It’s leaf-peep season in the northeast and while the norm may be to travel north to see the season’s most colorful plumage, Washington D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood is host to an autumnal experience unlike others and is certain to have you traveling southbound this fall.
With its townhouse-lined streets, haute cuisine, luxury retailers, charming canal and prime riverside location bordered by cliffs and lush woods, Georgetown has an elevated quaintness which could be more associated with an elegant European village than the nation’s capital.
Sitting bankside amidst it all on Georgetown’s famous C & O Canal is the exclusive 55-room enclave, the Rosewood Washington, D.C. This hotel–aside from being home to a rooftop restaurant with sweeping views of the capital city, Wolfgang Puck’s Cut restaurant, and a plush library for hotel guests to entertain friends–offers one of the most authentic experiences in the city’s hospitality scene: a stay in a Georgetown townhouse.
To experience Washington D.C. as if one of its most notable inhabitants, The Rosewood offers standalone townhomes adjacent to the main hotel property with separate entrances, designer details, private gardens, and level after level of living space and amenities, all with the white glove hospitality for which a 5-star property such as The Rosewood is known.
Townhomes in Georgetown have come to signify the ideal Washingtonian life. The city’s players have long opted for these types of abodes in the iconic D.C. neighborhood. For example, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Maureen Dowd lives in the house where President John F. Kennedy resided as a senator. This sort of historic local lore makes the Rosewood townhouse experience one of true Washingtonian glamour.
Aside from an iconic D.C. experience, the townhomes are thoughtfully designed to offer the comforts of home while also ensconcing guests in hotel service. They’re equipped with full kitchens, washers and dryers, two full bathrooms and even a small study for doing work should it come up.
Guests enter the townhouse into a beautiful entryway which opens to a sizable living area replete with a working gas fireplace, a fully stocked bar cart, and an impressive Bang & Olufsen bluetooth speaker. A short flight of stairs up lead to the townhouse’s next level where the well-appointed kitchen–while compact–is designed for cooking and congregation through a smart use of space which includes a corner banquette set around a circular table which comfortably seats 4. It’s also on this level where guests have access to their own private outdoor space ideal for fresh air or relaxation.
On the next level is the mini alcove-study which sits on a landing between the bedroom and bathroom, a well-thought out use of space which not only adds aesthetic depth and a necessary workspace, but also offers the added practicality as a spot to drop personal items without any of it being in the way.
While the bedroom is plush, serene and inviting, the master bathroom is the crown jewel of this level. In a play of understated elegance, the master bathroom is outfitted with every detail for a pampering experience. The toilet is a fully automatic Toto, the standalone soaking tub is extra-deep, the hair dryer is Dyson, and the toiletries are Dyptique. Even the bath salts are by the heritage Parisian fragrance house.
What truly makes the Rosewood Washington, D.C. townhouses the stand out residences they are is the subtlety with which DC-based interior designer, Thomas Pheasant, executed each one’s interiors with an elevated sense of taste which translates beyond the material–the designer was able to imbue soul into the townhome’s identity. Pheasant succeeds at this by creating a space which anticipates all the needs and cues of a personal home, a task which deserves to be lauded as home-like scenarios in hotels require layers of details which sometimes seems antithetical to the transient nature of hotel room design. Nevertheless, Pheasant includes such details such as tchotchke-style decorative pieces and boxes, well-chosen artwork depicting D.C. scenes in massive black and white photographs, tomes of art and architecture, stocked bookshelves, and even little things such as a small side console in the kitchen to hold the house phone, notepad, fresh flowers, and even a few books–a thoughtful addition unnecessary in a hotel setting, however would be de rigueur in a private residence.
Each of the townhouses measure between 1,000-1,200 square feet and while they are separate from the main hotel, guests staying in these residences enjoy all the amenities and services the hotel offers. From room service to lounging next to the rooftop indoor-outdoor infinitely pool (which is heated all year round) to in-room massages, a townhouse stay provides all the comforts and privacy of home except with the generous hospitality of the Rosewood staff available at every turn.
With all of the details and design, it may be difficult to extract one’s self from the Rosewood Washington, D.C.’s townhouse experience, however, all of the magic of Georgetown sits just on its doorstep as does access to the area’s unique autumnal leaf-peep experience. Situated right on the bank of the canal on 31st street between the main strip of M Street and the famous Georgetown Harbor, the Rosewood’s guests are spoilt for choice in this location. Outside the door to the hotel is to access the famed C & O towpath, a trail which runs beside the picturesque, tree-lined canal for 18.5 miles from Georgetown to Cumberland, Maryland. There is also access to several wooded hiking trails only a few blocks from the Rosewood which run alongside the Potomac River such as the Capitol Crescent and Potomac Heritage (NST Section) trails, while the Custis trail crosses the river into Virginia. Although, if driving is the desired mode for leaf-peeping, then the George Washington Parkway across Georgetown’s Key Bridge gives way to a lush, tree-lined driving experience along the Potomac River with breathtaking fall foliage as well prime Washington D.C. views.