Discover the 10 best boutique hotels in Washington DC offering special amenities and comforts in beautiful, historic locations in the capital with close proximity to the most popular attractions and neighborhoods.
It’s all here in our guide to the more intimate side of DC lodging!
Why You Should Visit Washington DC in 2023
With everything from historic landmarks and museums to amazing shopping, dining, and entertainment, there’s no place in the US quite like the capital, Washington DC.
DC’s landmarks and sightseeing opportunities are unmatched in the US, offering so much to see and do that you’ll have trouble deciding what to squeeze onto your itinerary.
Historic buildings, from the White House to the U.S. Capitol, are a must to see while you’re here. Memorials, monuments, and landmarks are plentiful.
The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, National Archives, and Botanic Gardens are always popular attractions.
Museums are everywhere in DC, perfect for learning about the country’s history and seeing the remarkable advancements of mankind through the ages.
With 19 Smithsonian museums, including the Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History, adults and kids alike are in for a treat.
Solemn memorials can be found at places like the Holocaust Memorial Museum and Arlington National Cemetery, which are well worth a visit and can spark important conversations.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, there are restaurants serving up any type of cuisine you can think of in the city.
Enjoy a variety of dishes in DC, from Ethiopian fried chicken sandwiches to oysters on the half-shell and greasy cheeseburgers that taste best after 1:00am.
Bars and nightlife are plentiful in DC, with many of the best options located on the colorful U-Street Corridor where the party rarely stops.
Shopping in the capital is a hit for lovers of vintage and antiques to high-end luxury goods and fashion.
Hit the eclectic antique shops in the Book Hill area of Georgetown, or head straight to CityCenter DC for all your Gucci, Louboutin, and Chanel needs.
Whether you’re thinking of visiting DC as a learning opportunity or a chance to cut loose, shop designer stores, and taste the international flavors found here, there’s a lot to look forward to with so many things to do in DC.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Washington DC and want a homey warmth that stands apart from nationwide hotel chains, you’ve got to stay at one of the best boutique hotels in Washington DC.
That’s what we’ll look at next!
The 10 Best Boutique Hotels in Washington DC
So wait – what exactly is a boutique hotel? Boutique hotels typically have 100 or fewer rooms (though there are exceptions) and feel more residential than commercial.
Most boutique hotels are independently owned or part of a small chain of boutique hotels. They’re known for excellent locations with close proximity to popular attractions and areas of a city.
In DC, the best boutique hotels are near monuments, metro stations, and desirable neighborhoods like Georgetown. You’ll find it easy to get to the best attractions and explore the city with any of these hotels as your home base!
Take a look at the 10 best boutique hotels in Washington DC to start planning your next stay somewhere special!
- Riggs Washington DC
- Dupont Circle Hotel
- CitizenM Washington DC Capitol
- The Poppy Georgetown Guesthouse and Gardens
- Eaton DC
- The Graham Georgetown
- The LINE Hotel DC
- Henley Park Hotel
- State Plaza Hotel
- The Normandy Hotel
With the highest overall guest and location rating of any boutique hotel in Washington DC, the 5-star Riggs Washington DC takes the top spot on our list and consistently impresses guests.
This luxurious 1800s hotel was once a bank – the ‘Bank of Presidents’, actually – but its Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style is so fitting for its current setup.
Massive marble columns and arch windows, oak flooring in the rooms, antique furnishings, and incredible, colorful artwork entertain the eye when you walk through this luxe space.
Signature suites named for past First Ladies are decked out with historic charm and upgraded comfort, but even the standard rooms are sure to impress.
Cafe Riggs is notable for its all-day cuisine and beverage offerings (along with massive marble columns and metal arches), while the Silver Lyan bar sits underground for swanky, secluded vibes.
Head to the rooftop to enjoy drinks and food at the Rooftop at Riggs, where you’ll fall in love with the amazing views of the city as you sit high above it all.
You won’t find another hotel in the dining-hotspot Dupont Circle neighborhood, but even if there were competition, the Dupont Circle Hotel would still come out on top.
You’ll land among all the action with the city’s best nightlife, restaurants, and cafes lining the streets of Dupont Circle around you. At the hotel, modern aesthetics and functionality lead the design.
If you’re here for a work trip, you’ll really appreciate the comfy chairs and full-sized desk set up in your room. An attached private marble bathroom and stocked minibar await you.
If you’ll be splurging on a Level Nine room (take the private elevator to get here), you can look forward to extra-luxurious, sprawling suites with private balconies, living rooms, and fireplaces.
Check out the onsite restaurant, The Pembroke, for modern French-American cuisine conveniently located inside the hotel. Stroll the neighborhood to find tons of other dining and entertainment options!
You’re less than 2 miles from the National Mall and JFK Center for Performing Arts and steps from some of the city’s top-rated eateries and cafes at the Dupont Circle Hotel.
CitizenM Washington DC Capitol Hotel stands out with its edgy and funky interior along with top-rated reviews from guests on everything from the helpful staff to the rooftop bar.
CitizenM has a brand vision of creating hotels that exude affordable luxury, and the Washington DC Capitol location really takes the cake. All rooms are the same here, offering an XL king sized bed and private bathroom.
You can control everything in your room – the lighting, AC, blackout blinds, and TV – with the room’s iPad, or download the CitizenM app on your phone to do it all from there.
Powerful rain showerheads adorn every bathroom here and we can’t think of a better way to rinse off the day or jettison jet lag.
Wake up to a free breakfast buffet or grab and go options to start your day. The onsite restaurant, canteenM, serves up international cuisine where there’s a flavor for every palate.
Head out to explore the city, where you’ll find attractions like the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the National Mall within walking distance.
The CloudM rooftop bar is a favorite spot for weary travelers and those looking to let loose after a long day of sightseeing around DC. Afterward, sink into the comically huge and comfy XL king beds the hotel is known for!
The Poppy Georgetown Guesthouse and Gardens offers an excellent, central location in the most popular area of the city with tons of dining and shopping options just feet from the doors.
This boutique hotel is owned and proudly managed by locals and offers world-class service with a level of comfort and warmth all guests will appreciate.
Quaint and homey with an eclectic charm, this townhouse-turned-hotel is all about the great location in Georgetown but focuses on packing a lot of amenities into the small space.
Enjoy free breakfast, refreshments all day in the parlor, and a small bar where you can grab a drink on your way out or into the hotel. Head outside to see what makes this hotel really special!
A garden in the back provides the perfect spot to lounge and relax under the trees and among the gorgeous flora. Cafe tables, Adirondack chairs, and low lighting make it a great evening spot.
You’re just steps from all Georgetown has to offer and about 2 miles away from iconic landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial at The Poppy Guesthouse and Gardens.
Eaton DC is exactly what comes to mind when you picture a boutique hotel in the heart of DC. Less than a mile from the White House, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, you’ll be right among the action at Eaton.
This luxury boutique establishment has a warm and eclectic vibe, filled with thought-provoking artwork and conversation-starting furnishings in the hip lobby, rooftop lounge, and wellness center.
The rooms at Eaton DC are worth writing home about, feeling homey and livable yet refined without cookie-cutter hotel vibes. The floor-to-ceiling windows and walk-in showers are divine!
Take a yoga class, raid your room’s minibar filled with local goodies, or head to the featured restaurant – Michele’s – for a delectable French-American meal and dessert.
On-site bars, a cafe serving up quality third-wave coffee and Ayurvedic wellness drinks, a small theater, and a radio station all make Eaton stand apart as a top boutique hotel.
For a taste of luxury in the heart of the popular and historic Georgetown neighborhood, head to The Graham Georgetown. Yes, it’s one of the best boutique hotels in Washington DC. But we’d say it’s one of the best lodging options in the city overall!
Located at the intersection of waterfront M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, this stunning hotel opened in 1962 boasts The Observatory, a rooftop lounge and bar, The Alex, an old-school speakeasy bar and restaurant, a fitness center, and a business center.
With 57 guest rooms in the hotel, the vibe is exclusive and warm with historic charm dashed with modern updates and comforts. The Graham Georgetown is listed as one of the best Historic Hotels of America.
In your room, sink into soft and luxurious bedding and slip into a complimentary bath robe and slippers after a shower or refreshing soak in the tub.
When you stay at The Graham Georgetown, you’re never far from the action. Georgetown Waterfront Park, Georgetown University, and the White House and National Mall are all close by.
Even if you don’t wander far, The Alex restaurant and speakeasy onsite will make sure your dining and beverage options don’t suffer. It’s open everyday for breakfast and dinner.
Come stay in a neoclassical church revived with modern bohemian style and amenities every guest will savor and appreciate at The LINE Hotel DC.
The beauty and design of this century-old hotel will impress even the most particular guest!
Look around and you’ll find massive copper doors, brass details everywhere, soaring vaulted ceilings, and interesting art pieces and décor among cushiony leather chairs, patterned rugs, and herringbone wood floors that pay homage to the space’s history.
Every room has its own private bathroom and seating area and each one is designed to look and feel like a place you could call home. Head to the hotel’s restaurant – No Goodbyes – that’s really a cafe, bar, and restaurant rolled into one.
Like Eaton DC, The LINE has its own radio broadcast station that operates from the rooftop (head here for spectacular views of the Washington National Cathedral and Monument).
The White House is just over 2 miles away, so you’ll be centrally located to all DC’s hotspots and right in the heart of great dining and entertainment options when you stay at The LINE.
When you want to be near everything, consider Henley Park Hotel. It’s one of the best boutique hotels in Washington DC and very close to the Mount Vernon Metro Station for convenience.
The architectural style (Tudor Revivalism, in case you wondered) is the first thing that will impress you about this hotel, but once inside, the fun really begins.
European influences guide the décor of the Henley Park Hotel, with intricately detailed ceilings and stained glass windows, wooden parquet and brick paver flooring, and striking gargoyle faces carved in at the entrance.
Each room has a private bathroom with bath robes, the option for in-room spa services, and views of the courtyard, city skyline, or gardens.
You can check out the fitness center, business center, and take advantage of laundry services if you’re staying for a few days.
The Tavern at Henley Park Hotel is the onsite restaurant, open for breakfast and dinner so you can grab a delicious meal in the convenience of your own hotel.
The State Plaza Hotel stands out as one of the best boutique hotels in Washington DC thanks to its great location in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, comfortable and cozy rooms, onsite restaurant, and Art Deco vibes.
You’ll be greeted by a shady, tree-lined street when you approach the hotel. Come inside to see how the recent renovations introduce modern comfort and design to the geometric angles and bold Art Deco style.
Every room is intended for your comfort and to feel like home away from home. You’ll find a dressing area, kitchenette, desk, safe, and private bathroom in each room.
A terrace that overlooks the city and garden make excellent places to lounge and meet other guests in the evenings. Enjoy happy hour each day at 5pm!
Check out the fitness and business centers if you’re staying for a few days. You don’t want to miss a meal at the onsite Garden Cafe, which serves up delicious American cuisine!
Around half a mile from attractions like the Lincoln Memorial and Korean War Veterans Memorial and even closer to The Foggy Bottom – GWU Metro Station, it’s easy to get across the city from this boutique hotel.
Styled with a modern approach to refined luxury in a cozy, quiet space, The Normandy Hotel is easily one of the best boutique hotels in all of DC.
There are just 75 rooms in this surprisingly small space, but the Normandy makes the most of every square foot with amenities travelers need and no unnecessary extras.
What you’ll love most about The Normandy Hotel is your room, furnished for comfort and style. Choose from double, queen, or king beds with upgrades like private patios and bathtubs.
The classic luxury lobby – complete with a fireplace, chess board, and library – is a wonderful place to spend downtime on your trip.
The location is relatively quiet for DC, but you’ll still be near the action with the National Mall just 2 miles away and the bars, restaurants, and embassies of the Dupont Circle neighborhood are a 10-minute walk away.
Enjoy the wine and cheese hour at 5pm daily along with complimentary chocolate chip cookies (say that 5 times fast). Guests love that each room has its own Nespresso machine for on-demand coffee!
Things to Consider
What else should you know to plan the best possible trip to DC? Here are a few tips to enjoy the city like a seasoned traveler:
- Book a guided tour. Trolley, walking, car, and bus tours make it much easier to see the main sights and landmarks in DC if you have limited time. You can even book a night tour for a different experience and less-crowded conditions!
- Consider yourself safe, but stay alert. DC is very safe to visit, but use caution no matter where you travel and stay alert with your belongings close to you. The areas with heavy tourist traffic are generally very safe, as are the federal buildings and museums. It’s best to steer clear of protests and demonstrations.
- Take advantage of the public transportation. DC’s public transit system is one of the busiest and most extensive in the country. It’s so easy to get around when you use the metro! Grab a SmarTrip pass at a vending machine at any metro station, buy online, or go with a virtual card on your phone. You’ll need a pass for riders ages 5+. They cost $10 each and come with $8 of preloaded credit.
- Stay in the best areas. Georgetown, Capitol Hill, Foggy Bottom, and Dupont Circle are all desirable neighborhoods to stay in while you’re in DC. Many of the best boutique hotels in Washington DC are in these neighborhoods. They’re also packed with attractions, great dining, and plenty of shopping and entertainment options!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you plan on visiting any of the best boutique hotels in Washington DC, take a look at these frequently asked questions to learn more.
What is the difference between a boutique hotel and 5 star hotel?
Boutique hotels can be 5-star hotels, but they aren't always. Boutique refers to the size and style of the hotel, while 5-star refers to the level of luxury and amenities.
A boutique hotel is generally on the smaller side (less than 100 rooms), not part of a nationwide chain of hotels, and offers a personalized guest experience with robust artwork, more eclectic decor than most hotels, and hints of local influence.
On the other hand, 5-star hotels are known for offering the highest class of comfort, luxury, and personalized service for guests. Premium onsite dining and bars, room service, spas, and upgraded bathrooms with luxury suites are hallmarks of 5-star hotels.
What is special about boutique hotels?
Boutique hotels are the best way to visit a new city and get to know its culture and vibe in a personal, more intimate setting. Boutique hotels are like a cross between a quaint bed and breakfast and a luxury, modern hotel.
You can usually expect special touches, like locally sourced ingredients and artwork, eclectic decor, and shared lounge areas in these hotels that generally have a smaller footprint and sit in the heart of popular tourist areas.
What is the difference between a resort and boutique resort?
A boutique resort is geared toward offering a more upscale, personalized experience for guests and offer much more than just a place to sleep. Both boutique and traditional resorts offer onsite dining, activities, and amenities.
With local influences in the design and decor, excellent food onsite, and communal gatherings like daily happy hour, boutique resorts and hotels are more specialized and intimate than traditional resorts.
Why do people go to boutique hotels?
People go to boutique hotels for the best overall hotel experience in a given city. Boutique hotels offer a more localized and personalized way to spend time in a city with a focus on local flavors, art, and culture apparent within the space.
Most people who stay in boutique hotels are looking for an intimate, quiet, and authentic lodging experience in a new city.
Are boutique hotels more expensive?
Boutique hotels are generally priced in line with other upscale hotels in a particular area, and you might find that standard rooms and luxury suites in boutique hotels are priced more affordably than similar rooms at chain hotels.
You can find boutique hotels priced to fit your budget, from under $100/night to the most high-end options at $500+/night.
Which Boutique Hotel in Washington DC Will You Choose?
We’ve shown you a list of the 10 best boutique hotels in Washington DC, from the 5-star Riggs Washington DC to the cozy-yet-luxurious Normandy Hotel.
Each one offers an incredible experience and ranks as one of the best places to stay in our nation’s capital.
With tons of amenities, eclectic and locally-inspired décor, and unique dining and drink offerings at each boutique hotel on our list, you’ll be able to experience the best DC has to offer while staying right in the heart of the city.
If you’re planning a trip to Washington DC anytime soon, you owe it to yourself – and your fellow travelers – to book a room at any of these uniquely homey and luxury spaces. Happy travels!