In 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gifted the city of Washington, D.C. 3,000 cherry trees to honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. And every year their blossoming brings celebration — and crowds — to Washington. We all want to see them… but this year, we’re seeing them differently or from a distance. Because we’re generally avoiding the Tidal Basin to keep everyone safe and healthy this year, we’ve found a few other ways to celebrate peak blossom.
Spring Awakening Gathering Space
Hook Hall, Park View’s massive community gathering space, has been transformed into a profusion of pinks with Tea House cabanas as well as rows of Garden Tables surrounded by pink blossomed trees and décor. Each themed Tea House is available for seating of up to six guests with 2.5 hour reservations at $125 and includes a welcome bottle of champagne, special food and drink menus, a table, ceiling fan, and the option to keep the curtains open or closed. There’s also a Petal Lounge for up to 18 people across 3 tables; the semi-private Emperor’s Private Quarters, with sectional lounge seating for up to 18 people; and the Blossom Bungalow, double the size of a Tea House cabana with seating up to 12.
The Hamilton Hotel is perfectly located just minutes from prime Cherry Blossom viewing at the National Mall and Tidal Basin, so you’ll be closer to slip in and out on foot for a quick viewing. Its “Hanami at Hamilton” package pays homage to the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of Cherry Blossoms and includes a curated picnic basket that feeds 3-4 guests filled with a selection of cheese, charcuterie, and a bottle of wine from the hotel’s beloved onsite restaurant, Via Sophia. (Use code CB21 at booking for 10% off and flexible cancellation — and ProTip: Non-hotel guests can also take advantage and purchase the picnics for $150.)
Sakura Flights of Sake
In honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival, Dirty Habit DC is offering a Sakura flight of Sake — that’s three unique sakes that have Cherry Blossom profiles or Sakura in their name — for $45. Guests can even enjoy sips and bites among the blossoms on Dirty Habit’s outdoor patio, which currently has Cherry Blossom trees that bloom in season!
Did you know that the Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC‘s hotel garden features cherry trees that were planted at the hotel’s opening by the daughter and granddaughter of the Mayor who originally gifted DC’s famed trees over 100 years ago? The hotel also has stunning views overlooking the Tidal Basin, so guests can see blossoms from the comfort of their rooms with the Cherry Blossom Views package (available through April 11, 2021 with daily rates starting at $560). This package includes an exclusive view, an in-room afternoon tea for two, and complimentary valet, but you’ll likely want to add on any of the hotel’s cherry blossom themed treatments at the spa, like the Mandarin Oriental in Bloom or this Cherry Blossom Treatment.