The Liaison Capitol Hill sits business-like on New Jersey Avenue Northwest, conveniently near the Capitol and Union Station. During a recent business trip there, I found the service friendly, prompt, and efficient. The rooms are not spacious, but ergonomically appealing. Lighting is abundant and adjustable; the beds are comfortable, with upscale linens. Flat panel TV, of course; but also a very well designed bathroom with toiletries generously sized and well marked (ever try to discern the labels on those miniscule shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner 'bottles' at 7 in the morning?).
The restaurant, Art and Soul has real cred. Owner chef Art Smith has presented a creative menu that is largely healthy and organic. On my first night's stay, I enjoyed an absolutely delicious and memorable grilled swordfish on a scrumptious bed of kale, white beans, and tasso ham. The smoked tomato broth finished the ironic sense of healthy comfort food that Smith delivers. After eating at Bistro Bis in the George Hotel around the corner (also very good, but more about that restaurant in another post), I returned to the Liaison for Saturday Supper. Supervised by executive chef Wes Morton, this unlikely event was really fun. An evening-long party, the dinner was held in Art and Soul's private dining room. The drinks -- an endless series of delicious and varied cocktails, all based on artisan-crafted Breukelen gin (made where else? Brooklyn, New York, of course), combined with a family-style dinner of coastal Southern comfort food at a huge, lengthy table. The setting was fun, yet elegant, and new friends were quickly made.
And breakfast -- under Art Smith's supervision, healthy breakfasts don't taste like cardboard. His egg white omelet is ridiculously good.
The lobby bar was friendly, with lots of young people, sports on the flat screen, good drinks, and a bartender (shamefully, I can't remember his name -- maybe Ronnie -- too many delicious cocktails) who knew absolutely everything about Washington.
So, the room was outstanding, the service was great, and the restaurant terrific. Any drawbacks?
In my opinion, only one. The lobby is contiguous with the bar and the restaurant, giving them all the feeling of a kind of cavernous railroad station waiting room. People with rolling luggage are sitting next to couples sipping cocktails, who are near the maitresse d' of the restaurant. The atmosphere is trendy, but perhaps a bit chaotic. I would recommend more effective architectural barriers among the three venues.
Oh, and let me put one more issue to rest. I understand that there was a history of bedbugs in this, as in many urban, hotels. I am not sure whether the hotel underwent its multi-million dollar renovation before or after these reports; but I made a specific inspection of my bed on arrival. I lifted all of the linens and the mattress cover from the corner of the mattress. It was brand new, with none of the telltale black marks of bedbugs. The room was meticulously clean and everything seemed brand new.
The Liaison Capitol Hill is neither particularly romantic nor historic; but it is hip and trendy, making a lively spot for home base while doing business in Washington.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Connect with comfort in one of our 343 newly renovated guest rooms! One of the top boutique hotels in Washington, DC, the Liaison Capitol Hill DC is inviting guests to experience our newest hotel updates. Our recent redesign completely transformed all guest rooms and corridors featuring modern lighting and sleek furnishings, creating an ambiance of timeless, contemporary living. The decor is inspired by our location in the heart of Washington, DC, highlighting the prominence of the capital city and its political landscape through bold colors. The result, in addition to a newly, renovated DC boutique hotel, is a sophisticated hot spot for politicians and the like to gather and socialize after a long day of tending to the affairs of our nation, providing guests with a powerful connection to the city as well as an urban hideaway away from prying eyes. The rooms feature flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, iHome docks, modern furnishings, upgraded signature Affinia bedding and remodeled bathrooms. The hallways have been refurbished with new carpeting, wall decor and lighting to match the new guestroom decor and offer a transition between the buzz downstairs and the privacy upstairs. Boasting a prime location on Capitol Hill, The Liaison is the closest hotel to the U.S. Capitol. The Smithsonian, the National Mall, Union Station, and dozens of the country's most visited museums and monuments are within walking distance. The Capitol Hill hotel is both a powerful bond to the nation's capital and a comfortable escape as well. At in-house restaurant Art and Soul, celebrity Chef Art Smith lovingly creates his award-winning Southern-modern "food for the soul." Our seasonal rooftop pool and bar make another spectacular setting, with views that highlight The Liaison's central location between Union Station and the Capitol. ... more less
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