Renaissance Mayflower $$$
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1127 Connecticut Ave. NW
202/347-3000 or 800/228-7697
COST: More than $250 per night
The Mayflower is one of Washington’s historic hotels: the site of Calvin Coolidge’s inaugural ball (which the president did not attend because he was mourning his son’s death), where Franklin Delano Roosevelt lived before he moved into the White House, and where Harry Truman announced his decision to run for the presidency in 1948. More recently, Room 871 was the site of a now-infamous tryst between former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and a pricey call girl.
This Marriott property features 657 guest rooms, including 74 suites, lavishly decorated with upholstered walls, silk draperies, and carved mantels.
A new bar is set to open in 2011, replacing the hotel’s venerable Town & Country Lounge. No word on the decor or feel of the new space, but it will have at least one holdover from the clubby old bar: master Sam Lek, who has been serving up some of the city’s best cocktails since well before cocktails made a comeback.
January 20 is a special day at the Mayflower; in the past, staff and guests have reported strange sightings—lights flickering, an elevator that won’t work, glasses of wine discovered in public areas that were not being used; fans of the paranormal believe the ghost of Calvin Coolidge returns to the hotel each present-day inauguration date because he missed his own party.
© Patricia Nevins Kime from Moon Washington DC, 1st Edition