The presidential election is way too close to call. But we can say with [almost] absolute certainty that SOMEONE will be inaugurated Jan. 20 — and local hospitality havens are angling to make that weekend the most memorable event ever.
Inauguration packages are nothing new to the nation’s capital, but the current crop of mind-blowing deals takes patriotism to wild new levels.
The chutzpah award has to go to Kimpton Hotels, which is prepared to fully block off two of its boutique properties — the Hotel Madera (1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW) and the Morrison House (116 S. Alfred St., Alexandria, Va.) — for the right price. Bidders can have full run of the 82-room (up to 164 guests) Madera Jan. 18-22 for $320,000, while the 45-room (up to 90 guests) Morrison House can be snatched up for the same four days for $200,000. Guests would also be privy to special meals and customized receptions at Firefly Restaurant at Madera and the Grille at Morrison House.
A Kimpton spokeswoman confirmed that neither buyout has been exercised yet, but suggested that there have been a “few nibbles.”
“We think that it might be a good option for lobbying or corporate organizations, political organizations such as state delegations, celebrities and their entourage, or even charities,” the Kimpton spokeswoman said.
Interested parties should move fast: Reservations are required by Saturday.
The Park Hyatt Washington (1201 24th St. NW) is rolling out the red carpet for much smaller entourages, baiting the well-heeled with a presidential suite packed full of enviable goodies.
Their “American Style” package entitles guests to a four-day stay (Jan. 18-22); a full slate of inauguration-related activities, such as box seats for a National Symphony Orchestra show at the Kennedy Center as well as a VIP tour; and a five-course dinner featuring the president-elect’s favorite dishes at the chef’s table (for up to 12 guests) of the award-winning Blue Duck Tavern. There will also be lavish treatment (butler service, on-call stylist from Saks Fifth Avenue, in-suite massages) and gourmet accoutrements (fresh-baked apple pie, custom artisanal cheese/charcuterie tasting party, signed magnum of signature Cabernet Franc blend). All this for just $57,000. Additionally, everything in the room, from the hand-picked art adorning the walls to the designer frocks dangling in the closets is available for purchase from the contributing retailer.
The 2009 inauguration bundle ($70,000) went unclaimed. Those wishing to exercise their right to be unbelievably fabulous — musicians Sting and Jennifer Lopez have both stayed in the Hyatt’s penthouse suite in the past — need to book this special by Jan. 1.
If all that is too rich for your (blue) blood, consider the more budget-friendly Mayflower Renaissance (1127 Connecticut Ave. NW).
The landmark D.C. hotel has carved out two inauguration splurges: the “Pick Your Party” package ($5,000 per night) and the “Red, White & You” retreat ($224 per night).
The PYP plan includes a one-bedroom suite outfitted with color-coordinated décor (red swag for Republicans, blue for Democrats), a steady supply of bubbly (champagne breakfast for two, champagne-fueled moonlight tour of the monuments) and a buffet of politically inspired multimedia (complimentary copies of movies and TV shows ranging from the “West Wing” to “The Daily Show”) for in-room viewing.
The more modest RW&Y bundle includes a deluxe room, daily breakfast, overnight parking and the same steady diet of politically themed DVDs.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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