I’ve always loved the Fairmont. It’s classic, hosts a number of my favorite charity and social events… and happens to be within walking distance to my apartment. The Fairmont lobby lounge has been one of my go-to meeting places for years, and since good friend Mark Timms took over the restaurant a few years ago, Juniper’s tables have seen their fair share of me as well.
I didn’t think it could get any better, but as it turns out, the Georgetown hotel’s recent $27 million renovation has made the Fairmont even fairer. To have the fullest experience (in the interest of full disclosure), I was invited to play the role of ‘staycation guest’ for a night earlier this month – my usual pot of lobby lounge peppermint tea, dinner, overnight stay, and breakfast buffet were included — as well as bringing along my new puppy.
That’s right. Among the delights I didn’t yet know about the Fairmont included its VIP (Very Important Pet) program. The hospitality brand is one of the top pet friendly hotels, greeting four-legged guests with healthy treats handmade by the Executive Pastry Chef upon arrival, allowing them to enjoy their stay free of charge, providing loaner leashes/collars/bowls, and even directing pet owners to other nearby four-legged friendly fun. An amazing added bonus… each time a guest stays at the hotel with their pet, 5% of their room rate is donated to the Washington Animal Rescue League!
Puppy and I were set up in one of the newly updated luxury guest rooms, where we not only felt very posh and comfortable, but also very in touch with a vibe that is very ‘DC.’ Like the city, the renovated furnishings were a mix of modern with classical detail; Accent art included subtle nods to politics and history; Carpets and fabrics boasted a fresh color palette; and new comfort features — like a built-in luggage bench, an in-room coffee/tea station, and enough outlets to charge all of your electronics — made us smile that much more.
Of course we slept well on those brand new Stearns & Foster mattresses and with all of the rooms creature comforts, but perhaps the best part of the stay was exploring so many of the other hidden gems of the hotel. As usual, Juniper restaurant always gets our vote for a delicious dining experience (Timms does seafood particularly well), but we also discovered a rooftop apiary… and all of the sweetness that comes with it. (Bee-tinis made with rooftop honey comb and finger-licking Bee My Honey doughnuts are among the limited edition special offerings.) And there’s more buzz: We hear that fire pits may be coming to the lobby courtyard later this year!
Haven’t taken a look at the Fairmont in a while? Now’s your chance! All 415 guest rooms, as well as public spaces and meeting rooms, will finalize renovations in mid-Spring… and it seems there is always something social happening, whether a simple meeting of friends, a charity Gala, or an organized cocktail-making class in the lobby. Stop by, have a Bee-tini (at left), check out all that’s new. And don’t forget to enjoy the experience with your pet, too!