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Best Hotel Bar in Washington, DC

Fellow 'Hounders, looking for your thoughts on the best hotel bar in Washington. I'll throw out Off the Record at the Hay Adams as a candidate. Those in the know, set me straight.

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  1. We really like hanging in the bar at the Willard Intercontinental. Great old school feel, first class appointments, yummy nut mix.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GroovinGourmet

      I second that! You should order a Mint Julep at the Round Robin for the historical experience!

    2. 1) Library at what was the Sheraton Carlton on SE corner of 16th and K.
      2) Le Bar at Hotel Sofitel on NW corner of 15th and I (?)
      3) Lounge at Four Seasons in Georgetown

      1. 1. The Hay Adams
        2. Firefly
        3. Urbana

        1. The Hay Adams. The bartender there, whose name escapes me, is wonderful.
          I also like the bar at the tabard inn.

          1. Firefly's almost cheatin' - to me, the bar / restaurant is so much more visible than the hotel!

            But that its a great choice. I will also submit Bar Rouge, in hotel Rouge at 16th near O NW.... a lot of people also like the other Kimpton properties (Topaz and a few others) but I like Rouge best.

            1. 1. Citronelle at the Latham in Georgetown
              2. CityZen at the Mandarin Oriental
              3. Degrees at the Ritz in Georgetown

              1 Reply
              1. re: round hound

                I second Degrees. I've been there a few times over the past few months and am really begining to think it's the best place to drink in Georgetown (especially for a more grown-up crowd). While the drinks are not cheap...they are good.

                In the winter time I am a fan of the Tabard Inn. And of course there is always the great view from the roof of the Hotel Washington.

                Bar Rouge is also a fun place with decent appetizers...I go there with my girlfriends and Book Club every once in awhile.

              2. The Mayflower has an extensive drink menu with with free food from 5-7. It offers way more seating than the Willard, which can fill up at peak times.

                1. I would second Le Bar at the Sofitel, as one of the best places in town for a quiet, intimate drink. I also like the cozy Tabard Inn (fireplace).

                  1. i can't believe nobody mentioned the Skye Terrace at Hotel Washington. Although it is frequently crowded, the drinks overpriced and occasionally sucky, the view is without peer, especially at sunset. Also like Mayflower, Madison and St Regis bars.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DCDOLL

                      Skye Terrace is it for me. View and location can't be beat. Hotel bars in general are overpriced morgues and, therefore, categorically suck. The Hay-Adams, Mayflower and the Willard all have character and history, as does Harry's Bar in the Hotel Harrington.

                    2. I second Bar Rouge at the Hotel Rouge, Dupont


                      I also like Degrees at the Ritz in Georgetown. The hotel has a great lobby with a huge fireplace that is excellent when it's cold outside.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bbw05

                        As of now (if I don't get lucky with pricelining), we'll be staying at the Hotel Rouge. What would the scene would be like at the bar on a Sun. evening before Veteran's Day around 9PM? It may be easier just to come back there to have a civilized drink and watch some football if it's conducive to that.

                        1. re: Joanie

                          We stayed there once and loved it, and the bar has some great cocktails (a lot of red choices of course). Great choice for the money in DC if you ask me (and a quick walk to Komi). I'm sure you know it is a funky, hip lounge kind of place - just putting that in here because a lot of the 'hotel bars' listed on this post are more old-school dignified places, so this is a completely different kind of atmosphere. To answer your question, I'm thinking 9PM on any Sunday (Vets Day weekend or not), is going to be uncrowded, perhaps dead. It's not really a football kind of bar either - I'm sure they had a TV someplace, but I didn't notice it.

                          Also, complimentary bloody mary's and cold pepperoni pizza in the lobby in the morning - what could be better than that!

                      2. I'll second the Mayflower. Good location, big bar and GREAT bartender (Sam).

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: hans

                          sam is the man. great magic tricks!

                          1. re: alkapal

                            Really interesting thread-it depends on what you are looking for. If it is a view of the city then the Hotel Washington's Sky Terrace along with the Marriott in Rosslyn on their top floor are both excellent. The bar at the Prime Rib is the most "interesting" bar. But the most "DCish" bar is the Robin's Nest at the Willard mentioned above. And the most romantic is not in the city but the almost totally dark trysting spot at the Old Angler's Inn near Potomac. It is also a great place if you are on a blind date and don't want anyone to see you. Actually, you probably won't be able to see each other, either.

                            1. re: Joe H

                              the bar at the prime rib is not "interesting" unless one is interested in observing high priced chiquitas at work. sky terrace is great -- i had my wedding reception there. the others i cannot comment on, as i have not been there.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Actually it IS interesting from the perspective of several of our duly elected representatives doing everything in their power to peruse younger constituents' interests. Of course their interests have nothing in common with what they were elected for but still it is a good show. For years the Prime Rib's bar has been a one of a kind. And, perhaps for many if not most, an embarassment. If my grandaughter ever showed up there I would...