First there was the Donovan House. Then the Park Hyatt. Now the W has set up shop. It seems Washington, D.C. is swapping its white-shirt-and-khaki image for a little New York edge. And on a recent pop-in to the new W property, I found myself thinking, ‘D.C. is kind of cool.’

Housed in the 1917 Beaux-Arts building of the former Hotel Washington, the 317-room property announces its break with the past the moment you step in the lobby: sleek red leather chairs are scattered over a black-and-white checkered marble floor while grand arches soar 18-feet overhead. The modern rooms are spacious and decorated with metallic-colored drapes and pillows, silver z-lamps, and ivory shag carpets.

But the top floor POV terrace (top) is what’s made this hotel the city’s latest hotspot—a revamped loungey cocktail bar with panoramic views of the city (the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and White House are all within eyeshot). Just remember, DC’s new cool factor comes at a price: expect to wait until the next election for a seat.

Clara Sedlak is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure