Supporting the MLK Memorial Foundation

August 18, 2011 by

In support of the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation, the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel is donating 10% of room revenue to the MLK Foundation for rooms booked from August 18, 2011  through the end of the year.

The MLK Memorial Foundation will dedicate the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in West Potomac Park along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, August 28, 2011. For more information regarding the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and the Memorial Foundation, visit the website: www.mlkmemorial.org.

If you would like to attend the special ticketed ceremony, the Hamilton Crowne Plaza has a limited number of reserved tickets available for guests staying at the hotel.

The donation will be made based on the room rate reserved and booked directly through the hotel’s website using rate code ID 100289014 for stays now through December 31, 2011.

The Place to Meet

August 4, 2011 by
Hamilton Crowne Plaza Meeting Room

Hamilton Crowne Plaza Meeting Room

At the Hamilton Crowne Plaza in Washington DC, we know you are busy with your day-to-day work activities and sometimes planning your company’s meetings and events can add unnecessary stress to your day. This is why we have an entire team dedicated to planning the specifics of your meeting, so you don’t have to. With a dedicated Crowne Meetings Director, an award winning Meetings and Events Staff, the latest in conference technology, and a perfect location in the heart of Washington DC, your next meeting is sure to be a great success.

Our team has put together the Perfect Meeting Solution Package  to provide the value and quality you need for a successful event.  – both for your attendees and your budget. This special package includes the Presidential Break Package offering early morning continental, a mid-morning refresh break, and an afternoon break; our standard audio/visual package including 1 screen, LCD projector and cart, 1 flipchart with markers, pens and notepads; and ice water and candy. The package also includes complimentary wireless internet and room rental for one meeting room.

In addition, we are providing a pick-your-perk incentive that allows you to select which extra benefit will add the most value to your meeting. You can choose between  complimentary meeting room internet, 50% off room rental, or a complimentary early morning break. As an added bonus, we are offering 500 Priority Club Meeting Rewards Points for every $1,000 of food and beverage spending during your event.

To reserve your dates and start planning your next event simply call us directly at 202-218-7515 or send your RFP to sales@hamiltonhoteldc.com.

We look forward to working with you.

Dining Out – DC Style

July 13, 2011 by

Summer is a great time to visit Washington DC and this summer is a great time for anyone who enjoys eating out. There are so many great places to eat in Washington DC – I’ve heard chefs say that we have more kinds of restaurants than anywhere else.

Here are a few suggestions including some that are worth making a special trip while the regulars are away and it’s easier to get a table:

Metro Food Tours offers neighborhood tours through Georgetown, Capitol Hill, Old Town Alexandria, U Street, Eastern Market, Dupont Circle, plus an option you won’t find anywhere else – Little Ethiopia. Washington DC has the largest Ethiopian population outside of Ethiopia and offers some of the best Ethiopian food available plus traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies.

If you’ve heard about or visited Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack in New York City, we have now 2 locations in Washington DC – one in Dupont Circle, right on Connecticut Avenue, and one in Nationals Ball Park, so you can grab a burger and a shake while you enjoy a ball game.

Fans of Bravo’s Top Chef can find Spike Mendelsohn at his Good Stuff Eatery or his new We, the Pizza.

Fodor’s offers a great list of some that includes many of our favorite restaurants including Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert, Rasika by the Verizon Center, and Marvin in U Street – owned by one of the members of Thievery Corporation.  Washington Post Food Critic Tom Sietsema offers his Dining Guide to steer you in the right direction by price, location, cuisine and rating.

And no list would be complete without our own 14K Restaurant – enjoy some of Chef Spencer Wolff’s specialties or just unwind with a cocktail on the patio after a day of sightseeing.  And of course, there’s no better place to start your day than with our breakfast buffet or just stop by our in-house Starbucks and grab your coffee to go.

Check our specials and make your reservations now – we’re saving a table for you.

Family Summer Fun in Washington DC

July 1, 2011 by

If you’re looking for a great family summer escape, come to Washington DC! There’s plenty to see and do and we’re running a great Family Fun Package to keep it affordable to bring the whole family and stay right downtown.

The Hamilton Crowne Plaza is right across the park from the McPherson Square metro station on the Orange and Blue lines, so you won’t even have to worry about driving during your stay – you can walk or take Metro to all the most popular sites around town.

While you’re in town, you can:

  • Visit the Giant Pandas and the lion cubs at the National Zoo
  • Visit the Washington Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, plus the World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall
  • Visit the Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall including the Air & Space Museum
  • Visit the Butterfly exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History
  • Tour the US Capitol
  • Take a walk past the White House
  • Head over to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

See a great list of 100 free (or nearly free) things to do in DC. Reserve your vacation today.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

June 10, 2011 by

Each year the Smithsonian chooses 3 nations, regions, states or themes to highlight and celebrate during the Folklife Festival.  The 2011 Festival, scheduled for June 30 – July 4 and July 7 – 11 on the National Mall in Washington DC will feature programs on

Colombia – The biological and environmental diversity of Colombia led to the development of distinct cultures. Six ecosystems and cultures will be highlighted during the festival, including Amazon Rainforest, Andes Mountains, Andean Savannah, Southeastern Plains, the coffee region of Caldas, and the urban centers of Bogota, Medellin and Cali.

The Peace Corps – The Peace Corps turns 50 in 2011, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates 50 years of service and accomplishment by the volunteers. Started by President Kennedy, the Peace Corps was founded to “promote world peace and friendship.”  Learn more about the life of volunteers and the places they serve.

Rhythm & Blues Rhythm and Blues incorporates elements of blues, soul, funk and more – and is recognized around the world as an identifiably American style of music. Watch performances of music and hear the stories of performers, songwriters and producers.

Learn more about preparations for the Folklife Festival by following the Festival blog. For example, there will be filtered water stations available this year with special collectible water bottles available – or you can bring your own.

See the full schedule of events during the Folklife Festival. Be sure to check out our Specials and make your reservations for your stay.

Jazz in the City

May 11, 2011 by

Celebrating the legacy that Duke created, the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival has been renamed and is now the DC Jazz Festival. Scheduled for June 1 – 13, 2011, the DC Jazz Festival offers performances around the city, including outdoors at the Sylvan Theater on the National Mall, student concerts and master classes, plus Jazz and Family fun days at the Phillips Collection art gallery.

Each year,= as part of the festival, jazz greats are honored for their contributions. This year the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to saxophonist Jimmy Heath and pianist Eddie Palmieri. The Heath Brothers will perform at Bohemian Caverns during the Jazz in the Hood festival, and Mr. Palimieri will participate in the concert on the National Mall on June 12.

Special events for this year’s festival include:

Many fans know that Duke Ellington’s childhood home was located on 13th Street between T and S Streets. Just down the street you’ll find Bohemian Caverns at 11th & U – founded in 1926 and still one of the venues for the jazz festival.

All the venues for the jazz festival are an easy walk or metro ride from the Hamilton Crowne Plaza at 14th & K Streets. If you need assistance booking tickets or would like to arrange a car service, please contact our concierge. See our specials and make your reservations.

A Government Shutdown Does Not Mean a Letdown

April 4, 2011 by

If you’re planning a trip to Washington DC, you probably have visions of trips to the Capitol, the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument and the National Zoo dancing through your head.  But what if the government, who runs these museums and monuments, shut down for a short period of time? Due to a budget showdown, this could be the reality in the coming weeks. But there’s no need to panic – there’s still plenty to do in Washington that doesn’t depend on the government.

While you wouldn’t be able to enter any monuments (the Washington monument, the Lincoln memorial, etc.), the National Mall and the Tidal Basin are still available to walk around. The Washington DC World War I Memorial (behind the World War II Memorial on the Mall) is open.

The Smithsonian museums aren’t available, but Washington boasts plenty of other museums that offer enjoyable experiences for adults and children alike.

Fun with Kids

Adopt a cover and go on a daring mission at The International Spy Museum at 800 F Street NW. You’ll go through the Spy School, the Secret History of History, and learn about Spies Among Us.

Step into Tim Russert’s office at the Newseum – the only museum dedicated to journalism.  While you’re there don’t forget to check out the amazing view of the Capitol from the roof. Many visitors find the Newseum one of the most interesting museums in DC, and the $21.95 adult ticket gives you a 2-day pass. (555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW)

Explore the America I AM exhibit , The President’s Photographers exhibit or the Great Migrations photography exhibit at the National Geographic Museum at 17th & M Streets.

The National Building Museum at 401 F Street NW offers great exhibits for kids including LEGO Architecture: Towering Ambition.

Shake hands with all 44 presidents of the United States and see civil rights figures such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks at Madame Tussauds wax museum at 1001 F Street NW.

Walk onto the actual television set of America’s Most Wanted and a CSI crime lab at The National Museum of Crime and Punishment.

Art Museums

Connected to the Corcoran School of Design, The Corcoran Gallery of Art at 500 17th Street is a short walk from the hotel and has a strong collection of American art including John Singleton Copely, Frederic Church, Mary Cassat, Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper.

Located in Dupont Circle, The Phillips Collection is best known for their French Impressionists including Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at noon the Collection offers a 15 minute “Spotlight Talk” focusing on one work in the museum.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts at 1250 New York Avenue NW offers a permanent collection dedicated to works by women from the 16th Century to the present, from Renaissance paintings of Elisabetta Sirani to Irish and English women silversmiths to contemporary sculptures and paintings.

Hillwood Museum and Gardens is the home of Post cereal fortune Marjorie Merriweather Post.  Post was also married to E.F. Hutton and US Ambassador to the Soviet Union Joseph Davies.  During her time in the Soviet Union she collected Russian decorative and liturgical arts including many Faberge eggs.  The house and grounds at 4155 Linnean Avenue NW are a great way to pass an afternoon.  Check the calendar for family events.

The Kreeger Museum is a private, non-profit museum on Foxhall Road in Georgetown. The Kreeger’s collection contains nine Monets as well as works by Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro and Picasso. They frequently host chamber music concerts.

Civil War

While you won’t be able to tour the Arlington National Cemetery, the Historic Congressional Cemetery at 1801 E Street SE, the final resting place of Representative Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress; John Phillip Sousa, the “March King”; J. Edgar Hoover, longtime director of the FBI; and Eldridge Gerry, only Vice President to be buried in the District. There is a self-guided walking tour available, plus a docent-led tour each Saturday at 11 a.m. In addition, a special Civil War tour is offered on the third Saturday of each month at 1 p.m.

Lincoln spent nearly a quarter of his presidency at a cottage in upper Washington as he pondered the decisions he needed to make. You can tour Lincoln Cottage near the Old Soldier’s Home.

Visit the Lincoln exhibit at Ford’s Theater. Check the Calendar for “History on Foot” walking tours reexamining the clues of Lincoln’s assassination.

Remember too that most of Washington DC’s history is in the neighborhoods, not in museums. Walk down U Street and follow the DC Neighborhood Heritage Trail. The first market is located at 13th & U Streets.  Learn more about the history of Washington’s African American community while you walk through a revitalized neighborhood full of shops and restaurants. Be sure to stop by Love Café and DC institution Ben’s Chili Bowl – even the President has been known to stop by here.

Washington in Bloom!

March 21, 2011 by

Cherry Blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington DCSpring has officially arrived which means the Cherry Blossoms won’t be far behind. An annual tradition in Washington, the Cherry Blossom Festival will have a different feel this year in light of recent events in Japan. The cherry trees were a gift from Japan in 1912. The first lady and the wife of the Japanese ambassador planted the first two cherry trees along the Tidal Basin.

Luckily the weather has cooperated this year, and the National Park Service is predicting that peak blooms should fall during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 26 through April 10. There are free daily performances at the Sylvan Theater

The traditional Sakura Matsuri festival on April 9 at 12th & Pennsylvania Avenue will charge a $5 admission fee for the first time, with a portion of the fee donated to earthquake relief efforts.

On Thursday, March 24, there will be a walk around the Tidal Basin to remember those affected by the earthquake. The walk will start at 6:30 pm south of the Washington Monument near the Sylvan Theater.

The Cherry Blossom 10 Mile / 5 K is scheduled for Sunday, April 3. The race is sold out well in advance, so if you haven’t already signed up, you should make plans to cheer on the runners. If you are running, consider staying downtown with us to avoid Metro delays on race day.

Post-race or anytime during the festival stop by the patio at 14K Restaurant for cherry-themed drink specials and dishes.

The National Park Service offers a variety of special Cherry Blossom related daily activities around the Tidal Basin including Ranger-led talks. 3.5 mile runs, bicycle tours, lantern walks, and a junior ranger activity tent for children 6-12.

The festival closes with the Cherry Blossom Parade on April 9 down Constitution Avenue.

Planning a Washington Wedding

February 22, 2011 by

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming for many couples – especially if you’re trying to plan a wedding in a new city or on a budget. We asked local wedding planner Cara Collins for her favorite wedding planning tips and suggestions to help couples planning their big day.

How long in advance do you advise brides to begin scouting their wedding and reception venues?

I suggest brides begin researching wedding venues at least a year before their ideal wedding date. Most venues book up 9-12 months ahead of time, and once you’ve chosen your venue and finalized the date, you can begin booking your other wedding vendors. Photographers also book up well in advance so book your venue and photographer first thing!

What are some trends you’re seeing in weddings this year?

Vintage-themed weddings have been all the rage for the past year, and I don’t see that trend ending any time soon. Vintage weddings just seem to have a more intimate feel, and some of the antiques can be borrowed from your guests, making everything more personal and inexpensive!

Another new trend that’s catching on is a monochromatic color scheme in white, ivory, or neutrals. Brides are even choosing these colors for the bridesmaids’ dresses, which is very modern, and a look I adore. An all-white wedding looks so fresh, ethereal, and elegant.

What’s your best tip for staying in budget?

Choose your top three most important pieces of your wedding. Try not to skimp on those, and find ways to budget with everything else! There are so many wonderful DIY projects out there which not only save you money and add personality to your wedding, but these projects can also be a fun thing to do with your husband-to-be or bridesmaids!

Also, choosing a venue (like a hotel) that has their own tableware, linens, chairs, etc. will save you a lot of money compared to choosing a tent or an empty hall. While tenting on a property can be very beautiful, you need to rent EVERYTHING so it is not exactly budget friendly. Another trend that saves money is opting out of a traditional formal sit-down dinner and choosing to have an informal cocktail party or a backyard BBQ style dinner. Everyone loves a mac and cheese or mashed potato bar, and food like this can save you a bundle!

If you could tell brides one thing, what would it be?

Enjoy your wedding day and don’t stress about the little things. This is one of the most exciting days of your life, and a day to spend with your most cherished family, friends, and of course – your new husband. Hire a planner to take care of the details so you can relax, get married, and dance!

Ready to start planning?

The Hamilton Crowne Plaza is a great wedding venue – for a wedding ceremony, a destination wedding reception, a place to host your wedding guests or for your wedding night stay. Contact us to start making your plans.

Restaurant Week Returns to 14K

January 12, 2011 by

Restaurant Week is coming back to Washington, DC on January 17 – 23 which means specially priced 3 course menus for lunch and dinner at 14K Restaurant.

Chef Spencer Wolff has been working on creating the special menus for Restaurant Week and we caught up with him to chat about the process.

What’s different about Restaurant Week Menus?

First you look at the time of year, because you always want to consider what’s seasonal. Then you look at what you did before, so you’re not duplicating previous menus. And you want to be sure it’s interesting. In some respects, it’s promotional, because Restaurant Week is an opportunity to attract new people to the restaurant. At the same time, you don’t want to be overly complicated – we have a broad demographic and we have to meet in the middle. Especially at lunch where we have a largely business crowd and people have less time to sit – there’s a definite focus on getting back to the office.

Who does Restaurant Week appeal to?

There are several different audiences – those who are looking for a low cost meal out and the Washington foodie crowd who schedule their week and will visit 5 or 6 different restaurants to see what everyone is doing without having to break the bank to do it.

How does Restaurant Week appeal to you as a chef?

Most chefs are cooking off the menu, so it’s a nice opportunity to play a little big. It stimulates you from a creative side to do something new. It stimulates your staff and your diner. And it offers your regulars the opportunity to see something new and experience your creative enthusiasm.

What’s your creative process?

Any time you’re creating a menu, first you have to look at your parameters – budget, seasonal availability, number of courses, level of difficulty. Then you consider your flavor pairings. I have a specific palate that I work with – Mid-Atlantic with French and Asian influence. It’s like a beat and you start with one and then draw in different rhythms and start to work it together. Sometimes you have to cut out something that’s really nice on it’s own because it doesn’t work with everything else. And  it should always be building so that you get done and it peaks.

What should diners be looking forward to at 14K?

Once Restaurant Week is over, we’ll be continuing with a weekly series of fixed price seasonal menus running through February. And of course, we have our Valentine’s Day dinner coming up that’s a very romantic meal.

Restaurant Week Details

Lunch: $20.11 for a three-course fixed-price meal

Dinner: $35.11 for a three-course fixed-price meal

Beverages, gratuity and tax are not included.

Reserve a table at 14K for Restaurant Week.


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