Washington DC hosts rich politicians, lobbyists and foreign dignitaries, so it has to have its draws for those with plenty of money to splash about. This city keeps its luxuries hidden, as its important visitors usually revel in discretion, but for those who know where to look, there is a lot of luxury hiding that’s just waiting to be enjoyed.
For those looking for something unique, keep in mind that Washington DC is one of only two places that print currency in the United States. The gift shop in the Bureau of Engraving & Printing has a whole bunch of money-themed souvenirs, like items stuffed with shredded money, specially minted coins and other interesting items for those than enjoy money.
Aside from souvenirs, there is one thing that the city of Washington DC loves to sell – and that’s fashion. The Georgetown district is the place to head to shop in the city. The area hosts everything from Macy's to obscure labels that are just barely on their feet. F
Fashionistas traipse through the international outposts and local boutiques that line the bustling M Street and Wisconsin Avenue. Visitors should hit the offbeat British import of AllSaints Spitalfields, the vintage Annie Creamcheese, or the trendy Madwell for some of the hottest fashion in the city.
The Washington Ballet was originally created as a school in 1954, but since becoming a professional company in 1976, it has grown into one of the pre-eminent ballet organizations in the country.
They have earned their accolades by presenting bold works by talented choreographers from around the world. Their first artist-in-residence, Choo-San Goh saw this company emerge as a powerhouse, while their repertoire has been expanded by pieces from Chistopher Wheeldon, Mark Morris and Twyla Tharp.
The current season runs from September through to May and they perform at theatres throughout the city, including the Kennedy Center, THEARC Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre at Sydney Harman Hall.
The Kennedy Center also hosts one the country's premier opera companies - The Washington National Opera.
Bliss provides the hippest spa experience in DC. This establishment has drawn in fans with its modern decor, but the clients continue coming back for the charming product line and luxe nail lounge. The interior looks like someone spilled contemporary art everywhere. It is vibrant in its bold colours, but still soothing - as a spa interior should be. Visitors can enjoy private steams, saunas and soaks in the tinted glass facilities, or revel in signature treatments like ‘Ginger Rubs’, ‘Hangover Herbies’ or ‘Triple Oxygen’ treatments.
For those that want a more traditional day at the spa, the Nectar Skin Bar offers just that. This spa is located in upper Georgetown and oozes wall-to-wall glamour. Inside visitors will find crystal chandeliers, decorated ceilings and soothing lavender-papered walls. Visitors can partake in a variety of beauty services, including the ‘LashDip’ mascara treatment, which provides long, dark and luscious lashes for up to six weeks. However, their full range of exotic massages, oxygen-infused facial treatments and sauna facilities are not to be missed either.
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Although new to the city, Le Diplomate has received an astounding welcome from residents. Even the award-winning chef and owner, Stephen Starr, was surprised by his restaurant's popularity when he opened its doors in 2013. The restaurant is a near-perfect re-creation of a Parisian-style bistro. The only thing missing is a view of the Eiffel Tower on the horizon, but the Washington Monument will have to do. With hand-stuffed ravioli, succulent roast chicken and all manner of neatly arranged, delicately cooked French dishes paired along with American classics done with French flair, it is easy to see why this has become a fast favourite.
Chef Nora Pouillon and her namesake restaurant Nora are not only a DC institution - they are both rather famous. Pouillon pioneered the sustainable food revolution when her restaurant became the first certified organic restaurant in the United States. Through the use of seasonal ingredients, her food is not only fresh and flavourful, but sustainable. The entrees, such as grass-fed short ribs and seared salmon with chard, place emphasis on well-balanced, earthy ingredients. Vegetarians get reduced prices at the restaurant, so while meat eaters can get their fix, green eaters can eat for cheap.
Every inch of the 1923 beaux-arts building of the Jefferson Hotel oozes elegance. That is made apparent when guests are ushered into the exquisite marble lobby by a top hat-clad doorman. It hosts intimate seating area instead of a traditional check-in counter, a beautiful glass atrium in the entry way and an army of butlers. The guest rooms host plush linens, Italian marble bathrooms complete with in-bathroom televisions and a panel to hail housekeeping.
President Obama and his family chose the Hay-Adams Hotel to serve as their temporary residence before they were able to move into that big White House. The hotel is an Italian Renaissance landmark and sits in the shadow of the White House. If there is one thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on, it is that the Hay-Adams Hotel provides a fine stay. It hosts classic decor, but it is the hotel’s impeccable service that has drawn not only President Obama, but Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart over the years.