A hotel of one’s own

Often editors edit stories they experience firsthand later, only to discover that the person, place or thing was even better than the writer described. Such was my experience of the Dupont Circle Hotel on a recent busman’s holiday in Washington D.C.

The Dupont had been recommended to me by our own Wanderer, Jeremy Wayne, who wrote about our nation’s capital in WAG’s March “Celebrating Design” issue. http://www.wagmag.com/?s=Dupont+Circle+Hotel Here’s what he said at the time:

“Dupont Circle Hotel, which to my mind has felt ever so slightly down-at-heel in recent years, is looking up. Minutes on foot from the White House, the Irish-owned Dupont Circle Hotel, part of the very well-run Doyle Collection (former Emerald Isle President Mary Robinson was checking out as I was arriving), boasts a terrific club lounge on the ninth floor with exceptional views across the city in all directions. This summer will see a complete renovation of the hotel’s restaurant, Café Dupont. Already a very social hub, I think this will be a relaunch to look for.”

And how, Jeremy. Nestled in historic Dupont Circle – think Embassy Row, townhouses, galleries and bookstores – the hotel boasts the most efficient use of Modernist design that I have seen in a long time, (and you know this ancient Greek girl is no fan of modern). Not a space was wasted in my room as a desk/work station flowed to a built-in chaise to a king-size bed to the bath.

And the food at Café Dupont – outstanding. I couldn’t resist the watermelon margarita and the watermelon, feta, arugula salad – so much so that I had them on each of two nights. My first night entrée was an asparagus risotto that was delightfully more asparagus than risotto, which the waiter wisely suggested I pair with grilled shrimp. The second night I had a grilled halibut dish that made excellent use of fennel, a pea purée, a carrot beurre blanc and a luscious grit cake.

The apple crumb tart – with a dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream – satisfied my sweet tooth, as did the breakfasts of blueberry pancakes.

What impressed me most, however, was the superb service. You expect this, of course, when you are a magazine editor. Everyone is on his toes around you. But I noticed the staff was attentive and informative but unobtrusive with all the guests I met or observed. The staff enabled me to move seamlessly from the National Geographic’s show on the ancient Greeks to the DC Center’s OutWrite Book Festival, where I presented my forthcoming novel, “The Penalty for Holding,” to the Folger Shakespeare Library’s exhibit on the Bard, Jane Austen and celebrity to Kramerbooks and Afterword Café and Second Story Books.

My chapeau off to the entire staff for making my first visit to the Dupont so memorable. It won’t be my last.

For more, visit https://www.doylecollection.com/hotels/the-dupont-circle-hotel and my blog at thegamesmenplay.com. – Georgette Gouveia

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