A Perfect D.C. Getaway with The Darcy Washington DC, Curio Collection by Hilton

The Darcy Washington DC, Curio Collection by Hilton takes its name from a well-dressed and well-traveled fictional character. It’s attractive, with an understatedly elegant blend of woods and distressed metals, and refined, with live jazz and in-room cocktail carts. Still, it’s hardly stuffy, with a contemporary edge in sync with the city itself. All told, The Darcy is an inviting place to return after exploring all that modern-day D.C. has to offer, from emerging art to swinging nightlife. It’s fitting that a hotel at the corner of K Street and Embassy Row expertly fuses what the two locales are synonymous with: business and leisure. The former surfaces through The Darcy’s swanky borrow-or-buy wardrobe service, the Haberdashery, which stocks a powerbroker-worthy selection of tie clips, cufflinks, and pocket squares. The latter is reflected in imaginative, child-friendly perks, like the gratis backpacks handed to junior guests upon check-in, plus a fleet of rentable scooters and bicycles. To that, add authentic local flavors—a recurring pop-up flower bar, where the blooms are sourced from an area start-up; a complimentary nightly drinks reception, featuring local Green Hat gin cocktails—and Siren, a nautically-themed raw bar steered by acclaimed chef, Robert Wiedmaier, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a world-class refuge. 

The Globally Influenced Dining

If D.C. still brings to mind a mostly corporate steak-and-potatoes food scene, you’re overdue for a visit. You’ll find a smorgasbord of choices, such as the authentic Ethiopian meals served at Chercher, a subterranean 15-seat joint, where slowly simmered dishes, like cardamom-spiced lamb stew and red lentil soup, are devoured family style. (The Washington area is home to the largest concentration of Ethiopians outside of Africa.) Nearby, Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen, an eclectic ode to international street food, steered by globetrotter Rose Previte, hawks Brazilian red shrimp and Japanese pork buns, among other market snacks, in a quaint townhouse. Continue your global tour at Un Je Ne Sais Quoi, a patisserie devoted to merveilleuxs, cloud-like meringue-and-whipped cream concoctions, displayed in glass domes and spiked with flavors like chocolate-espresso and violet.

The Nightlife Scene

Half a mile from Dupont Circle, arguably D.C.’s trendiest pocket, The Darcy is within strolling distance of a clutch of popular after-hours spots, such as Sotto, a retro speakeasy (discreetly tucked below the notable Tuscan restaurant, Ghibellina), where Jazz Age libations can be enjoyed alongside nightly live blues performances. An even mellower night waits at Board Room, a high-ceilinged lair with an arsenal of vintage and mainstream games (bonus points for bar-top Monopoly), which pair perfectly with pints of craft brew. For a taste of the capital’s avant-garde arts scene, catch a show at the four-stage Studio Theatre, a nearly 40-year-old non-profit platform that nurtures local talent. 

The Museums Beyond the Smithsonian

From Dupont Circle, The Darcy hotel’s unofficial backyard, you can embark on a guided tour of a lesser-known local gem: Heurich House Museum, the preserved residence of a turn-of-the-century beer magnate (once the area’s largest private employer). Farther afield, The National Arboretum is a picturesque, azalea-filled oasis where highlights include the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, the site of hundreds of miniature mossy marvels. The National Museum of Women in the Arts, a Renaissance Revival manse, spotlights world-renowned painters, like Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe, in addition to philosophical trailblazers like Simone de Beauvoir—a recent installation reimagined the writer’s studio alcove in Paris. For a glimpse at emerging art, make your way to Hamiltonian Gallery, which was recently dubbed one of the most important art spaces in the District for its commitment to supporting local creators.

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