Having received rave reviews since it opened back in 2004, you’d forgive the Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. for resting on its laurels. Yet, the five-star hotel continues to up its game, much in the same way the area around it has thanks to a $2.5 billion regeneration of the Southwest Waterfront along the Potomac River: The Wharf.
Whether it led the way for the area’s rebirth, or it was simply a case of excellent timing, the hotel now has a myriad of excellent local restaurants, independent retailers and nightlife venues on its doorstep. Places like Southeast Asian eatery Kaliwa, Potomac Distilling Company rum distillery and tiki bar, and concert venue The Anthem (from the owners of the renowned 9:30 Club) have made it one of the city’s go-to neighborhoods for a good time.
The Mandarin Oriental, meanwhile, is an attraction in itself. Snuggle up after long days of traipsing the city’s historic hotspots in a king-sized room or sprawled out on a daybed by the pool.
For ultimate relaxation, there’s the spa. The Zen room is the ideal spot for a moment of calm, while treatments such as hot stone therapy and the therapeutic massage unwind both body and mind. Finish the day at Rose’s MO, a private dining experience where guests work with DC Chef and Restaurateur Aaron Silverman, renowned for his three Michelin-starred restaurants, to create a customized menu. Previous line-ups have included refreshing lychee salad, cacio e pepe and indulgent popcorn crème brûlée.
Afterwards, you’ll be feeling energized for another day of urban exploration, with the National Mall, Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument all within walking distance. And come springtime, you certainly won’t want to miss DC’s famous cherry trees blossoming in nearby Tidal Basin, the perfect inspiration for some FOMO-inducing photos.