The Waldorf Astoria: History, Luxury and Elegance in the Heart of D.C. 

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If you’re seeking a hotel that provides elegance, sophistication and history paired with convenient access to all of Washington, D.C.’s popular attractions, the Waldorf Astoria delivers. Once the iconic Old Post Office, this stunning D.C. landmark has been reimagined to provide guests with effortless luxury. Rest in uniquely designed guest rooms and suites where no two rooms are identical. Dine at the legendary Peacock Alley, serving an eclectic menu of refined cuisine. Or, find nirvana at the hotel’s elite spa – home to six treatment rooms and exclusive rituals and retreats.

Whether this is your first trip to Washington, D.C., or you are a frequent visitor, the Waldorf Astoria is the perfect home base for your D.C. adventures, providing a VIP experience for everyone.

Getting Here

Prominently positioned between The White House and the U.S. Capitol, the Waldorf Astoria Washington DC is easily accessible from all major airports. The hotel is only three miles from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), a quick 10-minute drive by car. Alternatively, Dulles International Airport (IAD) is only 35 minutes away by car, while Baltimore International Airport (BWI) is a 45-minute drive.

Public transportation options are also available. For example, if you’ve flown into DCA, take the Metrorail Blue Line to the Federal Triangle stop directly across the street from the hotel. Or, from Washington Union Station, take the Red Line to Metro Center and walk three blocks south to the hotel.

The Waldorf’s Long-Lasting Legacy

The outside of Waldorf Astoria Washington DC.

When you’re a guest at the Waldorf Astoria Washington DC, you become part of its history and legacy. Formerly the U.S. Post Office headquarters, this stately building played an integral role as one of D.C.’s foundational institutions. With construction beginning in 1892 and finishing in 1899, the Old Post Office united a newly independent America by connecting the colonies, facilitating elections and assisting with the Great Migration.

After World War I, the building served as a federal office space and was at risk of being torn down in the 1970s. Thankfully, it was the first structure that ignited the “Don’t Tear it Down Movement,” when Nancy Hanks, second chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, fought to keep the building from being destroyed. In 1973, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2022, the Old Post Office building transformed into the newest Waldorf Astoria, promising to honor its history and legacy while forging a new path in luxury hospitality that’s accessible to all.  

Effortless Elegance in the Grand Lobby  

The moment you step foot into Waldorf Astoria’s lobby, it’s easy to be swept away by the pure grandeur of the space. From the soaring nine-story atrium with a glass ceiling that filters in natural light to the sparkling crystal sconces that add a touch of European inspiration, the hotel’s architecture and décor offer a blend of colonial elegance with a modern twist.  

Walking to the check-in desk is awe-inspiring as you look up at the ornate metal trusses stretching across the atrium supporting the hotel’s structure. This industrial flair complements the original 19th-century glass details, woodwork and stone masonry – all restored to their former splendor.

Meet Me at the Clock

One timeless tradition for Waldorf Astoria is the grand lobby clocks that have been an integral part of the brand’s heritage for over 125 years. Beginning with the original Waldorf Astoria that opened in 1893, the clocks’ designs represent the individuality of each hotel, from the Mystery Lady Timepiece in New Orleans to the armillary sphere at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam – a tribute to the city’s seafaring history. At Waldorf Astoria Washington DC, you can expect something even grander; a Clock Tower that’s home to the Bells of Congress, a museum and a 270-foot observation deck.  

Easily accessed from outside the hotel, The Clock Tower offers free tours to the public run by the National Park Service. The tour begins with a stroll through the museum, a hallway featuring old photographs that detail the Old Post Office’s history. Next, you’ll ride up a glass elevator that offers spectacular views of the grand lobby and atrium. Once you’ve reached the Clock Tower, an experienced guide will provide insight into the Bells of Congress and their history – a gift to Congress in 1958; the bells are exact replicas of those found in Westminster Abbey. Afterward, take another elevator to the observation deck for panoramic views of the Capitol, White House, Pentagon and other popular attractions.

One-of-a-Kind Luxury Rooms and Suites

There’s nothing better after a long day exploring Washington, D.C.’s monuments and memorials than relaxing in the comfort of your spacious guest room or suite. And at Waldorf Astoria, take your pick from 263 guest rooms and 35 suites. Reminiscent of The White House, the stately décor of each room and suite blends perfectly with classic features such as solid-wood doors, wainscoting and soaring windows that have been thoughtfully retained from the original building. Luxuriously appointed five-fixture bathrooms complete the spaces, along with a sophisticated guest room art program that tells the story of the Old Post Office. At Waldorf Astoria Washington DC, no two rooms are identical, and every detail is intentional.

Of course, if you’re looking to make your stay truly special, Waldorf Astoria’s signature suites are some of the most spectacular and largest available in Washington, D.C. – be sure to call the hotel ahead of time to check availability.

The Waldorf Townhouse

You’ll feel like a VIP staying at the Waldorf Townhouse, the largest suite in Washington, D.C., at 6,300 square feet. Not only will you have a private entrance that’s tucked away off the lobby, but this suite comes with an expansive dining room, pantry/kitchen, and an upper level that’s home to another living room, two breathtaking bedrooms, a spa bathroom and private workout room.

The Waldorf Townhouse Suite Living Area.

Presidential Suite

History is on display in the Presidential Suite, which was once the office of the Postmaster General. From the historic fireplace to crown moldings, this spacious 4,000-square-foot suite offers a combinable configuration of up to three bedrooms, a kitchen, private study, dining room and a majestic marble bath. There’s also a workout room and a spacious walk-in closet.    

Discover History and Beauty in the Waldorf Astoria’s Event Spaces

Beyond the grand lobby, Clock Tower, rooms, and suites, history continues to live on in the Waldorf Astoria’s event spaces.

The Ballroom

Timeless, elegant and classical best describes the opulent and expansive ballroom at Waldorf Astoria. The largest ballroom of all Washington, D.C.’s luxury hotels, this event space is 13,200 square feet and features European-inspired decor with a column-free layout that’s perfect for galas, receptions, influential meetings and events.

The Ballroom at Waldorf Astoria Washington DC.

Lincoln Library

Booklovers shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to wander through the Lincoln Library, the original meeting room for D.C.’s postal headquarters. Today it retains the original woodwork and carved plaster-crown molding and features artwork chronicling the stages of Lincoln’s life, along with bookcases housing literature on Abraham Lincoln.

The Lincoln Library at Waldorf Astoria Washington DC.

Franklin Study

As you continue to explore the hotel, stop by the Franklin Study. Home to an impressive gallery of cherry blossom art, a reflection of Benjamin Franklin’s love for nature, the study also provides views of Pennsylvania Avenue and access to the outdoor Benjamin Terrace.

The Waldorf Astoria’s Franklin Study features galleries of cherry blossom art.

First-Class Dining Experiences

All of your dining needs will be met throughout your stay thanks to two on-site restaurants: Peacock Alley and Sushi Nakazawa.

Dinner and wine at Peacock Alley.

Peacock Alley is Waldorf Astoria’s mainstay restaurant and local hot spot – a place to see and be seen. Named after the corridor that connected William Waldorf Astor’s and his competing cousin John Jacob Astor IV’s hotels, the New York press referred to it as ‘Peacock Alley’ due to the wealthy guests showing off their riches like strutting peacocks. Located in the grand atrium, you’ll dine beneath the glittering chandeliers on classic dishes such as lobster waffles with caviar hollandaise, wagyu ribeye and crispy skin ora king salmon.

Spend an afternoon at the Clock Tower Tea. Bite into a delicious selection of tea sandwiches, sweets and homemade scones. Reservations fill up quickly, so book 24 hours in advance.

Next door and accessible from outside the hotel, Michelin-starred Sushi Nakazawa houses the most extensive sake selection in the country, serving their exclusive Nigiri-sushi “Omakase” menu. What’s Omakase? Rather than ordering off a set menu, the chef will prepare his chosen dishes for the evening. Don’t worry. You won’t be disappointed in the mouthwatering creations served up at this establishment.

Looking to dine in the privacy of your room? No problem. The hotel also offers an expansive 24-hour room service menu.

Coming Soon: The Bazaar By Jose Andres

Additionally, Waldorf Astoria will expand its culinary prowess when Michelin-starred chef Jose Andres takes the helm of The Bazaar By Jose Andres, opening in early 2023. This restaurant will offer diners a carefully curated theater of shared plates, where guests will be wowed by innovative, Spanish-inspired cuisine, thoughtfully created cocktails and theatrical presentations.

The Tasting Salon by Waldorf Astoria

One exclusive experience guests won’t want to miss is The Tasting Salon by Waldorf Astoria. Located just under The Clock Tower in the lobby, you’ll indulge in a private tasting of rare spirits and wines from around the world, with select experiences such as ‘A Taste of Buffalo Trace,’ a trio of fine Kentucky whiskeys. Or send your taste buds across the Pacific for Asian whiskey with ‘A Taste of Japan.’ There’s also a food pairing menu for an additional cost with delectable bites such as premium sturgeon caviars and a selection of artisanal cheese and charcuterie.

Two gentlemen attend an exclusive tasting of rare spirits at The Tasting Salon by Waldorf Astoria.

Relax and Recharge at the Spa & Fitness Center

After a long day of D.C. adventures, there’s no better way to rejuvenate than at the Waldorf Astoria Spa. Once the Old Post Office’s mailroom, this space is home to six treatment rooms, private resting cocoons in The Sanctuary and exclusive rituals and retreat packages such as the Couple’s Champagne & Caviar Retreat. Find serenity in the soothing Himalayan Salt Therapy Room – the only one in D.C., or indulge in a full menu of massages and facials carefully crafted by the spa’s skilled therapists.

Adjacent to the spa, guests can work up a sweat at the fitness center equipped with the latest Technogym® cardio and strength-training equipment. 

Your Connection to Nearby Attractions 

Thanks to Waldorf Astoria’s ideal location on Pennsylvania Avenue, all of Washington, D.C.’s attractions are at your fingertips. In fact, 14 of the 17 museums and galleries are steps from the hotel, such as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Natural Gallery of Art. Are you looking for some retail therapy? CityCenterDC delivers high-end brands like Gucci and Dior just five blocks away. Soak up history at the National Mall, where you’ll find famous sights such as the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. And for those here on business, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is only a 15-minute walk north of the property.

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