Top 10: The Best Hotels in Washington DC


Don't let the bureaucrat pencil-pusher stereotypes fool you: there is a glamorous side to D.C., and the hotel scene of the Nation's Capital is maybe the best place to find it. Step back in time at opulent outposts like the 200-year-old Willard InterContinental or other storied properties like the Hay-Adams, Jefferson, and the infamous Watergate. On the flip side, you can opt for modern glass-and-steel towers with skyline Capitol or Potomac River views—and maybe even a fantastic swimming pool. There are also plenty of design-forward boutique hotels in of D.C.'s residential neighborhoods where you'll feel like a local. Whatever abode you choose, these are the best hotels in Washington, D.C. for your next trip.

Every hotel review on this list has been written by a ListMyStartup Traveler who knows the destination and has visited that property. When choosing hotels, our editors consider properties across price points that offer an authentic and insider experience of a destination, keeping design, location, service, and sustainability credentials top of mind. This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

There’s a certain level of prestige associated with Washington, D.C., one that comes with a good bit of glamor and wonder. It’s a reputation that, in part, stems from the city’s role as the nation’s capital and the seat of our federal government. But there’s also a range of other factors — a deep history, culturally significant sites, and an association with higher education — that give the District its distinct character. If you dig even deeper, though, you’ll also find it’s a destination with heart: at its core, Washington, D.C. is a place that cares — whether it’s about preserving the past, developing a better future, or creating memorable, special moments for its residents and visitors.

This greater narrative is particularly prevalent within the city’s hospitality scene. Its most impressive hotels, including world-renowned brands and smaller boutique properties, combine elegance with warmth and a passion for the traveler experience. While they may be unique in decor, guest amenities, and general atmosphere, there’s a shared dedication to providing excellence and comfort, which you’ll see below.

Best Hotels in Washington DC

Know Before You Go

Check the calendar before planning your trip

Traffic around Washington, D.C. is notoriously congested, and the city is especially hard to navigate during peak times — think: cherry blossom season, summer vacation, holiday weekends — and large events (think: presidential inaugurations, festivals, parades). It can also be rather expensive. If you want to enjoy a less crowded trip and snag lower rates, research before booking your flights and hotel rooms.

Many attractions are completely free to visit

Staying and eating in Washington, D.C. can cost a pretty penny, but there are a few ways to save money while in town. Many of the monuments, museums, and family-friendly activities are free to all visitors. The National Gallery of Art, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the United States Botanic Garden, and the Smithsonian Institution (which includes 17 museums, galleries, and a zoo) all offer complimentary entry.

Wear comfortable walking shoes

If you want to cover a lot of ground and see all the art, history, and cultural sights D.C. has to offer, you’ll need to wear decent walking shoes. The city itself is extremely walkable and mileage can add up fast; you can easily get in 10,000 steps before lunchtime. Not up for walking? Take the Metro. Fares are relatively inexpensive, and they vary based on day, time, and length of the ride. Single rides cost between $2 and $6, but you can also purchase a one-day, three-day, or seven-day unlimited pass for $13, $28, and $58, respectively.

How We Chose These Hotels

Vilium is a Virginia-based travel writer who has been visiting the Washington, D.C. area for decades. When compiling this list, she used editor recommendations and in-person experiences, as well as recent World’s Best Awards and It List appearances to choose each property. To narrow down the selections even further, she carefully considered each hotel’s amenities, decor, location, and other standout features. Additionally, all hotels align with our T+L Hotel Values.