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Area Hotels Fit Variety Of Guest Personalities

If you’ve picked up previous copies of The Washington Diplomat, you might think that our “best of” hotel lists have all but exhausted the range of properties in the Washington, D.C., metro area. We’ve told you about fitness centers, tea times, champagne brunches and even great hotel names. So what could be left? We say the personalities—your personalities, to be exact, or those of your visiting guests.

This month, we decided to give advice on some of the best hotels to suit seven different types of folks, from self-professed tree huggers to indulgent pet lovers. As always, the list is purely subjective and based on personal experiences, guided tours and overnight stays.

The Environmentalist If saving water, or the earth, is a concern, the Fairmont could be your best bet. The company has been developing its earth-friendly policies since 1990, long before the “green building” trend hit the scene.

The chain’s environmental features include water-efficient showerheads, recycling programs and eco-friendly vendors used for purchases. The Washington hotel recently committed to purchasing 10 percent of its annual electric load from wind-generated power—a move applauded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. National Geographic Traveler even called the chain’s environmental program the most comprehensive in the North American hotel industry.

The Fairmont Washington, D.C. 2401 M St., NW Phone: (202) 429-2400 Web: www.fairmont.com/washington/ Cost: Rooms from 9 per night

The Introvert The Mansion on O Street has been a past favorite of ours for many reasons, and now we have found yet another. Despite its location in lively Dupont Circle, the Mansion remains a mysteriously calm retreat. In addition to its private outdoor pool and relaxing lounges and common areas, this exclusive townhouse complex-turned-hotel has more than 20,000 volumes of books and an equally outrageous amount of CDs to boot.

Reclusive guests looking for a weekend escape will also be pleased with the Mansion’s privacy policy. Only friends, colleagues and family members who are given a secret password can reach guests. All others trying to reach you will be told, “There is no one here by that name”—no exceptions. The only obstacle is figuring out how to leave the cell phone at home.

The Mansion on O Street 2020 O St., NW Phone: (202) 496-2000 Web: www.omansion.com Cost: Rooms and suites from 0 to ,000 per night

The Thirsty Guest For those whose comfort depends less on plush featherbeds than on a perfect martini at the end of the day, the Hay-Adams is a great place for some spirited unwinding—not because the rooms are uncomfortable (far from it, in fact), but because the Off the Record basement bar is tough to beat. The ambiance is cool and quiet, the red décor intoxicating, the wine selection outstanding, and the bartender has been declared the city’s best four times by Washingtonian.

The Hay-Adams One Lafayette Square, NW Phone: (202) 638-6600 Web: www.hayadams.com Cost: Martinis in the range

The Athlete Is staying in shape a priority? If the budget allows, then the luxurious Mandarin Oriental makes it easier to muster up the motivation for fitness on the road. The hotel’s health center includes a 50-foot lap pool, stationary bikes, cross trainers, treadmills, ab stations, free weights and dumbbells. Personal trainers, as well as yoga and Tai Chi instructors, are also available for hire. But what really makes the Mandarin stand out is its location just blocks away from the National Mall and its many outdoor activities. The concierge can schedule tennis lessons, provide jogging maps, book a sailboat or even reserve a bike for you on the Mount Vernon Trail.

Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC 1330 Maryland Ave., SW Phone: (202) 554-8588 Web: www.mandarinoriental.com/washington/ Cost: Rooms from 5 per night

The Host Looking for some new scenery for your next party? Forget banquet halls and backrooms at restaurants. How about hosting a cocktail party in a deluxe suite at one of the city’s most famed landmark hotels? The Willard InterContinental Washington offers seven different types of suites starting at 600 square feet (the size of a large studio condo), all of them decorated decadently with antiques and custom furniture. The largest one tops in at 2,800 square feet, with a dining room that seats 10, as well as a service buffet and stellar views of the U.S. Capitol.

Willard InterContinental Washington 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Phone: (202) 628-9100 Web: http://washington.intercontinental.com Cost: Suites from the 0s per night

The Pet Owner The days when kennels and dog-sitters were the only option for road trips are over. A growing number of hotels—chains, boutique and luxury—are opening their doors to pet owners and their furry friends. Properties such as L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, Sofitel Lafayette Square, the Quincy, and Marriott Wardman Park all allow pets, although most require refundable deposits and fees of or more.

Our pick for pet lovers is still the Kimpton boutique chain, which not only allows pets at no additional charge but pampers them as well. Every one of the seven boutique hotels in the area offers a unique version of pet amenities, from pet lounging areas to dog walk maps, in addition to providing treats, beds, water dishes and other necessities for your hairy companions.

Kimpton Hotels www.kimptonhotels.com

The Penny Pincher We confess that although our lists tend to focus on the higher price end of hotels, there are plenty of good options for the budget-conscious—but how to pick one? Online search engines actually provide some of the best information, so to be fair, for this category we’re skipping over the local hotels for a favorite daytrip deal.

At the Mountain Song Inn in Willis, Va., the rooms are relatively simple and quaintly decorated. But for less than the cost of a basic room at the Marriott in downtown Silver Spring, Md., a night at Mountain Song gets you large soaking tubs, walk-out patios, a gourmet breakfast and a common room complete with cushioned window seats, reading nooks and a hand-carved pool table. Plus, the porches and Blue Ridge Mountain scenery are to die for.

Mountain Song Inn 319 Mystic Lane, Willis, Va. Phone: (540) 789-3000 Web: www.mountainsonginn.com Cost: Rooms at 9 per night

About the Author

Heather Mueller is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

Last Edited on November 29, 1999