Skip to main content

See also:

The Omni Shoreham Legend – Washington DC

The pool of the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC
The pool of the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DCOmni Shoreham Hotel

The legendary Shoreham Hotel, an Omni hotel, was built in 1930 and designed by Waddy Butler Wood, who also designed Woodrow and Edith Wilson’s home. The hotel has seen more political fame walk through its door than any other hotel. In fact, this is where many presidential inaugural balls have been held, including those for Franklin D. Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. Rockers have chosen the Shoreham as well. You may have heard of the Beatles or The Mamas & The Papas? These are just a couple of the pop culture icons that have called the hotel home during concerts in the capital. It may seem like enough to stay in an opulent Washington DC hotel in the spring, but adding in a little bit of the famous past sweetens the stay.

ARRIVAL

My husband, two of our boys, and I planned our trip to Washington DC to see the city at its best. In late April, the Cherry Blossom Festival has every hotel booked up for good reason. However, the long-lasting winter had the last laugh and we missed seeing the trees in full bloom by just a week! With or without spring accouterments, though, the trip was spectacular and staying at this hotel made the difference.

We arrived at the hotel by taxi. With 834 rooms and suites, the hotel is large and impressive right from the start. Placards with stories of the rich and famous who have held parties at the hotel and/or stayed the night (the Beatles booked the entire seventh floor) decorate the lobby’s front windows and make for interesting reading while waiting for a cab.

The lobby is simply gorgeous. Liam, 10, and Connor, 16, explored while I checked us in. They can both play it cool with the best, but from the looks on their faces, the hotel was making an impact. Down various halls from the grand lobby is a spa, expansive meeting and ballrooms, a coffee and a gift shop and probably even more. Back at the front desk, the youngest received a great welcome amenity and we were shown to our room.

ROOMS

Traveling with children means dealing with a space issue. Is it best to spend the money on two rooms, opt to be frugal and pack everyone into one or choose a suite? Which is better? Obviously it depends on what you’re willing to spend (or put up with), but in my experience, a suite has its advantages when it comes to both space and money. Typically a suite doesn’t cost as much as two separate rooms and it does provide much-needed room to coexist peacefully. The Omni Shoreham has a wonderful option for just this instance – a “Classic Suite.” At 569 square feet, our room featured two queen beds and a sitting area with a sofa bed that was separated by a partial wall. Two TVs make pleasing the tastes of a 10-year-old and a 16-year old possible (surprisingly, it’s not noisy). The balcony overlooked the lovely pool area. Lucky us – we arrived on the first day the pool was open.

GETTING AROUND BY METRO

DC has a fantastic subway system that makes getting around easy. Traffic can be an issue which is solved by heading underground. However, learn from my mistake – don’t think you can reach every part of the city by using the Metro. It’s likely that you’ll still need to do a lot of walking in this city where one building can take up a block. The closest Metro entrance is just two blocks away from the hotel and right across from great restaurant choices. As we spent every spare minute enjoying the Smithsonian museums, seeing the White House, shopping the gift stores and catching a ferry to Mount Vernon, we weren’t able to eat on-site, but I understand that Robert’s Restaurant is an unparalleled culinary experience.

MY RECOMMENDATION

I enjoyed every bit of this hotel. Don’t let its grand appearance fool you, kids will also love it here. Stay where the famous stay and book a room at the Omni Shoreham next time you travel to Washington DC.

For more information on the Omni Shoreham Hotel or to book a stay, please visit their website.

Examiner’s Note: Thank you to Sarah Shriber for arranging everything.

Please write to me at lori@travelbylori.com. My husband, David, and I occasionally create luxury hotel video reviews for our YouTube channel, Travel by Lori. See them by visiting http://www.YouTube.com/TravelbyLori.