convenient having what seems like a freestanding restaurant The Pembroke, right here in the hotel. It stretches out to a terrace that doubles its size when the weather allows, at least May through July, and September and October (August in the nation’s capital is one big sauna). But why Pembroke?  It’s a Welsh name, an 11th century castle, in the county of Pembrokeshire. There are lots of copycat Pembrokes in the USA, and there is one, Pembroke Road, in Dublin. And that is where the Doyle Collection is headquartered.

There’s never enough time to sort everything out when dining with a global raconteur but over burrata on fried green tomatoes, and salmon on more greenery (spinach) with terrific truffle fries, a start was made.  Yes, quite apart from usual conveniences of location and facilities, The Dupont Circle is conducive to creative thought. That was the thought when taking a postprandial snap, below