A convenient lodging option in the District is The Riggs Washington DC, which is close to well-known sites like the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Visitors can use the hotel’s free bicycles to explore the city or unwind in one of the many on-site amenities, which include a French-inspired restaurant and a 24-hour fitness centre.
For an extra special experience, reserve a First Ladies room, which features decor inspired by former first ladies Louisa Adams, Angelica Van Buren, and others. All guest rooms and suites feature colourful furniture, oak floors, down comforters, work spaces, and marble showers.
Riggs Washington, D.C.
In the historic district of Washington, DC, at 900 F Street, the original Riggs National Bank building is now a hotel. It is a magnificent piece of architecture located on a well-known downtown corner.
The hotel reopened in early 2020 as Riggs Washington DC, a 181-room independent full-service establishment with a restaurant, basement cocktail bar, and rooftop event space, following a significant renovation and repositioning.
Why did you choose this hotel?
Being located in the centre of Washington’s Penn Quarter, Riggs doesn’t need to do much to make its presence known. As one of the last Romanesque Revival structures in the city, the architecture alone attracts attention.
Above the main entrance, a sign reading “The Riggs National Bank” gives away the building’s intriguing past.
So what is the backstory?
The hospitality company Lore Group, which operates Sea Containers London and Pulitzer Amsterdam, has opened its first hotel in the United States with Riggs. It is located in a former bank that dates back to 1891, which also served as the name and design inspiration.
In the same grand, barrel-vaulted elevator bank that has since been magnificently restored, 23 former US presidents arrived to haggle.
The 181-room property’s personal-finance theme is introduced in the reception area, which is distinguished by a stately L-shaped desk that resembles a teller counter. The landmarked structure was a Courtyard by Marriott before Lore Group renovated it.
Tell us everything you know about the rooms. Any suggestions for what to book?
The classic rooms are roomy and lovely, with Voutsa-designed wallpaper and headboard fabrics. But the Louisa Adams Suite gave us even more room to spread out—it was one of four specialty suites named after four former First Ladies.
In this area, Lore Group creative director Jacu Strauss experimented with a yellow-and-black colour scheme as well as furnishings like a baby grand piano that alludes to Adams’ love of concerts.
The Roman goddess of money, Juno Moneta, was emblazoned on the front of a large, rectangular steel “safe” that concealed the minibar inside. The bathrooms featured Carrara marble, modern chrome hardware, and navy pinstripe wallpaper.
What are we looking at when we talk about drinking and dining?
The all-day Cafe Riggs is ideal for both a special occasion dinner and a morning coffee thanks to its large windows on two walls, 22-foot ceilings, original marble columns, and various seating areas.
A former employee of Momofuku, Patrick Curran, is in charge. He elevates simple dishes like soft-scrambled eggs with quinoa and pepper relish and dresses unassuming broccoli in a sesame-garlic vinaigrette that could convince a toddler to eat something healthy.
If you’re only in town for the weekend, you might be wondering how to try as many things as you can in a short visit. The menu is likely to please both locals (who can visit at any time) and guests who stay for a while.
Silver Lyan, on the other hand, is Ryan Chetiyawardana’s first business venture in the United States. In this space, which was formerly the vault, maraschino cherries are spherified and Guinness is served in Champagne flutes.
However, you are welcome to order anything else and relax in the stylish underground area with a glass of wine or spritz. While we won’t give anything away, the physical menu is just as inventive as the complex cocktails.
What about the service?
The service seemed to be friendly, attentive, and personal in general. No particular employee stood out, but there were also no complaints.
What about the surroundings? Is there anything else here?
The intersection of several significant Metro lines is in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown neighbourhood, which is well-liked by both tourists and residents. A great lunchtime excursion is to visit the National Portrait Gallery, which is directly across the street and free like all Smithsonian museums.
There are excellent places to go for daily meals (Shake Shack, The Smith) as well as indulgent meals close by. The other hotels in the area are primarily large chains.
Any other hotel highlights?
The Riggs-branded umbrella, which opens to reveal the same pattern as the headboard fabric, is the most sought-after item in the room. A 2,500 square foot rooftop event space and a 1,800 square foot gym with Peloton bikes are available.
In the women’s restroom at Cafe Riggs, one of the stalls is illuminated by a single neon-pink light; we’re not sure what it’s for or why it’s there, but it’s great.
Finally, why are we going with Riggs Hotel?
With the opening of new Thompson, Conrad, and Generator hotels in the city, the hotel boom in Washington is at an all-time high. Even venerable neighbourhoods like Rosewood and Dupont Circle are receiving makeovers.
There are more options than ever, but Riggs stands out right away thanks to its exceptional design, top-notch dining, and whimsical touches all housed in landmarked architecture.