You don’t have to stay at these tiny hotels to experience the best of their lobbies.
The Willard InterContinentalWhat to expect: A throwback to grand hotels of the 19th century near the White House. It’s where powerful people still go to make powerful decisions. Crowned heads rest on the Willard’s pillows.
Where to spend your dollars: Sip a mint julep or sample a single malt whiskey in the Round Robin Bar and Scotch Bar alongside powerbrokers. It may not be polite to say so, but this is a great place to eavesdrop. “The next day’s work starts between 6 and 8 p.m.,” says Jim Hewes, bartender there for 22 years. “The Round Robin gets a drift on tomorrow’s news.”
The inside story: D.C. insiders strut the lobby’s Peacock Alley where you people-watch while nibbling on tea and scones ($39).
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.; www.washington.intercontinental.com or 1-800-327-0200