Starting at $309 for a Luxury King.
The Graham offers sleek rooms in a convenient Georgetown location and a great rooftop bar at a reasonable price. Formerly the Monticello, the Graham reopened in May 2013 — under new owners and management, Independent Collection — after a nearly yearlong renovation. The 57-room, seven-floor boutique hotel, named after Alexander Graham Bell, one-time Washington resident, has a chic, funky ambience. The lobby resembles a boudoir with Art Deco-inspired and contemporary twists — a gramophone, a gold-hued chandelier and a gas fireplace.
On a quiet side street in the heart of Georgetown, the Graham is a two-minute walk from the waterfront, and just around the corner from Georgetown’s shopping and restaurant epicenter, the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street.
We booked weeks in advance, so our Luxury King Junior Suite was a bargain at $219 before taxes. (The usual starting rate for this type of room is $339.) Our spacious white bedroom had large windows offering lots of natural light but so-so views of a few trees, the backs of brick buildings and a bit of the C&O Canal. The plush bed featured feather pillows and a feather duvet.
It was big and bright, with two sinks, white marble-lined walls and floor, and a shower with Mexican mosaic tiles (but no bathtub). Toiletries were by Bulgari.
Breakfast, dinner and weekend brunch — but, oddly, no lunch — are served in a small basement restaurant with the feel of a smart drawing room (dark wood, pearl-colored leather bar seats, exposed brick) and a limited menu. It was out of orange juice and croissants when we arrived just before 10 a.m. “It’s Sunday,” our friendly water apologized. “I’m out of everything.” Room service is also available, and though our restaurant meal — fruit and a waffle — was tasty enough, there are better options within walking distance.
The real draw of the Graham, for local residents and guests alike, is the roof deck, with a full bar, serving housemade fruit-infused cocktails, and panoramic sunset views — from the Kennedy Center and top of the Washington Monument to the spires of Georgetown University. Turquoise canvas and brown wicker couches, which should be reserved, add to the playful South Beach vibe. (When the weather turns cold, there are space heaters, and blankets are also available.) The crowd is a reflection of Georgetown itself, a mix of preppy and international, and the low-key week-night atmosphere turns into a singles scene on weekends. When we returned from a late dinner Saturday, there was a line out the door, and a stylish clipboard-wielding hostess. (Hotel guests can bypass the line and head straight to the roof.) But not everything is as nice: The “gym” consists of a lone elliptical machine, an exercise bike and some free-weights in a windowless room off the lobby.
The Graham embodies the duality of Georgetown, a neighborhood that is both a raucous night-life haunt and home to genteel Washington society. Tranquil, modern rooms paired with a vibrant rooftop offer hotel guests equal parts serenity and excitement, not to mention a tucked-away spot from which to start exploring the city.
The Graham Hotel, 1075 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-337-0900; thegrahamgeorgetown.com
Article by New York Times