24-Hour Room Service: Hotel Palomar, Washington DC

Arrive at the Palomar in the early evening and you might feel as though you've gate-crashed a private party: hotel guests mingle in the double-height lobby as complimentary drinks and canapés are dispensed at the daily "wine hour". This is an indication of the reception you will receive at this lively boutique hotel, which is located in one of the most accessible districts in the US capital.

Even when no refreshments are being proffered, the area is pleasant and welcoming. Comfortable chairs and sofas in creams and browns are clustered in small groups, and a long fireplace offers a cosy welcome on cooler days.

Most of the second floor is devoted to conference rooms; the majority of the guests here during the week are likely to be visiting Washington on business. But, intriguingly, one door leads to the Sculpting Room. This is not somewhere to take up a creative hobby, but a well-equipped fitness centre with an outdoor swimming pool next door.

You may well spot some real sculptures too – the hotel's focus is the visual arts, with original artworks adorning its walls. Having partnered with local institutions the Smithsonian and Phillips Collection, the Palomar also regularly hosts artists and speakers.


Hotel Palomar, 2121 P Street NW, Washington DC, US (001 202 448 1800; hotelpalomar-dc.com ). It's two blocks from Dupont Circle Metro station and handy for restaurants around the circle.

Time from international airport: around 35 minutes' drive from Dulles for a fare of about $50 (£36) in a taxi, and 45 minutes and $60 (£43) from Baltimore-Washington. Union Station is 15 minutes by taxi or five stops on the Metro.


The rooms are all attractively furnished, and thought has been given to comfort – so expect to find an armchair or chaise longue in each.

The standard rooms are small; upgrade to executive accommodation and the experience immediately seems more luxurious. But all the rooms have the same features, which include plush furnishings – faux fur throws, brightly coloured silk cushions, padded headboards, Frette linen – and a bedside iPod dock. Spa rooms also have a Jacuzzi bath.

The attention to detail is thoughtful: fill in the card on the desk and someone will check you in online for your flight, and print out a boarding pass.

Freebies: L'Occitane products in every room; items such as toothbrushes and sewing kits are available on request. Other necessities like deodorant can be purchased, as can the leopard-print robes, camisole and boxer shorts that hang enticingly in the wardrobe.

Keeping in touch: the rooms have flat-screen TVs, DVD and CD players and cordless phones, and there is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

The bottom line

Double rooms are available from $159 (£114). Breakfast isn't included, but if you reserve a room in advance and pay an extra dollar, you get a continental breakfast thrown in.

I'm not paying that: DC Lofty Convention Center at 1333 11th Street NW (001 202 506 7106; dclofty.com ) is near Logan Cicle Park. It is aimed primarily at long-stayers, but also offers stylish dorm rooms for shorter visits, which start at $43 (£31) including free Wi-Fi.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Suggested Topics
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments