Monday, October 12, 2009

Two Glorious DC Inns!

During a recent visit to Washington D.C., David and I stayed at two glorious inns, which are owned by sisters (and their husbands)!

On the last night of our 4-night stay, we stayed at the most elegant of the pair, the Embassy Circle Guest House, which is ranked at the #1 B&B in Washington DC on Trip Advisor.

The front entrance of the glorious Embassy Circle Guest House, located on R Street (at Massachusetts Avenue), a few blocks from DuPont Circle:  
The inn is a restored mansion on a street lined with embassies, and was itself a former embassy.  The dilapidated property was purchased for $1 million in 2003 and was lovingly restored (from the bones) over the next several years by owners Laura and Ray Saba.

A fascinating article about the renovation of this stunning property was published by the Washington Post here.  You can watch an AMAZING renovation slide show here.  The renovation took over 3 years to complete and the owners welcomed their first guests in 2007!

Now for some photos of this gloriously appointed inn:

I love the stunning architectural details and the creamy yellow walls (by Duron) throughout the inn.  They are a perfect foundation for the beautiful antique furniture, and the bright punches of traditional blues, yellows and reds:
The beautifully decorated living room at Embassy Circle.  Lots of great newspapers and magazines are available daily.

Wonderful paintings line the walls of this stately home.  Laura and Ray like to support "living artists," as Laura puts it!  I could not agree with her more and love their taste in colourful art:
The paintings in the dining room (below) are all by Justina Selinger (I was raving over them and Laura was kind enough to give me her name and her card!).  The chandelier looks to me like Murano glass.  Every morning at Embassy Circle, there is a glorious breakfast of fresh fruit, pastries, breads, cheeses, smoked salmon, olives, and other goodies, many from the nearby DuPont Circle organic market. They also have a complimentary wine and cheese each evening!
The dining room:  I snapped this picture just after breakfast and forgot to straighten the chairs!  Notice the mixed upholstery of the chairs.

We happened to miss the wine and cheese the night we were there, but when we came in around 9:30pm, Laura kindly gave us both a glass of wine!  Isn't that a sweet touch?  I think so!

A book case in the front hall, lined with fabulous titles, many historical and political, so suited to the capitol region with its rich history.  Guests can borrow these books for their stay, which is a very nice touch for readers like me:
The main stairwell:
More art on the 3rd floor stairwell:
And the piece de resistance, our room on the top floor.  I was so happy we got the blue room:  
Rooms in this inn are well over $250 per night, but the owner gave us a great discount.  We'd stayed the previous 3 nights at her sister's charming inn (Woodley Park, see below), but on a whim decided to stay another night in DC!  Unfortunately for us, our first inn was full!  But because of our emergency, Laura at Embassy Circle gave us a great price on this room and welcomed us over!  They also let us park for free so we could pick up our rental car (which was scheduled for that day and would have cost $200 to switch to the next day).  

Thanks to the kindess of both sisters, we got to stay another day in DC!  Now that's customer service!  
 Our "modern historical" bathroom at Embassy Circle:

Now, on to Woodley Park!  This is the inn where we stayed in DC for the first 3 nights, and is owned by the sister (and her husband) of the owner of Embassy Circle!:
Woodley Park Guest House is a little more affordable that Embassy Circle, and perhaps not quite as upscale, but is so charming, beautifully decorated and altogether perfect.  Woodley Park is a very nice residential neighborhood near central Washington.  It's located just steps away from the Woodley Park/Zoo metro station, so it's very convenient for DC sightseeing.  There are tons of great restaurants nearby too, making for a nice evening out after a long day of sightseeing.

Owners Courtney and Joe were so incredibly friendly we felt like we were home from the instant we arrived!  Courtney was the one who arranged for our emergency reservation at her sister's inn, Embassy Circle, after we decided to stay a fourth night in DC.  Not only did Courtney get us a room at Embassy Circle (for a reduced rate) but also drove us over there with our suitcases in the morning and showed us in!  

That's kindness of the highest order.  No wonder Woodley Park is rated in the Top 5 DC B&B's on Trip Advisor! The inn itself is lovely and the owners, Courtney and Joe, are top drawer when it come to kindness.  In fact, Courtney is the type of person who will bring you a coffee while you sit on the front porch!  That is a rare touch of kindness in this crazy world and really makes you feel like you're home (where, now that I think of it, no one brings me coffee)!

The front entrance (below) at Woodley Park Guest House, a beautifully renovated and tastefully decorated historical home in the lovely Woodley Park neighborhood of DC.
The front desk:This inn is utterly charming, full of original character details, and beautifully appointed.

I love the exposed original beams and brickwork on the stairwell:
Woodley Park offers superb breakfasts too!   The breakfast room is shown below, with its lovely art and antiques:
A marvellous daily fruit salad, pastries, and cereals, together with fantastic coffee, are a great start to a day of sightseeing in DC!
Breakfast is served!  Embassy Circle on the left and Woodley Park on the right (Photos above and below from the website).

And last but not least, our lovely room under the eaves at Woodley Park (I almost forgot to take these!):
Each room is tastefully appointed with great antiques and reproduction period pieces.

Woodley Park also offers a great shelf of books for its guests.  Most titles are historical or political, but there are also some great novels.  What a treat for readers!:
Next time we visit DC (and there will be a next time), we plan to stay at their glorious inns!

Special thanks to Courtney and husband Joe of Woodley Park for their amazing hospitality during our 3 nights' stay, and to Laura and Ray of Embassy Circle for their kindness (and cookies for the road).  We honestly didn't want to leave!!


  1. Very charming! Especially the first one. I love the living room and its mix of lively colors and art with traditional furnishings. Do they both have the same floral carpeting in their lobbies and stairways? I guess since they're owned by sisters, they might have a lot in common decor-wise.

  2. Anonymous5:39 pm

    It's nice to see a post on my hometown! :) It looks like a charming place to stay.

  3. Hi Terri :)

    Wow, so cozy and charmy :) I bet you loved it there :) So many cute little details too!

    Have a great day!

    Hugs, Susanne

  4. Anonymous6:28 am

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay in DC! And I'm so glad I got to meet you!

  5. You stayed in great places! I've been on a tour of the embassy circle guest house and it really is a charming place (dupont circle house tour a few years ago).

  6. Adresses to file!!!
    So English styled! Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!


  7. I love their furnishings and art work and hearing about all of the little touches that make such a huge difference in how a trip can go. Sounds like you did your research and it paid off! Isn't trip advisor great? And I hope you do come back soon or we'll all have to trek up to see you guys!!
    Love love

  8. Nice places to stay, both look inviting...great decor, thank you I enjoyed reading your blog today.
    Regards, Carol Ann

  9. What lovely places to stay! Inns are always filled with such scrumptious eye candy. Fun! ; ) Trina

  10. So charming! How lucky you were to stay in both these inns.

  11. mining jobs
    Wow! Stunning houses and interior design, my favorite is the last photo.

  12. sem
    These are Lovely DC houses.

  13. What beautiful places. You must had at wonderful stay. I think I would just stay indoors with a book! :)

  14. Friends stayed there and my husband and I dropped in for one of the evening wine tastings and met the owners of the Embassy House and 8 of us all went to Altiramisu for dinner. What a wonderful place, super great people and awesome conversation.


  15. The place may be lovely but the Manager, Ingrid has a very bad attitude. The policy of 10 days cancellation is absurd, especially when it is due to unexpected emergencies. Even the finest of hotels have a reasonable cancellation policy.

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  17. I go to a convention at the Gaylord National Harbor and I'm looking for tips on where to stay. I will drive there, so you need a car. I am wary of staying in a hotel in National Harbor, as it resembles a giant convention center - I hope that boring and expensive, especially when it comes to food. Would it be worth to be in a car in Alexandria and the convention center each day?

  18. The place is perfect for a getaway for relaxation. Love to be there!

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