I’d heard about the concept of a staycation — taking time off to relax at home or vacationing where one lives — but never really considered taking one myself until a few weeks ago. That was when Travel Onion and The Jefferson, a luxury hotel in downtown Washington, hosted a group of local bloggers on a tour of the property.
In many ways the boutique Beau Arts hotel is very “DC.” It’s practically an architectural ode to Thomas Jefferson, with designs and historical details that recall the style of the days of the nation’s third president as well as his home at Monticello. Intricate molding embellishes walls and ceilings, beautiful frescoes of Jefferson’s Virginia home adorn walls, refined woodwork conveys a stately feel, and documents signed by Jefferson as well as period antiques decorate hallways and nooks.
But even with all these elements that reflect the political and historic foundations of Washington, being inside the hotel feels a world away from the city right outside its doors–which is exactly why it’s now on my staycation radar. But it’s not just the decor that transports you from the urban bustle to a luxury retreat; the ambiance is sophisticated and relaxing, and the amenities are top notch.
For all it’s historic recollections and relics from the past, The Jefferson is very modern with high-tech conveniences available to all guests. Every room is furnished with complimentary high-speed internet, high-def flat-panel televisions, movies for all ages, Wii and other game consoles available on request, iPod docking stations, and TV’s hidden behind bathroom mirrors (yes, you read that correctly). And not to go unmentioned is the The Spa at the Jefferson, open to hotel guests only, that offers a selection of massages, facials, and other pampering treatments.
Of course, a place such as this is good for more than just an in-town getaway. As I discussed a few months back when I reviewed another local hotel, these luxury stays are a wonderful option for out-of-town guests looking for special accommodations or even families who want to treat themselves to the best. And The Jefferson makes sure they get it — kids receive goody bags upon arrival, hot cocoa and cookies are nice treat, adjoining rooms and child-friendly set-ups are easy options, and babysitting services are available.
Staycation or any kind of stay aside, there are other ways — and reasons — to enjoy the luxury of The Jefferson: The dining options. Its main restaurant, Plume, is considered one of the finest in the capital, garnering acclaim for both its food and lovely dining environment. The Private Cellar would be perfect for special occasions, and The Greenhouse is more casual for breakfast and lunch. The hotel lounge, Quill, serves delicious-looking cocktails as well as tapas and other and light fare.
So, I realize this might seem like a lavish recommendation on a blog about activities for kids in DC, but as I’ve said before, parents deserve a little luxury, whether it’s with the kids or without. And it’s readily available at The Jefferson Hotel. In fact, that staycation idea is sounding like a pretty sweet way to celebrate my upcoming 10th anniversary.
You can find this all at 16th & M Streets Northwest, a beautiful building located caddy-corner from National Geographic. If you go, be sure to mention Travel Onion and KidFriendly DC.