Faizan and I love to travel every chance we get – which definitely includes during the holiday season. In 2016, we went to Vegas and did a road trip to Grand Canyon and San Fran. In 2017, we made our way to Hawaii for a tropical getaway. In 2018, we chose to stay home with family and loved every minute of it. This holiday season, we wanted a balance of travel and family time, so we decided it would have to be a quick getaway to somewhere relatively close. The most common ideas that always pop up are Montreal, New York, or Chicago for a road trip. But it’s all been done before! We were trying to find a place we haven’t been so we could explore a new spot this time. We ended up choosing Washington – although Faizan had been with his brother, it was going to be all new for me and I knew I was in for a treat since I would have a personal tour guide the whole time 😉
We were going to drive from Toronto but ended up finding super cheap flights from Porter Airlines! Win win! Although this meant we wouldn’t have a car in the city, we had heard it was pretty easy to get around and most of the attractions were close to each other.
If you’ve been following us for the past year, you know we love staying at Fairmont Hotels. So we knew we had to check out Fairmont Washington while we were in town. Today I’m going to be sharing details of our stay at the Fairmont because I definitely recommend staying at this prestigious hotel if you are visiting Washington!
Fairmont Washington arranged an airport pickup service for us from IAD (since we were flying Porter), which is about 40 minutes away from the hotel. We recommend actually flying into DCA if you can, since is it the main airport in the city and closer to all the attractions and hotel as well. In any case, our driver was really friendly, and spoke highly of the Fairmont property in DC. He even told us that various politicians have stayed at the hotel and he’s seen secret service cars lurking around now and then. Faizan and I got really excited when he told us this as we started imagining potentially bumping into Obama in the next few days (apparently he has an office close to the Fairmont – according to that driver)! Our ride came to an end as we made our way to the hotel. As soon as we pulled up, we were greeted by the friendly bell men at the entrance. They helped us with our luggage and check-in was a smooth process as well.
We head up to our room, which turned out to be a gorgeous suite – called the DuPont Suite. As soon as we stepped in, we were blown away. It was the most lavish place we’ve ever stayed at! It was so big and spacious, we felt like we should have planned a house party. We were pretty much ready to move in! There was a living room, dining area, kitchen, two full washrooms, and a separate bedroom as well. The decor was on point, and suited our style perfectly. It was basically everything we would want in our dream apartment!
To top it off, Fairmont Washington went out of their way to include some personalized touches such as a welcome snack which included our favourite dates! They also had a Quran (our holy book) and prayer mat ready for us in our bedroom. This is by the far the sweetest and most personalized surprise ever!!
Soon after checking out the suite, Faizan and I head to the lobby lounge for lunch. We were famished since we had an early flight and skipped breakfast. The lobby lounge was so so so beautiful – a staple for all Fairmont hotels. Not only is the lobby the first thing you see as you enter the hotel, but it is also a great place to bring everyone together. We were seated by our server, Suresh, who was super helpful in sharing the specials and cooking up some of their most popular dishes for us. We opted for the Vegetable Flatbread and Lobster Grilled Cheese (which the chef was able to turn into a Tuna Grilled Cheese for Faizan due to his shellfish allergy). Everything was delish (including the Zuchinni Fries that come with the grilled cheese) and as always, we were pleased with the super customized service. We dined at the lobby lounge a few time over the next couple of days and enjoyed their Deep Dish Apple Pie and Snickers Parfait as well – highly recommend both desserts!
Next up, since it was Christmas Day, we decided to visit Santa’s suite on the Gold Floor. This is an annual tradition of Fairmont Washington – to set up a two bedroom suite as if it’s in the North Pole for Santa and his elves. It’s super unique and the perfect place for photo ops with the entire family! You definitely don’t have to be staying at the hotel to come and experience this beautiful ensemble. As an added bonus, the place was full of treats and basically a Christmas lovers’ dream!
Later that night, we had the chance to dine at Juniper for their Christmas dinner sitting. The hotel was kind enough to arrange some halal meat options for us since vegetarian menu items were limited as it was a prix fixe dinner. I ordered the chicken and Faizan had the filet mignon! We also tried the corn chowder and nicoise salad. Everything was delicious, the service was amazing, and the ambiance was perfect for a romantic dinner! Definitely a good way to end off our first day in Washington!
The next morning (and many times after that), we opted for room service – with the in-room dining menu being so vast, how could we resist? We tried various items on the menu including: The Capital Breakfast, The Energizer, and the Belgian Waffles.
Highly recommend the egg white omelette for breakfast, I loved it and had it again the next day! It even came with a fresh blueberry smoothie, super healthy and filling. After we were fueled up for the day, we went to explore some of the famous monuments of the city – including Lincoln memorial, White House, and the US capital building. What’s awesome is that Fairmont Washington also has a shuttle service (first come first serve) which can be used to drop off guests to spots within a one mile radius. This includes Lincoln memorial! The service runs from 7-9 am in the morning and 6-8 pm in the evening. Definitely something to take advantage of while you’re there!
We also took some time to explore the Georgetown area near the hotel. It was filled with cute cafes and shops, and with all the holiday decor, it seemed like something out of a fairy tale. Highly recommend for an evening stroll or weekend brunch!
If I’m being honest, our trip to Washington was different from the rest of our 2019 travels. We often find ourselves in a go-go-go mindset when we travel, to ensure we make the most of our time in each new city we visit. This time, we were naturally a bit more laid back, and found ourselves gravitating back to the hotel every day – and we were okay with that. Being the end of the year, and having gone through quite a bit in 2019, we allowed ourselves to just take it all in and have a restful getaway for a change. And boy did it feel good! Don’t get me wrong, visiting the historical monuments and museums was definitely one of the highlights of our trip, but overall, the best part for us was actually getting some downtime at the hotel. Whether that was ordering room service and watching Christmas classics into the night, or waking up the next morning and indulging in the grand breakfast buffet at Juniper. The Hotel made sure we were always comfortable and had the most restful getaway weekend!
Until next time,
/In Partnership with Fairmont Washington