Dripping with history, the Hay-Adams Hotel was named in part for John Hay, who served as private assistant to Lincoln. The site of his former home was razed and redeveloped in 1928 as the Hay-Adams. Located in tony Lafayette Square, with views overlooking the White House, this is the place to stay if you can afford the price tag. Mid-week rooms in April will set you back in the $435; a deluxe suite with a view of St John’s Church clocks in at $2,200.
The Capital Hilton offers details an amateur historian will love: built during WWII, the presidential ballroom is cocooned by a six-foot-deep reinforced concrete wall designed to ensure the safety of visiting dignitaries; an elevator was custom built to deposit FDR’s car on the second floor. On a lighter note, Nixon, Agnew and Betty Ford all performed musical numbers at the Gridiron Club Dinner in the hotel. Rooms average around $400 per night, but look on their website to find last-minute reservations as low as $125 per night.
Set on Embassy Row near Dupont Circle, The Churchill Hotel opened in 1906 as a luxury apartment building. Designed in Beaux Arts style (based on the pics, that seems to be French for “uncomfortable chairs”), the hotel was renovated just a few years back. Pretty rooms with rates starting at $200 per night.
All assassination all the time? Visit the National Museum of Health and Medicine to see the bullet that killed Lincoln as well as some skull fragments; Ford’s Theatre, a restoration of the place where John Wilkes Booth shot the president in 1865; or the Library of Congress, which archived the contents of Lincoln’s pockets after he died, and where noted bibliophile Garfield roamed the aisles reading Jane Austen.
Bring a wreath to lay: Lincoln’s monument gets all the love, but Garfield has one, too.
Churchill Hotel image by NCinDC via Flickr Creative Commons