• Friday, September 22, 2017

The Four Seasons DC

Perfectly Presidential
July 7, 2014
By , Galavante Contributor

The ultimate hotel room means different things in different places. In Washington D.C., the ultimate room should make you feel like a leader of the free world. (Or at least a visiting head of state.) In case there are no vacancies at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, book a Presidential Suite at the Four Seasons Washington D.C. The pampering and luxury will make you feel like an imaginary band is playing pomp and circumstance everywhere you go – but the only babies you have to kiss are your own. 

Why now: What better time to get all presidential than Independence Day?

Good for: Families seeking a trip that’s accessible yet chock-full of cultural interests.

Suggested stay: 3 days

The highlights:

  • Visiting the museums and iconic monuments along the National Mall – especially the Lincoln Memorial. If little feet get tired of touring, you can enjoy many of the highlights from the open top of D.C.’s Big Bus tours, which circle all of the landmarks and have a connecting stop right in front of the Four Seasons.
  • Jumping on board the D.C. cupcake craze. Make sure your personal taste test ends at Georgetown’s Baked and Wired (parental bonus points for their handcrafted “wired” coffees).
  • Checking out the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Tickets can only be obtained day-of, but rather than standing in line at 7am, send a Four Seasons courier to do it for you.
  • Strolling through the charming residential side streets and high-end shopping blocks of Georgetown. Finish your tour at Washington Harbor, where you can take in killer views of the Potomac River and pick from a collection of casual-chic restaurants for a drink or a bite.

What to know: The hotel’s Georgetown location makes it at least 10–15 minutes by car to the National Mall and major D.C. highlights. Unless you travel by motorcade or plan to visit the Washington Monument at 7am on a Tuesday in November, there will be traffic. But when you return to the Four Seasons, you’re away from the feel of only being among tourists.  And while Georgetown is not exactly undiscovered, it is charming, sophisticated and full of treats for the whole family.

First Kid Standards

Located on the eastern edge of Georgetown, the hotel is a gateway to a quieter, more cosmopolitan neighborhood. Given Georgetown’s residential feel and premium on space, the hotel’s architecture is understated, comprised of two modest brick buildings (the East and West Wings – wink), with a lobby that’s more comfortable than grand. 

Presidential service starts upon arrival at the covered entrance, manned by an army of valets, porters, bellmen and other well-dressed hotel staff. Which means very little wait time and the kind of friendliness that’s usually reserved for very important people. Or very important little people, because children are treated like mini dignitaries. One example: custom kid desserts awaiting your arrival (with their names written in chocolate). Concierge services are family-friendly as well. Need a family-focused itinerary? They’ll size up your kids and make age-appropriate recommendations. The hotel’s detailed city guide is also updated each month. And yes, there is a pool. Space constraints make it better for a quick splash than your triathlon training, but you can book time there if your kids have had enough museums and history and just want to get wet. 

The Other West Wing

The one-bedroom West Wing Presidential Suites feel like personally decorated 2,000-square-foot residences. If your kids can’t handle rollaways (because the whole presidential thing has gone to their heads), additional connecting bedrooms are available. The vibe is Art Deco meets the new millennium, and this is no paint-by-numbers design; instead, think rich fabrics, textured walls, metal accents, inlaid ceiling detail and chandeliers you wish you owned. 

The suite’s layout is intuitive and luxurious, with a sprawling living room, designated dining area and service pantry, in case you need to host a state dinner.  There is a master wing off the entry hallway with a spacious sitting area, a separate room with a desk for working, a walk-in closet big enough for the secret service to hide out in and a full master bath suite. Each room invites families to relax and live in D.C. for a moment. The suite’s only drawback are the less-than-presidential views, but that just encourages you to get out of your room and experience the city firsthand.

Dine like a Dignitary

Onsite restaurants include Bourbon Steak from Michael Mina. It’s high design, with a lounge that feels a little grown up for younger kids. Seasons restaurant, on the other hand, is a power breakfast spot for Washington elite that welcomes families and serves a serious weekend brunch. And the room service menu has customized options 24 hours a day, ranging from baby food to pizza to a rib eye off the menu from Bourbon Steak.  Just don’t order the turkey – we hear that it received a presidential pardon.