Washington Lodging: Historic Davenport Hotel

written by Cara Strickland

When the Historic Davenport Hotel opened in 1914, it was at the cutting edge of luxury, drawing visitors from far and wide for social events and overnight stays (including many celebrities over the years, such as Amelia Earhart, John F. Kennedy, Clark Gable and Babe Ruth). Unfortunately, the building was the worse for wear when it closed in 1985.
In 2000, the hotel escaped near demolition when Walt and Karen Worthy bought it and restored it to its former glory. Now, guests can peruse photos from long ago while standing in the grand hallways and ballrooms, just as those historic guests would have seen them.


The 284-room Historic Davenport offers eight different types of rooms and suites. Although the ethos of the hotel is historic, the beds certainly aren’t. Each room is equipped with a signature mattress (which you can buy downstairs if you fall in love).

Wander down to the Palm Court for breakfast, lunch or dinner and try the Crab Louie Salad, named for Louis Davenport, the hotel’s original owner. His chef, Edward Mathieu, created the salad, which is now served all over the world. If you’re in the mood for a drink, pop into the Peacock Room Lounge for happy hour, cocktails and late-night snacks. Snag a housemade pastry or cookie with a cup of coffee at the espresso bar in the lobby from bright and early until mid-morning.

Visit the salon and spa for pampering in the form of a wide range of massage and beauty treatments. Relax in the steam room and sip a glass of complimentary champagne with every service. Start or end your day with a dip in the pool or a soak in the hot tub, and follow along with your kids as they solve a game of historical detection.

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