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Junior visits The Hay-Adams, Washington D.C: review

We went Stateside to discover what this luxurious base for has to offer your family on a trip to the historic US capital city

Posted: 9 October 2013
by Fiona McKim

The Hay-Adams hotel
A view worthy of a president
The Lafayette restaurant and its exquisite breadstick selection
Sweet dreams are made of this bedding
Never have we loved a lobby like this one
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fanciest bathroom of all?

The Hay-Adams says:

"Surrounded by unparalleled panoramic views of the White House, Lafayette Park and St. John's Church, The Hay-Adams is a historic hotel just moments away from some of the most significant destinations and famous monuments in the country. Originally designed and built in the 1920s, today our luxury hotel has the distinct presence of a private mansion where guests can retreat. With 145 guestrooms, including 21 suites, we pride ourselves on exceptional service in an intimate atmosphere."

Junior Credentials

Be it Jamie Oliver’s foodie brood or Brad and Ange’s nomadic clan, everybody’s got a secret family crush, and mine is most definitely the Obamas (the hope, the style, the power! – and that’s just Michelle’s arms) So, imagine my delight when upon checking into the Hay-Adams I discovered that America’s premier family used the hotel as a base before moving across the street to a slightly more famous residence. Oh yes, that’s another thing, staying here locates you a literal stone’s throw from the White House (although the SAS men staking out the President's roof deterred me from trialling my aim). This venerable institution has stood proud for nearly a century, and everything from the marble-floored, oak panelled lobby and truly effusive welcome lets you know from the second you step inside that your family has well and truly arrived.


If you can bear to leave behind the ambience in reception (more difficult than it sounds – they give you free iced tea and cookies) then you'll be pleased to find the rooms more than measure up. The accommodation is relatively boutique for such an imposing hotel, meaning each of the 145 rooms takes a luxurious ration of the hotel’s floorspace and many suites include living areas and conjoining rooms, perfect for families. The décor is supremely elegant yet comfortably child-friendly – think deep carpets, squishy armchairs and enormous beds – a bit like you’re staying with some rather grand, long-lost American relatives in the Upper East Side.

What to do

It may be a grand old dame of Washington’s most exclusive neighbourhood, but that doesn’t mean the Hay-Adams can’t show your family a good time while you're in town. The hotel’s Discover DC Family Package offers the chance to get to know the city's iconic landmarks in a fun and relaxed way. And let’s face it, from the Presidents' memorials to the infinite variety of the Smithsonian museums and glorious parks and water features, this is a city whose cup runneth over with attractions. Once you manage to extricate yourself from the comfort of your bed, the day begins with an American breakfast, which includes thoroughly addictive cornflake-crusted focaccia French toast and perfectly smoked salmon on eggs benedict for the grown ups. Then, each child is given his own activity backpack containing a special scavenger hunt around the sights, a disposable camera and some welcome sustenance in the form of a cookie, an apple and a bottle of water. The tourist centre of Washington is as flat as a breakfast pancake and easily navigable on foot, but as little legs can tire easily the Hay-Adams offers the option of hopping aboard a vintage-style trolley instead. Later, when you return to your room, a special keepsake surprise will await young guests, who will no doubt be all explored-out and ready to hit the hay, filled with the thrill of a day in D.C.

The details

  • Stay at The Hay-Adams with the exclusive three-night family package from $599 per room per night, including breakfast.
  • Guests will have the option of two double beds per room or interconnecting rooms. Children will be greeted with complimentary cupcakes upon arrive, and will receive a special activity backpack for their Washington adventure.
  • Visit or tel: (800) 853-6807

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