The Embassy Circle Guest House in Washington, DC brings true meaning to the word – hospitality. This is not a bed and breakfast offering simply a room, but a place where you can feel at home while meeting interesting people from around the globe.
It’s hard to believe that when Laura and Raymond Saba, owners of the Embassy Circle Guest House, first purchased the 106-year old property in 2003, the building was at risk of collapsing.
The tired mansion had suffered fire damage and had been empty and abandon for close to twenty years.
Fast forward after an extensive 3½ year and costly “labor of love” renovation project that concluded in 2007, when the couple proudly opened their second bed & breakfast inn, the other being the Woodley Park Guest House.
The Embassy Circle definitely gives its guests the feeling that they are staying at the home of good friends, as you are made to feel welcomed and as part of the family. Within minutes of arriving, I had met several of the guests, most visiting from overseas.
The public areas include a comfortable living room and formal dining room, where it seems most of the conversation happens.
Located in the Kalorama District of DC’s Embassy Row neighborhood, it close to several embassies, including Greece, Guatemala, Armenia, Cyprus, and Kenya, and just a short walk to the Woodrow Wilson House and the Textile Museum.
The property looks like many of the turn-of-the-century Embassy Row mansions that were converted into an embassy, but inside it’s a warm and cozy place, perfect for that home-away-from-home feeling.
Rooms – The eleven uncharacteristically large guest rooms, each with private baths, are classically appointed without any of the tacky “period” reproduction decorating so common in many older or historic B&Bs.
Each guest room has either one or two queen or king sized wood-framed beds, white chenille bedspreads, calming colors, and colorful Persian area rugs over blonde hardwood floors. A phone with private line and voicemail, both hard-wired and wireless Internet access (included), a private bath with a large shower plus marble vanities, and lots of closet space add to the amenities. What’s also nice, is that there are no televisions or radios in the rooms.
CLICK READ MORE BELOW
The easiest way to describe the furnishings would be to say — clean and simple, but very classic and comfortable.
The inn is also sparkling clean and meticulously maintained, so you won’t find a cobweb or dust bunny anywhere.
The rooms are warm and should make you feel wanting to curl up in comfortable chair with a good book, or relax while slowly starting your morning in bed with the Washington Post. But it’s more fun to join in on the morning conversation around the dinging room table. The morning group I stayed included a foreign diplomat, a couple foreign Ph.D students, and a charming opera fan visiting DC for her periodic opera fix. The conversations ranged from global politics and business, to arts and entertainment.
Food & Conversation – Breakfast included fresh-squeezed orange juice and coffee paired with yogurt, a fresh fruit salad, fresh-baked scones and pastries and more.
Owners Laura and Raymond fueled the evening and morning conversations by not only knowing each guest’s name and place of origin, but had some interesting tidbit to relate about each guest, which only furthered the conversations. You can tell, they truly enjoy meeting new people.
The evening I was there, one guest, who had been staying for more than a week, was having a birthday, so out came a some yummy plates of tapas and a flourless chocolate cake for everyone to enjoy. Wine and nuts are typically offered every night around 6:30, unless there’s a “reason” for something more special.
Room Rates & Reservations – $175.00 – $280.00 depending on season and room selection, excluding Inauguration Week. Reservations are available online or by phone.
Location – The inn is located in a safe neighborhood, close to the Metro subway, just a couple stops from the National Mall, and within walking distance to many excellent restaurants. If you want to avoid the Mall or downtown, and get a feel for the real DC, the Embassy Circle is ideal.
Nearest Metro Subway Station – Dupont Circle – Red line, then a ½-mile walk.
Parking - Free street parking is available, but watch the 2-hour limit spaces before 8:00 p.m.
Overall Impression – I strongly recommend the inn for travelers that want something more than just a standard room in a big impersonal hotel and wish to enjoy true hospitality.
Images – Courtesy of Embassy Circle Guest House – stock photos by Jumping Rocks Photography, sitting area and photo of the Sabas from personal collection – ©2008, Jon Rochetti _________________________________________________