FrontRunners: First Class
Discerning visitors to Washington, D.C., especially those with an appreciation for America’s past, can now enjoy staying in the historic building that even Charles Dickens, who loathed the federal city, thought "very beautiful" during his 1842 visit. The Kimpton Group, which has converted many historic structures throughout America into elegant hotels, recently opened the Hotel Monaco (202.628.7177, www.monaco-dc.com) in downtown Washington’s former General Post Office building. The Monaco’s 184 rooms and suites are furnished in a warm and welcoming mix of neoclassical mahogany armoires, contemporary desks, and tall headboards upholstered in vibrantly colored damasks and silks. Think Charles Dickens meets South Beach.