We’re finally going to make it all the way through the description of a Washington, D.C. hotel without any wisecracks about the capital’s aesthetic conservatism. The Eaton Hotel is impervious to that line of criticism — this isn’t just the hippest hotel in Washington, but one of the most impressive new boutique hotels in America, and it’s thanks in large part to the fact that its founder, Katharine Lo, isn’t given to half-measures.
She’s the Hong Kong–born, Yale-educated daughter of the chairman of the Langham group, so the basics of high-end hospitality are second nature. What makes the Eaton special is everything else, from its unapologetically bohemian interiors to its even more unapologetically outspoken social-justice ethos — a rarity for D.C., this is a hotel that feels free to wear its politics on its sleeve. While this stance may lose it some business on one side of the aisle, progressive activists — and sympathetic travelers — will feel right at home, as will visiting arts-and-culture types.
Mission aside, it’s simply a first-rate luxury boutique hotel, from the Bluetooth record players and locally sourced minibars in the rooms to the wellness center, which offers yoga and meditation as well as reiki, acupuncture, and practices that verge on the spiritual. Michele's is a French American inspired restaurant by Michelin-starred Chef Matt Baker, while Baker’s Daughter serves third-wave coffee and Ayurvedic beverages. Meanwhile Allegory pours inventive cocktails in an inspired space, and Wild Days is the most unexpected of offerings for a D.C. hotel: a rooftop music venue that hosts both local and national acts.