Washington, DC, is a very special place to my husband and me – it’s where we met! We were both there (separately) on business for just a few days, and met in Union Station (12 years ago) just minutes before we boarded the train to New York City. So we knew that our first trip to the nation’s capital as a family had to be amazing! The easiest way to insure a fantastic visit? Stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown, for family-friendly luxury in the city’s most beautiful and vibrant neighborhood. The hotel is outfitted in red brick to blend in with the Federalist row houses that fill lively Georgetown, an area which remains as sought after as it was in the days when Jackie and John Kennedy lived there before the White House.
Our stay at the Four Seasons Washington, DC, was nothing short of perfect this August. This was the baby’s first hotel stay, and now the bar has been set high! (Her almost-four-year-old brother was pretty impressed, too). We were there twice at the end of August, on our way to and from The Outer Banks of North Carolina. Washington, DC, is the perfect stopover if you’re looking to break up the 10-plus-hour drive from New York City to Corolla, NC. But of course staying at The Four Seasons no mere rest stop – it was an integral part of the trip itself. It set off our family vacation on the right foot, especially because after a torturous, traffic-filled drive from New York with an overstuffed car we were all in terrible moods. Then the valet at the Four Seasons greeted us, and all of the stress melted away. We were on our first vacation as a family as four and we were going to have a great time!
Kids receive a very warm welcome at the Four Seasons. The Front Desk greeted my son with a wagon full of goodies and a little map for a Four Seasons treasure hunt. He was in totally in awe, and whispered, “But I didn’t bring anything with me.” I am pretty sure he meant that he didn’t have a shovel to dig out a buried treasure — pirates and their treasures are hot topic conversation among the preschool set. The nice woman at the Front Desk did not question him further. And no, you are not required to dig anything out on Four Seasons treasure hunt.
And then, it was time to go up to the room… For our first stay, we had a Premier Suite in the East Wing and our return, we had the Georgetown One-Bedroom Suite. Both are beautifully appointed in a classic green-and-white palette. Both suites have a separate bedroom and living area, which make them ideal for families. The Premier Suite offers 600 square-feet of space, and we really spread out and made ourselves at home. The Georgetown Suite is considerably larger — at 900 square-feet, it’s larger than most New York City one-bedroom apartments! With a foyer to greet you, a very spacious living area and a vast walk-in closet, the Georgetown Suite definitely has the wow factor. My son was completely won over by the Georgetown Suite, because there was a treehouse-themed tent set up for him (see the photo at top). The Georgetown Suite has one enormous bathroom, while the Premier Suite has powder room right when you walk in and then a large bathroom off the bedroom. We found it convenient to have these two bathroom areas, depending on when and where the kids were sleeping.
For both stays, we were greeted with personalized welcome platters of delicious cookies. We also enjoyed the same baby-friendly amenities that made staying in a hotel with a baby much easier. First of all, there was a lovely crib with adorable bedding. I must confess that I never let my son stay in a hotel crib. Mostly this was because he wasn’t a good sleeper and I wanted him to have something familiar (a Bjorn Travel Light crib that we lugged around everywhere), and a little bit because I was afraid of germs (even with clean bedding). But I’m a little (but not that much more) relaxed the second time around. Relaxed enough to allow my daughter to sleep in an immaculate crib at the Four Seasons — I’ve come a long way! There were also diapers provided, which was a nice gesture because on longer trips outside the country, I’ve come dangerously close to running out. But my favorite details were in the bathroom. There was a diaper disposal, which I’ve never seen in any hotel before. In the gorgeous marble bathroom, my eye went right to the diaper pail, in complete awe. We were also excited to see our kids’ names in the bathtub. Funny enough, my son was more excited by the froggy bath toys; taking a bath without toys is painful for a three-year-old.
Eating at the Four Seasons restaurants also enhanced our stay. On our first visit, our friends joined us for dinner at Bourbon Steak, which features dramatic cuisine by celeb chef Michael Mina. All meals start out with a trio of French Fries, as should all meals everywhere! I opted for Michael’s Lobster Pot Pie, which is easily the most decadent treatment of lobster I’ve ever enjoyed. At Bourbon Steak, we had a celeb spotting: Larry David. We’re guessing that he was in DC because it was back-to-school weekend at all of the colleges (and the hotel was buzzing). His older daughter goes to Emerson in Boston, but his younger daughter’s school has not been reported. Hmmm…
On our return visit, we decided to unwind with flights of wine at Eno, the hotel’s wine bar. We had the two kids with us, so we couldn’t unwind too much! We also indulged in the flight of bruschetta and a gourmet grilled cheese that my son turned down in favor of the flatbread pizza. That was our last night of vacation, so we were celebrating a successful first trip as a family of four. And, with the Four Seasons bookends, it was a very good first trip indeed.
Comped but Never Compromised: We were hosted by the Four Seasons Washington, DC, but I am free to write whatever I want.