by Lauren Sloat - 260 Reviews - 86 List
No longer just for the lonesome business travelers (or Eliot Spitzer types), hotel bars in Washington, D.C., have become cocktail and nightlife destinations all on their own. Maybe it's that being in a hotel adds a sense of carefree vacation--or the idea of meeting a handsome stranger--or maybe it's just because these bars serve some damn good drinks. Whether poolside or fireside, each of these hotel bars is worth a drink or two. (Pictured: The view from the P.O.V. Lounge)
Updated: September 10, 2010
The rooftop bar at the W Hotel is one of the district's hottest places to see and be seen. A velvet rope at the elevator keeps things exclusive--so call ahead to get a reservation--but it's worth all the pomp: Floor-to-ceiling monument views, hand-crafted cocktails and an open terrace make it posh.
The bar at this quaint Dupont inn--which extends into a sitting-room area filled with well-worn couches and overstuffed chairs around a fireplace, is a favorite spot for quiet, relaxed conversations with a cocktail. Go on Sunday nights between 7:30pm and 10pm for live jazz.
This lounge at the St. Regis feels modern and vibrant; pops of rich violet and blue hues contrast with silver fixtures and shining surfaces--all the better to go with the large diamond rings worn by many of the clientele, who gather for wine-centric cocktails made with fresh ingredients.
The Beacon Hotel becomes an unassuming hot spot each May through October, when the rooftop bar pours mojitos and iced tea cocktails next to a water fountain and gorgeous city view. Sunday evenings often offer a DJ, too. In the winter, cheap cocktail specials at the main bar downstairs keep regulars coming back.
The only way a rooftop hotel bar can get any more trendy is with the addition of a pool, which is what sets ADC apart. It's small, but something about the addition of a lit-up body of water adds extra sex appeal. There's usually a list, so call ahead and talk to the front desk about which promoter is in charge that night and how to get on it.