5 Best Washington, D.C. Hotels for the Holidays

Washington, D.C. has many luxury hotels offering comfortable accommodations, great restaurants and upscale amenities. But there are a few that stand out during the holiday season for their festive decorations, musical entertainment, visits with Santa and all around holiday cheer. Whether you are visiting from out of town or a local looking to get in the spirit of the season, these 5 hotels are ones to check out.

For a complete lineup of events in the region, see December Festivals and Events in the Washington, D.C. Area

  • 01 of 05

    The Willard Hotel

    Willard Hotel
    Photo © Willard InterContinental Hotel

    Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a few blocks from the White House, the historic Willard Hotel is a must-visit destination for the holidays. The Willard presents nightly chorus concerts by local performers throughout December from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the gorgeously decorated lobby.  A Holiday Afternoon Tea in Peacock Alley is one of the most popular seasonal offerings. Holiday dining specials feature classic cuisine in a festive setting. The Sugar Plum Package offers overnight accommodations and premium orchestra seats for the Washington Ballet's The Nutcracker. A variety of other seasonal packages are available. Read more about the Willard Hotel

    Address: 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, D.C. (202) 628-9100.

  • 02 of 05

    Ritz Carlton Washington, D.C.

    Ritz Carlton Washington DC
    Photo © Ritz Carlton

    The Ritz Carlton has two locations in the nation's capital. Throughout the holiday season, visit the stunning Wishing Tree in the Ritz Carlton Washington, D.C. lobby. Inspired by the season of giving, the Wishing Tree is decorated with holiday wishes from the children of Martha's Table, as well as festive gingerbread ornaments created by the Ritz Carlton’s Executive Pastry Chef.  This year, the hotel’s pastry team will create a huge gingerbread house replica of the Smithsonian Castle, which will be featured prominently in the lobby. Holiday events include gingerbread house decorating classes, Chocolate Decadence (a buffet of sumptuous chocolate and candy desserts and Champagne cocktails), and holiday dining specials.

    The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown will offer its nightly signature S'Mores by the Fire, complimentary, French Toast s'mores in front of the wood-burning fireplace. This year, the hotel will throw holiday cupcake decorating parties, hosted by Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, co-founders of Georgetown Cupcakes. For every dozen decorated, the hotel will donate one meal to Georgetown Ministries. Other events include Christmas Tree decorating, Christmas carols and cookie decorating.

    Addresses: 1150 22nd St NW Washington, D.C. (202) 835-0500. and 3100 South St NW Washington, D.C. (Georgetown) (202) 912-4100.

  • 03 of 05

    Gaylord National Resort

    Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center
    Photo © Gaylord National

    The Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor is a fabulous place to stay or visit during the holiday season. Gaylord National's ICE is the resort's signature event, with a new theme each year, featuring an ice sculpted wonderland created by Chinese artists. The 2,000 room hotel and conference center offers a season of entertainment and activities for the whole family including gingerbread decorating, scavenger hunts, nightly holiday fountain shows, Brunch with Santa and more. Read more about the Gaylord National Resort.

    Address: 201 Waterfront Street National Harbor, MD (301) 965-4000.

    In addition to the resort activities, National Harbor hosts a variety of events including a holiday market, holiday music, carousel rides, Photos with Santa on the Capital Wheel and more. Read more about Christmas at National Harbor.

  • 04 of 05

    Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.

    Marriott Marquis Christmas
    Photo © Marriott Marquis

    This holiday season, the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C., will build a life-sized 10 foot (8ft x 8ft) gingerbread house for display in the Great Room lobby. Using gigantic measures of holiday baking favorites - 700 lbs of flour, 200 lbs of sugar, 15 lbs of cinnamon and 250 lbs of candy - the hotel’s 70-member culinary team will construct the 10-foot high A-frame which will weigh in at over 1,300 pounds! The hotel is one of the largest in the nation's capital, adjacent to the Washington Convention Center, and convenient to many of the city's top attractions. Special holiday rates and promotions are available.

    Address: 901 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington, D.C. (202) 824-9200.


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  • 05 of 05

    Fairmont Washington, D.C.

    Fairmont Christmas
    Photo © Fairmont Washington

    The Fairmont Washington D.C. hosts a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony with holiday refreshments, holiday card decorating, entertainment by the Georgetown Visitation Madrigals, presentation of colors by U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard and photos with Santa. The annual event is free and open to the public. Guests are asked to bring a donation for Toys for Tots. The hotel is located in the West End neighborhood adjacent to historic Georgetown.

    Address: 2401 M Street, NW Washington, D.C. (202) 457-5019.

    Looking for the best places to ring in the New Year? See a guide to Washington DC New Year's Eve Parties and Hotel Specials