What's New in Washington, D.C.

What's New in Washington, D.C.

Newly opened Kimpton hotels, a distillery with a speakeasy-style bar and a much-anticipated African American history museum are just a few more reasons to head to Washington, D.C. By: Chanize Thorpe
<p>Kimpton Mason &amp; Rook Hotel is one of the two Kimpton properties that opened in Washington, D.C. this year. // © 2016 Kimpton Mason &amp; Rook...

Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel is one of the two Kimpton properties that opened in Washington, D.C. this year. // © 2016 Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel

Feature image (above): Jose Andres’ newest restaurant in the city is called China Chilcano. // © 2016 China Chilcano

This year, Washington, D.C. won’t just be getting a new president in the White House. The capitol is buzzing with new activities, hotels, restaurants and more, ideal for visitors eager to take in D.C.’s exciting atmosphere. Following are some newbies sure to please — no matter your client’s political preference.

Where to Stay
This year, Kimpton opened two new hotels in the capitol city. One is Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel, which debuted near the vibrant 14th Street neighborhood. The low-key spot offers 178 rooms with a minimalist, bespoke style. At the same time, there are luxurious amenities available, including in-room spa services and complimentary use of bikes.  

Radiator, the hotel bar, is the place to be for creative cocktails featuring locally made bourbon and gin. During warm weather, the rooftop pool (also equipped with a bar) is another hangout spot featuring killer views. And don’t forget to tell clients to sign up for Karma Rewards, Kimpton’s free frequent guest program. It includes Wi-Fi access and $10 worth of minibar credit. 

Glover Park Hotel, located in the heart of the city’s northwest residential area near Georgetown, is Kimpton’s 10th property in D.C. The 154 guestrooms are designed to channel nature with green, white and wood accents, and some even feature telescopes with front-and-center views of the National Mall. 

Guests receive many freebies, from complimentary shuttle service to the Metro subway and use of loaner bicycles to wine hour, a chance to meet other guests and swap travel tips while smooth jazz plays in the background. It’s a nice prelude to dinner at the hotel’s Southern Italian restaurant, Casolare, where wood-fired margherita pizza and seafood dishes, such as branzino with roasted baby heirloom tomatoes, rule the menu.


What to Do
Designed to recall its 1892 Prohibition beginnings, the newly restored boutique Jos. A. Magnus & Co distillery produces practically moonshine-strength bourbon, gin and vodka at its warehouse in the Ivy District. Free tours include a look into the Magnus family history, a bottling demonstration and, of course, a tasting of the goods at one of the two on-site cocktails bars. 

Another option is heading to National Museum of African American History and Culture, the 19th member of the Smithsonian family, opens in September after a 13-year wait. Visitors will be treated to a free and impressive collection of roughly 37,000 items that are key to understanding black history, from slave-ship artifacts to literature and photography from freedom fighters and civil rights activists. 


Where to Shop
Detroit-based Shinola opened late last year on popular 14th Street. Once home to a 1920s Studebaker showroom, it has retained some original design such as black-and-white checkerboard flooring. The bright and airy store is filled with custom-made watches, leather goods and even bicycles. Buy a sleek and sturdy linen-covered journal and get it monogrammed for free in minutes. Or, take your time and enjoy a local beer in the mini in-house restaurant.  


Where to Eat
Downtown’s China Chilcano is famous chef Jose Andres’ newest D.C. restaurant. Modern takes on contemporary Peruvian and Asian cuisine, such as Hawaiian sunfish ceviche, lamb pot stickers and duck-tongue skewers, are prepared in open-kitchen stations. Make reservations to dine in one of the quirky spaces such as the “bird cage” or the “sunken Japanese table,” and try one of the clever riffs on the classic pisco sour for $5 during Pisco Hour (Monday through Friday, 4 to 6 p.m.).