A hotel in Washington, DC that feels like home

The Royal Sonesta Washington, DC is conveniently located on P Street NW (between 21st and 22nd Streets), just a few blocks from Dupont Circle. Many locals fondly remember the property from its previous incarnation as the Kimpton Hotel Palomar.

Ideal setting

The Royal Sonesta’s location is especially attractive to travelers heading to Washington, DC, whether for business or pleasure.

The hotel is located in a busy, residential neighborhood whose streets aren’t likely to empty when the workday (or workweek) is over. That’s because the blocks around the hotel are filled with a mix of high-rise apartments and historic homes, whose residents include families, couples and bachelors, a mosaic that reflects the city’s culture and diversity.

The streets right outside the hotel resemble a virtual food court. They are filled with dozens of cozy restaurants, bars and cafes. Some restaurants that stand out include Al Tiramisu (specializing in authentic Italian dishes from the Basilicata region), Duck Duck Goose (a small plate, Parisian-style brasserie), Del Sur Cafe (with food from many South American countries) and Emissary , a cozy coffee bar and neighborhood hangout.

Nearby are unique boutiques, bookstores (new and used), bakeries, bagels, markets, pharmacies and other small businesses.

The walkable streets emanating from Dupont Circle are home to small museums, art galleries, and a number of foreign embassies housed in stately mansions in a range of architectural styles, called Embassy Row. Towards the end of the 19th century, these buildings housed some of Washington’s power brokers.

Woodrow Wilson spent a few years living in the revival-style Woodrow Wilson House, which is now open to the public, the only Presidential Museum in DC The Heurich House Museum (also called the Brewmaster’s Castle) is a well-preserved Victorian mansion that was the home of a German immigrant who ran the city’s longest-running brewery.

After dark, the Dupont Circle area offers some nightlife at various bars. A section of 17th Street is known for its gay and lesbian-owned businesses and clubs.

And, of course, located just north of the city center, the hotel offers guests easy access to the area’s iconic tourist destinations. Specifically, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House, Capital One Arena, the 11 Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall, the National Zoo, and the Kennedy Center – just a 15-minute subway ride from Dupont Circle Metro Station, which is a short walk from the hotel.

A sense of residence

It’s no surprise that the Royal Sonesta feels like a residence, because it actually was a residence. Even after its conversion, the 335 rooms and public spaces still retain a familiar, homely feel.

Originally built as an apartment building, the structure was converted into a hotel in the 1960s, changing hands and undergoing facelifts several times since then. In 2019, it was rebranded as a Sonesta property.

Completely renovated in 2016, the rooms and suites are furnished with modern decor, in soft blue and beige tones with accents of bright orange and lemon. Geometric shapes featured in artwork and sculptures add a bit of whimsy. Some rooms have jetted tubs, fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The right-sized lobby features comfortable seating around a marble fireplace, an environment conducive to complimentary wine and informal conversation from 5-6pm daily. The decor is contemporary with rich walnut paneling featuring modern art.

Coffee and tea are available every morning at no extra charge.

Affordable luxury

The Royal Sonesta Washington, DC has 14 room categories. At a modest fee compared to conventional hotel room rates, guests can choose apartment-like rooms that are generously sized at over 500 square feet. The four suite categories are particularly spacious yet economical, some with separate living areas.

“Enhance” packages are available at time of booking which include complimentary valet parking (which is otherwise priced with the hotel’s 15% DC parking tax added to the cost) and full breakfast at Certo! restaurant, located on the ground floor of the hotel. The hotel offers a charging station for electric vehicles.

As reported by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher in Forbes a year ago, Sonesta International Hotels has become a quiet giant in the hotel industry and continues to grow exponentially. A small family-owned hotel chain before the pandemic with only three branded properties, the company now has about 280 full-service and extended-stay properties in eight countries.

The Sonesta brand includes Royal Sonesta, Sonesta Hotel & Resorts, Sonesta ES Suites, Sonesta Posada del Inca and the Sonesta Cruise Collection. At the top of the pack, Royal Sonesta properties promise authentic, local experiences in some of the most desirable travel locations around the world.

The brand’s rewards program, the Sonesta Travel Pass, allows guests to access points, benefits and promotions at various brand properties.

Friendly service

Guests are greeted warmly when they arrive at the Royal Sonesta Washington DC, and the staff is eager to be helpful throughout their stay, making suggestions of what to see and do based on their local knowledge and connections.

At a time when the hotel industry is struggling to recover from low occupancy and staff shortages created by the pandemic, the Royal Sonesta staff still manages to maintain an upbeat attitude of contentment that makes guests feel right at home.

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