The Hotel: Pulling up to the new Line DC Hotel, the throw pillows lining the steps of this historic, neoclassical church were a telling sign of our how this newcomer to the DC scene is heating things up, inviting you not just into the hotel, but rather to come in and hang out for a while. In fact, with numerous dining and drinking options, it’s tempting to do just that, you could easily spend the weekend without leaving the property. The lobby, a bi-level soaring space is so much more than just where you check in, but instead functions as an all-day lounge, bar, restaurant and even a radio station that broadcasts live each day. It’s a bustling space, where guests and locals both are comfortable, there’s no pretension, and even with a definite cool factor, everyone feels welcome. The Line DC is the second Line hotel from the Sydell Group whose mission is bringing food and community together, and from our weekend stay, we’d say its already on its way to becoming a neighborhood fixture. (Other Line hotels include Line LA and the recently opened Line Austin.)
The Rooms: Like many boutique hotels these days, the décor is minimal, slightly masculine, but comfortable. We liked the curated selection of books and magazines, and the addition of a live plant didn’t go unnoticed. Our room had a view in the distance of the Washington Monument, a nice plus. But, the style is not for everyone, if you like a luxurious, large room you’d be happier checking into the Four Seasons, Ritz or one of our favorite DC hotels, the elegant Jefferson.
The Food: The hotel showcases two well-known local chefs, both with very different cooking styles. Brothers and Sisters from trendy chef Erik Bruner-Yang occupies the entire first floor with couches and a various array of tables where one can hang out in the morning with a cappuccino, transition to a salad at lunch and continue into evenings cocktails followed by dinner. It’s an inventive menu with a mix of traditional and Asian influences. Upstairs on the mezzanine, a dramatic and elegantly beautiful space is home to A Rake’s Progress from chef Spike Gjerde of Baltimore’s beloved Woodberry Kitchen with an emphasis on farm raised and locally sourced fare on its American style menu. One night we started our evening at Spoken English, also from Bruner-Yang, a small narrow space just off the lobby. It’s modeled after traditional Japanese Tachinomiyas; standing bars that specialize in small, savory plates and cocktails. And Spoken English is strictly a stand-up affair, with only two community high tops. It’s a fun concept, the food and cocktails were excellent, and we became friends with our neighbors; perfect for a pre-dinner drink and snack we think rather than a full meal. Lastly, the hotel is also home to The Cup We All Race 4, a coffee bar that pours top-notch brews and grab-and-go sandwiches and pastries
The Neighborhood: Adams Morgan is the stomping grounds for DC’s young hip crowd and popular with college students, (an excellent way to see where your kids will be hanging out)—the city’s equivalent of Brooklyn’s Williamsburgh/Greenpoint area or Chicago’s Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhoods. It’s home to dive bars, coffee shops, live music venues, ethnic restaurants plus vintage boutiques. Wander the streets near the Line, and be sure to visit Idle Time Books, a local institution for second-hand and out-of-print reads. The gift shop Urban Dwell is another good place to stop in for clothes, home decor, and accessories, just around the corner from the hotel. Dining in the area includes the red-hot Tail Up Goat-- it is on every foodie’s hit list we spoke to as a favorite in DC, Mintwood Place, Perry's Restaurant and Lapis Afghan Bistro. Adams Morgan is not immune to gentrification, and the Line is sure to accelerate and emphasis those changes.
Who Should Stay: What we liked about the Line was for a stylish hotel it wasn’t pretentious at all, but warm and welcoming for all ages—my 79-year-old mom who accompanied me loved the hotel and has not stopped talking about our stay. There’s a decent size well-equipped gym, an unexpected plus for a boutique property. Adams Morgan is a fun and colorful area, but the small green space across from the hotel is a hangout for the homeless, something that may bother some. Also if your primary goal is sightseeing, then Adams Morgan is just off the beaten path, approximately a 15-minute drive from the Memorials and White House.