From the moment you alight from your car in the middle of the semi-circular
driveway and walk through the front portal of the Four Seasons you know that a
notable stay awaits you. After you have been shown to your room, the dilemma is
whether to unwind in the comfort of subtle surroundings or to settle in one of
the lobby's sitting areas just for the fun of watching some of the comings and
goings in this power town. Newsworthy faces like politicos, the media and heads
of state--we saw an African leader and his entourage in native costumes--pass
through the public spaces with regularity. And even if you don't see many
headline grabbers, the common areas and restaurants are great places to people
The hotel is a popular venue for weddings and other celebrations. On the
weekend we were there an entire family had traveled from Asia for the marriage
of their daughter. Friends of ours who live in suburban Maryland say that they
consider the Garden Terrace to be their hangout and stop by regularly when they
are in Washington or occasionally come into town just to have a drink at the
A week after you've left you won't recall what your room looked like, but
because of the quiet decor the experience will linger. The pillows are the
softest to be found anywhere. While we were inspectng the 12,400-square foot
tri-level health club a member volunteered that he considered the gym to be the
best in the city.
Not the least of the hotel's appeal is its location at the tranquil end of
historic Georgetown. Walk in one direction to see rows of 18th and 19th-century
Victorian and Federal townhouses. Turn another way and you come upon the
bustling scene of shops, restaurants and the three-story Georgetown Park mall.
Set on the C & O Canal, the Victorian style mall blends with the
When it is time to leave the Four Seasons the doorman waves his arm and blows
his whistle softly but with authority to summon a taxi. He has the presence of
a conductor giving a special performance. Even if you are not someone
recognizable, he knows that if you stayed at his hotel you are an important
Four Seasons Hotel, 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007.
Tel. 800-332-3442, 202-342-0444. Rates begin at $360. www.fourseasons.com
Too bad someone (possibly a not too experienced sous-chef) was heavy handed
with a salt shaker, sprinkling it on very juicy, tender swordfish and
portobello mushrooms and marring what would have otherwise been a fine meal.
Washingtonians and out-of-towners go to the Jockey Club to see and be seen, but
celebrities and atmosphere are usually not the only draws. Food is too.
Modeled on New York's famed "21" Club and now in its 37th year, the softly lit
equestrian decor includes English sporting art, oakwood floors and amber-hued
lanterns. The main dining room and wood-paneled Fairfax Bar look much like a
members only club. The restaurant is housed in The Luxury Collection Hotel,
formerly The Fairfax, which was once owned by the Gore family and was
considered highly exclusive.
Executive Chef Hidemasa Yamamoto describes his menu as Continental with
Pan-Asian influences. Because of the proximity to the Maryland shore, crab meat
is served as an appetizer, in a cream soup and in main courses. Patrons eat
15,000 crab cakes each year. Seasonal soft shell crabs are prepared in several
ways. Escargot with wild mushrooms and tuna tartar with quail egg and
vinaigrette are novel starters. For entrees a few fish specials are offered
nightly along with the chef's own takes on veal, pork, chicken, lamb and beef,
such as Black Angus steak with fried artichokes, spinach, sweet potato risotto,
ginger, garlic and shallot sauce. Other than the salty fish the kitchen
The Jockey Club, The Luxury Collection, 2100 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20008. Tel. 202-293-2100. Open daily, breakfast, lunch and
Has Disneyland come to Washington? Not exactly, but the Newseum's slogan,
"Where fun is a matter of fact," sums it up nicely. Washington's latest museum
is about news and uses some of the techniques that were pioneered in Anaheim.
Interactive computer stations allow visitors to try their hands at reporting,
editing and taking photographs for a newspaper or broadcasting for a television
station. Tapes of one's performance as a newscaster or anchor are for sale. A
film in the high definition video theater shows the great events of our era. A
time line of the history of news begins with the days when information was
transmitted by smoke signals and drum beats. To enjoy it all allow at least
three hours for a visit.
Newseum, 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209. Tel. 703-284-3544,
888-NEWSEUM. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.