In 1843, Thomas Circle was a quiet residential neighborhood, a reprieve for the political, business and social elite away from the bustle of "The Hill." In fact, the site of the Washington Plaza Hotel was home to Andrew Wylie, a presiding judge in the trial of the Lincoln assassination. Nearly 120 years later, in 1962, the International Inn hotel chain opened, quickly becoming one of Washington, DC's most popular and cherished hotels.Architect Morris Lapidus, known for the famed Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels in Miami Beach, insisted on designing a resort-like property to exceed the expectations of DC visitors. With its curving corridors, strong graphic elements, and sensational glass dome covered swimming pool, the resulting nine-story edifice on Thomas Circle was the talk of the town. The hotel has welcomed many powerful politicos during the years, ranging the political spectrum from the Rev. Jesse Jackson to Colorado Governor Richard Lamm to Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole and Vice President George Bush.
Ideally located near the Smithsonian's museums and the National Mall's monuments and memorials, our downtown hotel continued to be a favorite among savvy business and leisure travelers. Over the past decade, a surge of art galleries, boutique shops, innovative restaurants and entertainment venues around Thomas Circle breathed new vibrancy into the downtown area.
After recent renovations, the Washington Plaza now blends its historical charms with a contemporary atmosphere immersed in the cultural electricity of the city. Sophisticated with a casual ambiance, the Washington Plaza offers the amenities and accommodations that modern travelers expect. After 55 years, however, our contemporary hotel still boasts Washington, DC's most celebrated swimming pool, which provides spectacular city views, as well as a prime location to the nation's premier landmarks and buildings.