You know that feeling when you are reunited with a longtime friend? That’s the feeling we had when we stepped into Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill for a family winter holiday getaway. We first visited this hotel last year and were impressed with its fantastic location in Washington, D.C., loved the size of the suites, and the dining was delicious. So when we decided we wanted to see the monuments and visit a few of the Smithsonian museums this holiday season, we knew exactly where we wanted to stay.
The entrance is on street level which overlooks the entire lobby area below. Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill has always had that glamorous and comfortable feel...but now it's even better! Just a few months ago, the lobby, restaurant and lounge went through a fresh renovation and they did a terrific job.
Wait until you see the new Jumbotron over the bar in Article One Lounge...with 16 screens connected to make four separate video screens (or even one large one) sports, news and other events can be seen throughout the lounge. I can imagine that watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve on the Jumbotron will make you feel like you are practically there!
The golden hues and over-sized chairs in the lounge area are SO inviting. As I was enjoying my personal favorite activity of people watching, I saw guests enjoying cocktails and food, reading a book, doing a jigsaw puzzle and playing card games. This is the perfect spot to take in the vibe of the hotel.
For planning our itinerary, the hotel was a great resource. When we first checked in, we were warmly greeted by Carlos Saldivar, Front Desk Manager, and quickly learned that he is extremely knowledgeable on the activities and history of Washington, D.C. He's fabulous in pointing you in the right direction, plus he makes check-in and check-out a breeze.
One of my best tips when planning travel is to be flexible. During this trip, I had to listen to my own advice. Only days before our arrival, the United States Government imposed a shutdown that included the Department of the Interior. As the Smithsonian is governed by the Interior, we were a bit nervous if we would be able to take full advantage of our visit. Luckily, lots of Washington, D.C. is still open and the Smithsonian museums secured enough funding to remain open through January 1, 2019. Even if you are visiting after this date and the government is still closed, there is still plenty to explore.
Fun attractions within walking distance
National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History has always been one of my favorites. From the United States of America's first flag to the First Ladies' gowns, you'll find everything on American history and culture in between. Learn about the History of Food and see Julia Child's Kitchen. It had to be custom built with high counter tops since she was a towering 6 feet 3 inches tall. Then walk through the History of Transportation from trains to boats to automobiles.
Currently, the National Museum of American History has a Superheroes display that recently opened in November 2018. It's a fun way to reminisce with comic books, superhero costumes, and see the Batmobile driven by popular superhero Batman.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
It opened in September 2016 and is still one of the most popular museums in Washington, D.C. As in every Smithsonian museum entrance is free, but it can get crowded. To guarantee admission, reserve a Timed Entry Pass ahead of time.
Since we are huge basketball fans, we headed directly to the Sports exhibit on the 3rd floor. Here you can see LeBron James' Equality sneakers along with a Reebok “Shaq Attaq” right foot sneaker, game-worn by Shaquille O'Neal.
Historic Buildings and Monuments
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill is unbelievably convenient to many attractions in Washington, D.C. That means that when you are tired and hungry, you can get back to your home-away-from-home in no time.
Of course, we couldn't wait to eat! I've heard so much about the seasonal menu at Article One - American Grill and we were excited to try it. They have transformed the restaurant beautifully from our last visit. The jewel tone colors and unique art surrounding the dining area are reminiscent of the Washington, D.C. theme and very welcoming.
We were seated in a secluded area and it was perfect. They have a few intimate spots that can be used to extend the restaurant seating area or can be closed off for private functions.
We were thrilled when Executive Sous Chef Peter Schafer personally delivered the appetizers to our table. Starting with creative starters of Deviled Eggs and Fried Rock Shrimp & Calamari with Old Bay Mayo, we chatted with him as we devoured these bites. (Look for the Jalapeño Chips hidden between the shrimp and calamari - they are a delicious surprise!) He is truly passionate about the food he serves, along with being in Washington, D.C. If you dine here, don't be surprised if you see him coming to your table. He enjoys taking quick breaks from the kitchen to greet guests and he's a pleasure to meet.
One thing about our family is that we have a variety of tastes. Although from the pickiest eater to the most gourmet, everyone found what they loved on the menu. We did make a few changes and substitutions with our selections, but everything was noted and arrived just the way we ordered. We also really appreciated the hearty sized portions after walking and sightseeing all day.
We are never ones to miss dessert!
And the accommodations! I highly recommend a Capitol Suite. It's spacious with a bright corner window view, tons of storage, and enough seating for an entire family. This was our second stay in this hotel and we are always surprised how quiet the rooms are even though it's in a prime location of the city.
When staying in a suite, everyone will be looking forward to getting back to the room. Reserve a premium Capitol Suite for your visit and this is what you will enjoy:
When traveling with your family, this suite has a very comfortable sofa (even teenager approved!) A roll-away bed or crib is available upon request if you want to add even more sleeping room to the living area.
Through a private parlor area, a Capitol Suite can also connect to a separate room with 2 Double Beds. I am truly in love with their Hyatt Grand Beds™ and could sleep in one every night. They are SO comfortable.
Breakfast at Article One - American Grill was as good as I remembered it. It's a great start to the morning.
If you don't have the time for a sit-down breakfast, room service is available or stop in the market for a delicious pastry and a wide assortment of drinks. You can also pick up a bottle of wine to enjoy in the room and browse for local souvenirs at the same time.
The attention to detail is apparent at Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. In any of the dining venues, you might see Katherine (Katie) Meyers, Assistant Operations Manager. She works closely with the culinary team and since we love to eat our way around a hotel, we really enjoyed meeting her.
A few of my favorite things!
Any time of year that you visit Washington, D.C. is magical, although I think this winter trip to Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill was one of my favorites. I'm already researching our next visit!
If you are planning a visit to Washington, D.C. this winter, Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill is running some fantastic specials. Take a look here!
Disclaimer: I was graciously hosted by Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill for accommodations, including parking and breakfast, during our stay. As always, all opinions are completely my own based on our experiences.
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Alyson (My Virtual Vacations)
12/30/2018 04:57:39 pm
We loved this suite! It's now one of our favorites. There is so much room and it's designed really well, along with so many amenities. Let me know when you are visiting Washington, D.C.!
Alyson (My Virtual Vacations)
1/8/2019 08:44:03 pm
Thanks so much for reading, Dana! I love that idea to visit Washington, D.C. during cherry blossom time. Hyatt Regency Washington has gorgeous street views and I bet it’s beautiful! Now you are giving me ideas! 😀
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Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic young men. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels while enjoying upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, we still need family friendly and comfortable! When we are not traveling, I enjoy dining out locally, as well as cooking and baking in my own kitchen.
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