Experience The Dupont Circle Hotel
The Doyle Collection’s deluxe DC destination
Written by Emily Bunn
March 21, 2023
In the heart of the country’s capital is an urban oasis that elevates luxury to a level even beyond Washington DC’s tallest high-rises. The Dupont Circle Hotel exudes astute attention to its guest’s wants and whimsies, providing an unmatched level of luxury in Washington DC.
The property is positioned in a diplomatic neighborhood just steps away from nearby city staples – including the National Mall, several Smithsonian museums and art galleries, and embassies. The hotel’s General Manager, Mark Payne elaborates on the area stating that the hotel itself, “draws inspiration from the neighborhood it resides in — Dupont Circle, one of DC’s most historic neighborhoods and one named after Samuel Francis Du Pont, a notable Rear Admiral during the Civil War.” Matching the grandeur of the surrounding city, the hotel provides a posh address for DC’s visitors.
Following the purchase of the Dupont Circle Hotel by an Irish-based hotel group and rebranded as part of The Doyle Collection, the auberge underwent a major, multimillion-dollar renovation in 2018 to reposition the property in the luxury market. Martin Brudnizki Design Studio worked to re-envision the property’s bar and restaurant by adding stylish flair, original artwork, and chic furnishings. Iconoclast design team Clodagh New York worked to transform the lobby and the Grand Penthouse suite. Gordon Drake, CEO of The Doyle Collection chimes in, describing Clodagh as a “visionary” and remarking that the transformation of both spaces was the most exciting part of the hotel’s renovation for him.
From a dedicated, multilingual guest relations team to their expert concierge services, the property now refuses to compromise when it comes to preparing the highest quality comforts and guest considerations. I speak from experience, as I had the opportunity to stay at the Dupont Circle Hotel.
I immediately found comfort from the city’s cacophony when entering the elegant, artwork-decorated lobby. The property provides a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of DC – quite literally – as purified bottled water service is provided upon arrival (as well as delivered daily to all guest rooms and during departure).
The Dupont Circle Hotel staff was quick to welcome me with an amiable warmth that made our first stay at the property immediately feel like returning to a second home. “Here at The Dupont Circle, we foster a culture of true Irish hospitality, where every guest receives a genuine welcome and is well taken care of while with us — as if they were a guest in our own home. In Ireland, we have a saying, Céad míle fáilte – which means, a thousand welcomes!” remarks Payne.
I was fortunate to stay in the studio terrace suite on the penthouse floor, which granted sweeping views of the city from virtually every angle (even from within the shower), a cozy terrace, and a sizeable living space. With its sprawling king-sized bed, living area, and office space, the room provided all that one could need on their trip.
Stepping further into the suite, I admired the marble-clad bathrooms with both heated floors and heated towel racks. The hotel doesn’t just put on the appearance of luxury, I physically felt the haute slew of opulent amenities. “You would be hard-pressed to find another hotel in the city whose product matches the level of contemporary design, residential style, and luxury furnishings as that featured at The Dupont Circle,” says Payne.
Exhibiting an even loftier view of DC, the Clodagh-designed, 3,000-square-foot, rooftop Grand Penthouse Suite has five outdoor terraces – including one heated terrace with a firepit – a movie projector, two living rooms, a dining area that can seat six, and a pop-out bar. This sumptuous stay is one of the largest suites with outside terraces in Washington, DC. All 12 suites on the hotel’s penthouse are only accessible via a private elevator. In total, the hotel has 32 suites and 327 guest rooms, all of which are provided with high-quality Malin + Goetz bath amenities and smart TVs.
Plush with duck-down duvets, imported linens, and spectacular views of the city, each guest room invites visitors in with a luxe aura that is sure to guarantee a good night’s sleep. When it’s time to rise and shine, a splendorous start to the day is also assured, thanks to each guest room’s Nespresso coffee and espresso machines. Or venture down to Doyle & Co for Lavazza coffee and espresso alongside house-made pastries.
To satisfy a heartier appetite, The Pembroke has all-day offerings for breakfast, brunch (on the weekends), lunch, and dinner. Entering the dining destination, I admired the dining room decorated with glossy marble, chic artwork, verdant greenery, and velvet banquettes. The Pembroke’s menu captures a taste of contemporary American eats with global cuisine influences, which can be enjoyed inside or on the seasonal terrace. Drake comments that The Doyle Collection’s properties’ restaurants “tend to become a central hub for guests and locals alike” due to the staff’s warmth and “the easy luxury of each space and a dynamic, vital atmosphere.”
I had the opportunity to dine at the Pembroke and speak with the restaurant’s ebullient Assistant General Manager, Hicham Hazim. Sitting down for dinner and receiving the drink menu, I was blown away at the large selection of hand-picked wines. Highlighting female vintners; organic, sustainable, and vegan-friendly sips; selections from the Bordeaux Library Collection; and more, the Pembroke’s wine list is as broad as it is delectable. I settled on a glass of Veuve Clicquot rose, enjoyed alongside a rich roasted butternut squash soup, freshly made pomodoro pasta, and a tantalizingly tart raspberry sorbet.
After becoming satiated and satisfied with my dinner, Hazim eagerly explained his delight with the Pembroke’s new chef, Michael Sammour. This welcome addition to the Pembroke’s team resulted in the new three-course Prix-Fixe Menu for DC’s restaurant week alongside the revamped dining menu.
In honor of Irish Heritage Month, the hotel has expanded its menu to celebrate The Doyle Collection’s lineage. “Inspired by the craftsmanship, tradition and stories of Irish culture, our talented team has created a specialty menu of traditional Irish dishes with a modern twist, as well as [a] carefully curated cocktail menu using ingredients and spirits of Irish provenance… The Great Irish Tour cocktail menu is an indulgent celebration of the tastes and local flavours to be discovered across the landscape of Ireland.”
After enjoying Pembroke’s delicious dishes, relish in the 50’s and 60’s cocktail culture-inspired Doyle Bar & Lounge. Drake illustrates the space as having “the sophistication of the Kennedy-era Washington D.C. scene.” The Doyle Bar exudes mid-century glitz and glamour, a sophisticated atmosphere, and views of Dupont Circle; and extends a vast selection of whiskey, rum, gin, and vodka. If vino is more your style, the wine list showcases both new and old-world wines sure to quench one’s thirst. Creative cocktails are also presented, from classic drinks to original concoctions.
Whether you decide to stay inside the property or venture into DC and enjoy the host of monuments, museums, and nearby attractions, the Dupont Circle Hotel provides plentiful luxuries in the heart of the nation’s capital. I left the Doyle Collection’s property charmed by its old-school sophistication, luxe amenities, and attentive guest services.