The Hip Refuge
The intimate scale and quiet location—on a side street in Dupont Circle—give the stylish Hotel Madera (1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202/296-7600; hotelmadera.com; doubles from $259) a residential feel.
The Grand Dame
Dignitaries favor the elegant 1928 Hay-Adams (16th and H Sts. NW; 202/638-6600; hayadams.com; doubles from $700). Hand-carved plaster ceilings and White House views will make anyone feel soigné.
The Consummate Professional
After a recent $40 million renovation, the Four Seasons Hotel (2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202/342-0444; fourseasons.com; doubles from $595), on the eastern cusp of Georgetown, is as polished and up-to-date as ever.
The art-filled, downtown Sofitel Lafayette Square (806 15th St. NW; 202/730-8800; sofitel.com; doubles from $270) has bold Pierre-Yves Rochon-designed interiors and a refreshingly unstuffy approach.
Hotel Tabard Inn (1739 N St. NW; 202/785-1277; tabardinn.com; doubles from $167) spans three 19th-century town houses, and each of the 40 rooms is unique—part of the charm for its avid repeat guests.