I don’t really go on vacation.
It’s not that I don’t want to. I have that same laundry list of reasons most of us have: job doesn’t involve travel, grad school, full time job, no car, strapped for cash. My apartment doesn’t allow pets, but if it did, I’d have at least four kittens and a yellow lab and then I’d have to find a pet sitter. Basically if it involves travel by plane, train, boat, or anything besides an Uber, I can’t swing it. BUT, I’m still human, and I still insist on having treat yo’ self time. So, what are my options?
Enter: the staycation.
No, not that kind of staycation. Like, a step up.
Last year, it occurred to me that I could book a night at a reasonably nice DC hotel and not reluctantly part ways with half my rent. It’s not the Virgin Islands or the south of France, but it’s relaxing, it’s a night away, and if you choose wisely, you can find some spots with above-average perks included. I’ve tried different hotel chains, but Kimptons are easily my favorite. In the past year, we’ve tried Hotel Palomar (Dupont), Madera (Dupont), Lorien Hotel & Spa (Alexandria) and this past weekend, we booked a one-night stay at the Topaz on N Street NW. In case you need convincing, read on for 4 reasons why a Kimpton staycation is in your best interest.
1) You can feel ultra-luxurious for $100-$200/night.
I’ve stayed at four Kimptons in DC and two in New York and they just feel fancy. The decor is modern and sleek; the beds are ultra comfortable and have all the pillows. You can pause in the foyer for some fresh ice water steeped in oranges and cucumbers. Also, just sign up to be a Kimpton rewards member. It’s free and at bare minimum you get free WiFi and a $10 voucher to pick out $10 worth of booze/snacks from the mini bar.
2) Noon check-out.
11:00 AM check-out times offend me on a deeply personal level. It’s MY staycation. Maybe I want to sleep stupidly late. Maybe I want to go for a mid-morning brunch and still have time for a bath and a nap before I pack my bags. Thankfully, Kimpton hotels have a noon check-out (and certain reward members can even opt for a 2:00 PM check out!). I’m actually an early morning person, but I still reserve the right to lie in bed for 4 hours eating Bethesda Bagels and watching Moonshiners.
3) Free wine.
Yes, you heard me right. This is probably my favorite thing about Kimptons. Every guest, rewards member or not, is invited to complimentary wine hour in the lobby every day from 5:00-6:00 PM. The very attentive staff will top you off as soon as they see you’ve dipped below 1/3 of a glass. And if for some improbable reason that doesn’t float your boat, come down for the snacks. At my various stays, I’ve nibbled on hummus and warm pita, olives, artisan flat breads, tiramisu, and red velvet cake.
4) Foodie heaven.
Kimptons have a solid reputation when it comes to fine dining. The Madera on New Hampshire boasts Firefly, which offers an outstanding braised mini pot roast and creative original cocktails. Hotel Monaco in Alexandria is accompanied by Jackson 20, where I’ve enjoyed a delightful egg-BLT on brioche and properly-proportioned $3 mimosas. The Topaz Hotel, our spot this past weekend, is positioned between the Hotel Tabard Inn and Iron Gate – two of my all-time favorite special occasion restaurants. On Friday, we had a late-night reservation at Tabard Inn and enjoyed the tuna tartare, swordfish and pan seared duck breast. So my point is – you will be near at least one top-tier dining option regardless of which Kimpton you choose.
Come on, people. You work hard and you deserve this. Get your staycation on.