I have a work function to be at and was told that it was off of the Federal Triangle Metro station next to the Smithsonian Museum. Does anyone have any suggestions for nice hotels around there?
That area is full of nice hotels with all the big chains like the Hyatt, Hilton, Marriot, and Embassy Suites. If you really want something special, check out the The Willard
This one is special in that not only is it absolutely stunning and classy with phenomenal service, but presidents and authors have stayed here. You may end up in Lincoln's suite or stay in the room where Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his "I have a dream" speech.
Some close friends stayed here and couldn't rave enough.
The Mandarin Oriental Washington DC is a great hotel and right next to the Smithsonian. The W Washington DC is also close and on the other side of the Smithsonian. Even if you don't stay here, make sure to go for a rooftop sunset drink. Epic rooftop deck. Looks down on the White House, over to the Washington Memorial and generally over the city. used to be the venerable "Hotel Washington" before the W took over and chic-ed it out.
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If you are looking to avoid a major chain you should consider the Monaco Washington DC in DC. It's a lovely property and we've stayed at several Kimpton hotels in the past and have always had an amazing experience. They feature a complimentary wine hour and typically have special events thtoughout the week. We stayed at another one of their DC Properties in the past and have also stayed with them in LA. Take a look at their website here: http://www.monaco-dc.com/
We just stayed in the JW Marriott Hotel which was gorgeous and very close to the Smithsonian (2 blocks?). I traveled with my five kids and their conceirge lounge was so over the top amazing that we didn't end up having to buy breakfast or dinner.