Enjoy a Clandestine Affair at Donovan House in Washington, DC

November 2, 2013

Photo courtesy of Jing Dian Jia Ju on Flickr Creative CommonsWASHINGTON, DC, US – If JFK and Marilyn Monroe were planning a covert rendezvous in 2013, we know right where they’d hole up. Opened in 2012, Donovan House is a nouveau icon of Logan Circle and is one of Washington, DC’s newest boutique hotels. It’s also the city’s sexiest hideaway—perfect for slinky escapes and even slinkier escapades, going undercover as well as under covers.

Sure, some of the laidback vibe here is a bit disingenuous. Donovan House is, after all, a Kimpton hotel, and if there’s anyone who does first-class style in a luxury setting, it’s Kimpton (also of Hotel Monaco Washington DC and New York‘s 70 park avenue hotel). You’ll find plenty of that in this plush retreat with Sferra linens, Frette robes, and yoga mats in every guestroom. In fact, we don’t know of any low-profile hotel with one of DC’s best sushi restaurants, Zentan, much less a Zentan outpost by a trending rooftop pool. Top that off with a nightly Hosted Wine Hour with the Master Sommelier (off-duty suits—or philandering presidents—are invited to loosen their ties), and hotel wining and dining has never looked so good.

Buzzworthy or not, though, the hotel conceals and secludes with bubble chairs and oversized throws in intimate alcoves in the lobby. In fact, all these features are just a smattering of the hotel’s 1960s motifs, which run throughout the entirety of the building. Plum and olive tones set off tapestries of pop art flower silhouettes; plants even grow from the countertops of the ultra-mod bathrooms. Old DC flicks (including one starring Jean Harlow, Monroe’s bleached-blonde foremother) run on a loop in the lobby, and meetings unfold in retro suites so that Jack and Norma in their pointy-toed dress shoes would be doubly unlikely to stick out from the crowd.

Most advantageously to a secret tryst, Donovan House has “love nest” written all over it. Smartly styled bedrooms inject some Don Draper-style testosterone into sleeping arrangements, and the DNV Rooftop Pool Bar draws a crowd of sexy sake-sippers (that liquor reserves a special column on the bar menu). Most seductively of all, management adheres to a secret agent theme: through the “Agent” nametags offered to every guest; the concierge’s “Inspector Gadget” nickname; and the Secret Agent package that comprises tickets to the International Spy Museum as well as two cocktails (shaken, natch). Because the “Donovan” in Donovan House? That’s none other than “Wild” Bill Donovan, the founder of the CIA.

Talk about a sleeper agent.

Read more about Donovan House in our Washington, DC Guide.

Donovan House
1155 14th St., NW
Washington, DC

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