Staycation at The Mayflower Hotel
With COVID-19 really throwing off our travel plans, we decided to have some fun with checking out local hotels and areas in our own backyard. We both love our nation's capital - Washington, D.C. - and since it is so close, we figured it would be the best place for a 48-hour getaway. When we travel or go anywhere, our trips frequently are planned around meals and food.
We stayed right off DuPont Circle at The Mayflower Hotel. This wasn't our first time staying at the landmark hotel and certainly won't be the last. From the moment we walked in the door, the staff is welcoming and goes above and beyond to make your stay as wonderful as possible. Even with the COVID-19 restrictions, it was wonderful. Everyone wore their masks and things were marked to comply with proper social distancing guidelines. There is usually coffee and water readily available in the lobby, but not this time - all we had to do was ask and bottled water was handed to us and coffee was served in Edgar's bar.
Room service & housekeeping was limited, but they were so good about providing clean towels, more soap, etc. if asked. It could not have been a better place to unwind and relax.
Things To Do
It's DC - there's a ton to do! The weather was gorgeous, despite it being late fall, so after grabbing coffee we wandered around the Dupont area, doing one of my favorite things - walking up and down Embassy Row. I love the gorgeous architecture and culture.
If you're into history, the hotel is a close walk to the Smithsonian, the National Mall, and all the DC landmarks. Our favorites are the Museum of Natural History and Air and Space Museum. They're great for when we go alone and when we take the kiddos!
When the day is perfect (like it was for us!) and you're up for a gorgeous walk, the stroll to Georgetown is not one to miss. If you walk from the hotel and go West on M Street NW , you'll end up in the heart of Georgetown while seeing some of the most gorgeous houses - that go for a cool 7 million ;) It was so impeccably decorated for Halloween when we went, so the houses were covered in pumpkins. It was like a storybook!
Places to Eat
Finding good food around The Mayflower is easy - you're surrounded by some of the best food! A short Uber ride or walk away is 14th Street. That's the home of some of the best places to eat in DC. Because of COVID-19 regulations, most places have outdoor seating with heaters.
Breakfast & Coffee
A short walk from The Mayflower is our favorite bakery - Tatte Bakery. We first discovered this gem in Boston 2 summers ago and were thrilled to hear they were opening up in DC. They specialize in Turkish and Middle Eastern type of food (the owner was born and raised in Tel-Aviv). The house latte is unmatched - honey halva & cardamom in a creamy latte - YES PLEASE. The best pastry has to be the goat cheese bureka. Light, fluffy pastry around a creamy goat cheese. It is a classic Turkish pastry that is really popular in Greece and the Western Asia area.
This was fun for us, because we had our whole day mapped out around lunch. With the hotel being in the DuPont area, it was a no-brainer - ChiKo. Brian and I both are pretty obsessed [and low key critics] of Asian and Asian-inspired food. Everywhere we go, we make sure we get the best dumplings. However, the major draw here was the after meal chaser - the Kimchi Back. Brian loves kimchi and Jameson so it had to happen. The food was to die for. I had the crispy chicken bowl and still have dreams about it.
Because of COVID it was all carry-out but the weather was gorgeous and there were picnic tables right out front. We got some starters to share and then entrees for ourselves. The Bulgogi Tots are a MUST. Tater tots, bulgogi marinated beef, kimchi cheese... say no more! We also got the Pork and Kimchi dumplings (are you sensing a theme?) because we can't go somewhere without getting dumplings. Brian got the Sichuan Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich, which was the perfect combo of spicy and savory. I got the Crispy Chicken Rice Bowl (pretty much on brand) and I could eat that again, everyday. The rice was perfectly sticky, topped with light, crispy chicken, Sichuan veggies, roasted peanuts, and chili oil. So good!!!
It's rare that we go to DC without going to Le Diplomate. During my time in Philly, I fell in love with the Starr Restaurant group, and their DC locations are outstanding. Le Dip is a DC staple for incredible (and approachable) French cuisine, even though we hear they have an incredible burger! I can't go without getting the escargot and Fois Gras Parfait. We also really love Bresca for the Fois Gras cake pops (I'm sensing a theme here!).
Before the time of COVID, 14th Street was the place to bar hop and bounce around to get appetizers. Now, it's a little different but there are still plenty of phenomenal options for everyone.
In CityCenterDC, we found ourselves in a different world! Over the span of 5 city blocks, there are luxury shops (hi #Gucci) and some of the best restaurants. Because it is closely monitored by security and almost like a little "bubble," there were outdoor bars set up so we could walk around the courtyard and look at the floral installations and lights while sipping cocktails. It was pretty perfect. We had reservations at Centrolina, because we have a strong affinity towards good wine and homemade pasta. Both were unbelievable. Highly recommend!