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Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

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Preston
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Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

My wife and I are visting DC fro the first time from UK in April. I booked a room in the Sofitel Lafayette Square (15th Street NW) due to its proximity to the White House and other major Washington DC landmarks. Last night I read on a website that the area is pretty desolate at night with few options for dining out. Whilst we don't want to be out clubbing until the early hours, we would like to eat out in two or three local restaurants if possible. Can anyone advise whether the Sofitel is in an area suitablle for tourists or whether it's a business area which shuts down after offices close?

Springfield, VA
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1. Re: Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

Lafayette Square itself is pretty deserted at night, but the hotel is within 2-3 blocks of the following restaurants:

1. Siroc (916 15th Street) -- my favorite Italian restaurant downtown

2. Old Ebbitt Grill (676 15th Street) -- part of the Clyde's chain. It can be a little touristy, but the food is good.

3. The Hamilton (600 14th Street) -- also part of the Clyde's chain. Food is good and there's live music.

4. Ceiba (701 14th Street) -- very good Latin American cuisine.

Preston
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2. Re: Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

That's reassuring. So long as there restaurants within walking distance we'll be happy. Thanks for providing your recommendations!

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

It's near many office buildings so it is quieter at night, but it is definitely near lots of good restaurants! Try Occidental Grill as well (I think of OG as OEG without the insane zoo of tourists - I love the crab cakes at both OG and OEG), and Cafe du Parc in the Willard. There's also a Devon & Blakely deli for sandwiches, soups, etc., during the day. The hotel's own bar is pretty popular too.

Also, the nearby White House is really beautiful at night - luminous and peaceful. You can stroll by it at night in peace and quiet and take photos (unless the Secret Service people decide to tape off access - which can happen at any time, including too annoyingly often in the middle of my walking commute home (I work on the west side of the WH/OEOB), requiring me to divert my path to go by the Sofitel instead of along the north side of the WH where I usually walk! But I digress). Overall, I think it's a really good hotel choice!

Preston
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4. Re: Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

Many thanks. Sounds like we won't go hungry! Good to hear that the WH is beautiful at night too. One reason for staying so close was to see the monuments etc illuminated at night. Looking forward to our trip now!

Rockville, Maryland
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5. Re: Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

Bobby Van's (15th St. , NW)

http://www.bobbyvans.com/15th-street.html

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g28970-d45…

Don't miss breakfast at the Hay-Adams on 16th Street, NW. It's like a tea party in the morning.

Across the street on Lafayette Park is Decatur House, the pristine early 1800s home (now Museum) of the 1st licensed architect in the US who redesigned the White House after it was burned during the War of 1812. Next door is the fascinating bookstore of the National Trusts for Historic Preservation.

The Sofitel is a lovely choice.

Edited: 18 February 2014, 01:59
Chicago
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6. Re: Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

I visit DC several times a year (mostly for work, but sometimes I combine it with pleasure) and the Sofitel is always my first choice. It is a bit quiet at night, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. In addition to the restaurants mentioned above, Bombay Club is close by and so are multiple metro lines that will take you all over the city. DC is smaller than you might think and if the weather is nice several neighborhoods (including Georgetown and Dupont Circle) are an easy walk from the Sofitel.

Rockville, Maryland
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7. Re: Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

For lunch, don't miss the Greek Deli on 19th Street, NW just off L. The weather will be nice and you can eat at several tables outdoors, or take your lunch to the park next to the Christian Heurich mansion farther up on 19th St. The lines out the door show the locals at their insightful best. Say hi to Costa, the Socrates of authentic and delicious Greek cuisine.

Edited: 18 February 2014, 04:17
Preston
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8. Re: Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

ChicagoPair and LittleBiffOne - thanks for your inputs. We now have options for breakfast lunch and dinner! Seriously, we like to eat at different places when we are on a short visit so that we can fit in more new experiences rather than repeat them. Always a dilemma though after a great dining experience as part of you wants to do it all again anyway! From everyone's posts I am now 100% happy with my hotel choice. Thanks once again to you all.

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9. Re: Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

We loved our stay at The Sofitel! We took cabs to dinner. Blue Duck Tavern and Plume @ The Jefferson Hotel were our favorites. :).

Arlington, Virginia
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10. Re: Is Sofitel Hotel a suitable base for 4 days sightseeing?

I love the Sofitel in D.C. If you found a rate that fits your budget, and if you don't need a hotel with a pool (the only big drawback of the Sofitel in my opinion), you should be very happy with your stay. The beds in all rooms and baths in most rooms (except some I've had in the lowest tier of room) are wonderful.