WASHINGTON DC: THE I NSIDERS
STAY: I love The Jefferson hotel, which is chic and exemplifies good taste and elegance, but also feels homey. It is the US capital’s equivalent in style to The Lowell in New York. Another favourite property is the HayAdams. The bar there has a great vibe and serves fabulous pear martinis. Try breakfast too; being just across the road from the White House, the hotel is a perfect place for spotting politicos; jeffersonhotel.com; hayadams.com.
DISCOVER: Visit the historic neighbourhood of Georgetown for a walk along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Carry on for about a kilometre along the banks of the Potomac River and you’ll feel as if you have been transported to the countryside. For a reward afterwards, have a drink at the Rooftop Bar & Lounge at the Rosewood Washington DC, overlooking the Potomac; it’s especially nice in spring; rosewoodhotels.com.
SHOP: While in Georgetown, seek out a lovely store called Greenworks on O Street for flowers or small gifts; greenworksflorist.com.
EXPLORE: Most visitors are in DC to see the great sights — the landmarks, memorials and institutions — of the National Mall and there’s no better way than to rent a bicycle and ride along the great promenade to the US Capitol; washington.org.
DINE: The “power table” in the capital is still at Cafe Milano. Go at night and see who is at table No 1 (much in demand by the movers and shakers). Franco Nuschese, the owner, is the city’s most connected man. For seafood, check out Fiola Mare restaurant in Georgetown, where chef Fabio Trabocchi runs a fabulous place; cafemilano.com; fiolamaredc.com.
LEARN: The new National Museum of African American History and Culture, part of the Smithsonian Institution on the National Mall, is a must-see for its exceptional and rich content, as well as acclaimed design by British architect David Adjaye; nmaahc.si.edu.
ENJOY: Visit the new MGM National Harbor. This $1.4 billion luxury resort, retail, dining, entertainment and gaming experience is a great outing, even if you aren’t a gambler; mgmnationalharbor.com.
James McBride is managing partner of the awardwinning Nihiwatu resort on the Indonesian island of Sumba; he was named by Hotels Magazine as the 2016 Independent Hotelier of the Year and has worked in Washington DC. More: nihiwatu.com.