Back in September of 2012, our Insiders friend erc tipped me off to a hot price for The Mayflower. We visit the DC area a couple of times each year, but have never used this Renaissance as "home" base. So, with the great price, $93, and a Marriott Giftcard burning a hole in my pocket, I booked a future weekend.
What a fabulous hotel!! Annika, from Germany, was the front desk associate upon check-in. She was bright, up beat, and knowledgeable. Just what you hope for. The room I booked for the special price was a standard room. We were upgraded to a Club level 1 Bedroom 2 Room Suite.... cha-ching!!! AND, if that wasn't good enough, the concierge lounge was open the whole weekend. The CL attendant the first evening was a young man from Holland. Once again, friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. Our spacious room was more like a one bedroom apartment. Not much of a view, but top notch accommodations. I need to thank razorbackfan for her area tips and off site parking research. It's always nice when an Insider's superstar like RBF is looking out for you. Since RBF did such a great job of featuring the hotel public areas in her blog, Razorback Ramblings..... I'll add some pictures from room # 866. I'll also try to get a flavor of the area.
Our plans included visiting the Foggy Bottom/GWU area, the Eastern Market, the National Monument area at night, and local dining hotspots. We were able to accomplish all four. We arrived at the hotel around 8PM on Friday night. Mrs. pained was interested in a casual meal. We were both a bit fatigued so decided to go with the doorman's suggestion of the Daily Grill on 18th and M Streets. This was just a short 8 minute walk from The Mayflower. It had some potential but was pricey and the food was underwhelming. The best part of the meal was the warm sourdough bread basket. We returned to the Renaissance to find some nice desserts available in the CL. Off to sleep to get ready for a busy Saturday.
We find the best way to get around DC is the Metro. It's a clean, convenient subway system that covers most of the areas out-of-towners like to visit. We bought daily passes for $14 each that allow you to ride until the system closes late at night. The Farragut North Metro stop is less than a block from The Mayflower. This stop is just one short stop away from the hub of Metro Center. From there you can utilize any of the 5 lines, Red, Orange, Blue, Green or Yellow. These metro lines will take you in all directions of the city and beyond.
Our first trip to the Eastern Market was enjoyable. Both indoor and outdoor vendor stands were great for strolling, tasting, and shopping. Many local merchants offer lots of variety. We enjoyed pickles on a stick and some jambalaya for an early snack. The weather was fantastic.
We hopped on the Metro after a couple of hours and headed to Zaytinya for lunch. The restaurant is on 9th St NW. It's close to the Verizon Center and Smithsonian American Art Museum. I read an article about the wonderful Shawarma offered up at Zaytinya. Unfortunately, they only feature it for lunch, Mon-Fri. The weekend menu didn't disappoint. The Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese offerings all looked good. We started with some awesome Hummus with warm bread. Mrs. pained ordered the Spanakopita and I chose the Adana Kebab. Both were excellent. The server suggested the trio of ice cream for dessert. We went with Pear and Apricot Sorbets along with a scoop of Baklava ice cream. Wow!!!
After lunch we visited the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It's a beautiful building with a covered courtyard that has a open air relaxed feel. The museum featured an exhibition on The Civil War and American Art. That was very interesting and well done. We also toured a Gallery of Portraits of US Presidents. Very informative and impressive.
Our evening walk around the White House and National Monuments found the city getting ready for the Inauguration ceremonies. It's a beautiful area to see lit up at night. Lots of tourists and lots of security. We passed by the JW Marriott on the walk back to The Mayflower. One note, we observed quite a few homeless people throughout our evening walk...kinda sad.
The last morning we hopped on the Metro for George Washington University and Foggy Bottom. It's a clean, friendly environment. The houses and business are all well kept and attractive.
Our time spent at The Mayflower was outstanding. The staff was professional, friendly, accommodating, and caring. The cleanliness and quality of the offerings in the CL were befitting of this top rated property.