Alexandria, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, takes pride in its colonial architecture and lively street scene. Hotels in the city are expensive, but they provide easy access to the historic buildings, shops and restaurants that line Alexandria’s streets. Most are close to the free King Street trolley, which operates between the Metro station and the waterfront.
Lorien Hotel & Spa
Suites at the Lorien, designed by Vincente Wolf, feature spa-style bathrooms with soaking tubs and rain showers. Large balconies frame city views, and rooms come equipped with computers with Internet access. Ranked one of the "best of the best" by the website Spas of America in 2009, the spa at Lorien’s signature services include a caviar facial. Robert Wiedmaier, honored as Washington’s 2009 Chef of the Year, oversees the hotel’s restaurant, Brabo. The Kimpton chain provides extras for parents traveling with children that include child safety features in rooms, a kid’s welcome gift bag and milk and cookies at bedtime.
Morrison House consistently appears on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List for its superior rooms, service and location. The hotel’s lobby, parlor and library are decorated with antiques that reflect Old Town Alexandria’s Federal period. Morrison House is also part of the Kimpton chain, known for being socially conscious and eco-friendly. In-room spa services include massage and salon treatments, aromatherapy and thalassotherapy. Dennis Maron, chef at the Morrison House’s restaurant, presents both a la carte items and a tasting menu.
The Kimpton chain's Hotel Monaco, in the heart of Old Town, is steps from the city’s historic attractions, restaurants and art galleries. Built in 2008, the boutique hotel has 241 rooms, decorated in colors reminiscent of a Union soldier’s uniform. Spa services offered in-room use only 100 percent organic sunflower oil mixed with all-natural essential oils. The adjacent restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serves reasonably priced regional food, and the wine list featured 20 bottles of wine under $20 in late 2010.
Crowne Plaza Old Town Alexandria
Winner of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce “Large Business of the Year” award, the Crowne Plaza offers both standard rooms and upper-floor suites with two bathrooms, separate living room and bedroom. Rooms at the hotel, renovated in 2008, feature contemporary furnishings. Some have views of the Potomac River. Chequers, the hotel’s restaurant, specializes in seafood and presents an extensive breakfast buffet. The Crowne Plaza provides free shuttle service to Reagan National Airport and the Metro station.