25 Jan 2022


A peek at the newest hotel on the Hill

The newest kid on the block. All photos by Maria Helena Carey

Last week, we got the news that the newest hotel on the Hill, the very lengthily named AC Hotel Washington DC Capitol Hill Navy Yard would be opening on February 3 of this year. (This is a date subject to change, due to supply chain issues.)

The hotel is part of the Marriott chain, under the AC brand, which Marriot acquired about eight years ago. AC is short for Antonio Catalán, the Spanish hotelier who first developed the concept of beautiful hotels that appeal to business travelers with a minimalist approach.

The minimalism also extends to the sparse but well appointed rooms: Clean lines, white linens, and a distinct lack of clutter reign in all of the 225 guest rooms.

The hospitality concept throughout AC hotels focuses on a satisfying and plentiful continental breakfast –with plenty of jamón Serrano, of course– as well as a beautiful cocktail space where you can eat something absolutely delicious as you wind down with a selection from an ample list of cocktails. The chain’s signature cocktail is a Gin and Tonic, which sounds perfect on the couple of beautiful spring days we are sure to get before the weather turns to inferno.

This AC Hotel is special in that there is a full-service restaurant coming to the space as well: Smoke and Mirrors. The soon-to-open rooftop restaurant will have beautiful views of the Capitol and the neighborhood. You can look due north for what feels like miles– the Arboretum hill and the top of the National Cathedral are also easily visible. Below, some photos of what you can expect at the new hotel.

The hotel is at 867 New Jersey Avenue SE, at the corner of New Jersey, H and First (kind of). There are two entrances: The main one looks out onto the corner, and when the hotel is fully done, there will be a small bar in the lobby with a gullwing window so passers-by can get a cocktail and enjoy it outside. (MHC)
The rooms are minimalistic and feature a special blond wood called “blanca” throughout. This room has a king-sized bed and a sofa bed. Also available are rooms with two queen-sized beds and with one king-sized bed only. The hotel has no suites. (MHC)
The bathrooms are also wonderfully minimalistic, with rain showers and just the amount of amenities you need, no more. Valet and laundry service are available. (MHC)
There are wonderful local-feeling touches throughout the rooms. There will also be a Made in DC store and local products showcased throughout. (MHC)
And then, there are the views: On a clear day, you can see our entire neighborhood with incredible detail. And the rooms are very quiet, so the freeway won’t make you lose sleep. (MHC)
Views and more views from rooms. Can you imagine peeking out at this loveliness during a staycation? (MHC)
Smoke and Mirrors was still getting its final touches when I visited, but here is a small detail from their outdoor seating area. There will be a retractable roof and plenty of heaters, as well as a couple of fire pits. The restaurant has a separate entry on New Jersey Avenue.

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