1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
202/393-2000 or 800/228-9290
COST: More than $250 per night
This property languished in the 1990s, with a central atrium pretty enough to serve as a set for the 1987 movie Broadcast News but not keeping up with newcomers like the W Washington  a few doors down.
But a $40 million renovation in 2009 altered the interior significantly: It has the same bones as before but has definitely become more 21st-century, with lobby and public areas featuring leather-covered columns, wood paneling, and platinum ceiling inlays.
Guest rooms are updated as well, decorated in muted shades of red and gold and featuring high-backed desk chairs and technology that allows guests to check their email on their TV sets.