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Jul 27, 2011 03:12 PM

Good place for cocktail reception in DC

Does anyone know a nice place to have a cocktail style reception in DC? (for a wedding, approx 100 people).

We are looking for somewhere that we can reserve that will serve great hors'derves and drinks from 3pm-7pm (and will allow us to bring in music).

Thanks for any suggestions you have!

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  1. Hotel Palomar! We had our wedding there - 78 people (seated meal, though) and they definitely do cocktails and hours'derves VERY well. They are extremely accommodating and the service is excellent. Our wedding was also very under our "budget" (if that's DC budget terms). We got to pick 4 passed and 2 stations and I KNOW they have cocktail hour receptions.

    Also, we brought our own DJ but they have in-house music equipment if you want to hook up an iPod or the like. And they actually saved pieces of the passed food for us to eat since they knew we wouldn't be at most of the cocktail reception due to picture taking.

    We loved the Palomar - it was beautiful and far more special than I thought it would be (we were on a short time line and it worked). I would definitely check it out - just promise to report back!

    If you'd like to know more about our experience or what food we picked, just let me know.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Jeserf

      Thank you! Are you referring to the Palomar in Rosslyn or DC? Rosslyn is actually top on our list if we are able to do our ceremony at 3pm (we wont know until Sept of this year) and have a dinner reception instead of a cocktail. I heard the food was great!

      1. re: valiberal

        oh no, DC - the one in Dupont Circle...your topic asked for in DC. I can't speak to the food/service in Rosslyn, though I took their wedding RFP and asked the DC Palomar to match it (I got one more station and one more passed item than the original DC RFP because of that). We brought our own wedding cake because DC Palomar doesn't do that - not sure about Rosslyn. But I wanted more creative and flavor control over my cake anyway. They did provide us desserts. I can talk to you further about our experience and price, if you want, off the board.

        For references, the other places I checked out were: W hotel, Ritz at Pentagon City, Hotel George and CoCo Sala (they have galleries for receptions)

        1. re: Jeserf

          That's good to know they matched the Rosslyn menu- which I think is a little cheaper. Thanks for the suggestions! (and yes, definitely DC- Palomar Ross is the only place outside we're considering and that's only because our church is in Georgetown).

          Thanks again!

          1. re: Jeserf

            I have not been to a reception at the W BUT-- I was there while one was going on. While the view is great, the set up didn't seem to work very well. The elevators only hold something like 6 people, so it took forever for the party to get up there and everyone else was just waiting in the lounge. Plus, they didn't have a separate room (perhaps the size of the wedding would change this) so it felt like we were part of the wedding. Not very intimate at all!! The bride and groom looked happy though!

            1. re: DCLindsey

              the view is spectacular- from what i have found some of the hotels in dc..esp the popular ones like the W arent very receptive to my cocktail reception idea with their food/beverage minimums.

              1. re: valiberal

                The W, in general, isn't receptive to much. The set up is bad unless you're renting out the ENTIRE roof (as in, tourists and flip flops with BO might be shareing the roof area with your guests). They're also very rude to work with and generally unresponsive. This is the concensus on now just Chowhound but several wedding-related boards I utilized while planning my wedding.

                I had also minor contact with the Ritz/Four Seasons in DC and they are VERY easy to work with from my experience - they have nice all-inclusive options and were friendly. It was not the style of wedding we were going for, but for the setting and service, it was a good value.

                Palomar DC for 78 people, all inclusive, was cheaper that my 1994 Bat Mitzvah (adjusted for inflation). They also introduced us to our florist, who was amazing and insanely budget friendly, so that was a plus in a city full of uber expensive florists and photographers ($5500 for pictures? way.)

                1. re: valiberal

                  You should talk to the folks at the Newseum. The Source restaurant (Wolfgang Puck) caters the events there and the view is spectacular. I went to a wedding there in November. The cocktail portion was held outside (with heaters) and the seated dinner was inside. But there are a few rooms up there so I'm sure you could figure it out to fit your needs. The view is out of this world!

          2. re: Jeserf

            We had our reception there 5 years ago Sept. I couldn't have been more pleased with the hotel and staff! Got lots of compliments from people saying best reception ever because it was cocktail style without all the hoo haa.

          3. I would check out the Hotel Palomar. Urbana does all the catering for their events and they would do a great job with something like this.

            You might also be able to hold it on the top floor of Darlington House---a homey, chic spot to hold an event like this.

            Finally the new Watershed could probably do something like this. Their mixologist, Simo is amazing and could probably work with you to come up with a great signature cocktail. Even better if you can throw it in their amazing outdoor space.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Elyssa

              Thanks for all the great suggestions!