Sometime in the last decade came a turning point for Washington D.C.

The city, long known for its sophistication and elegance, revealed a much more vibrant and eclectic side and gained notoriety alongside the East Coast creative havens of New York and Miami as a destination with cultural significance, yet brimming in street cred.

To keep up with the Joneses and reflect this inherent duality of the city, the Fairmont was undergoing a landmark refurbishment when we visited. now completed, the property boasts a revitalised lobby, new bar and courtyard, all with a touch of d.C. style glitz. What stood out almost immediately was the warm and friendly service we received, from arrival to the moment we left. Clichés aside, it really felt like coming home to stay with family. even with the renovations going on, not one single team member skirted around it, in fact they were extremely proud, telling us how wonderful it was going to look when finally done. This congeniality is rare these days in big brand properties, particularly in a formal city like D.C.

Our recently refurbished Fairmont Gold Executive Suite offered us plenty of living and leisure space. The neutral colours were a little pedestrian perhaps, but we liked the little reminders throughout the room of where we were. The wallpaper behind the bed showcased a map of the city, the wide-gridded streets and avenues forming an abstract pattern. Our favourite accent was the gold-mirrored, silhouette portrait of george Washington. an amazing facility to experience is the hotel’s enormous fitness centre, 16,000 square feet of exercise space – turning the notion of the small, ill-equiped hotel gym on its head. This is how they roll at the Fairmont, in a city unafraid to dream big.

www.fairmont.com/washington