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Secret hotels of Washington, D.C.
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Secret hotels of Washington, D.C.

Secret hotels of Washington, D.C.

Secret hotels of Washington, D.C.

Our forefathers worked hard to make our nation's capital great. Unfortunately, not as much effort went into making it affordable. Just in time for our president's inauguration, we found five charming hotels that are refreshingly democratic in price.

 

Phoenix Park

The Irish-American owner has sprinkled Irish charms throughout this nearly 90-year-old property (with an adjacent pub) in Capitol Hill.

Capitol Hill, where this gem is located, has a lock on the landmarks, letting visitors easily connect the dots between the Capitol, Union Station, and the National Mall's monuments and Smithsonian museums. The area hums with activity during the day, when government workers are busy bees and tourists madly try to squeeze it all in before closing time. However, the area quiets down in the evening, once folks have loosened their ties and the laces on their walking shoes. The hotel's owner, a proud Irish-American, brings a touch of his ancestral land to these shores, creating a country-estate aesthetic in an urban space. Irish charms are sprinkled throughout the nearly 90-year-old property: The hotel's moniker honors the eponymous park in Dublin; toiletries are made by Galánta, a Celtic company; and the in-room Irish breakfast tea comes courtesy of Bewley's, the country's leading coffee and tea company. The artwork further enhances this fantasy trip to the Emerald Isle, with paintings of castles and foxhunts, and a glass case that displays gleaming Waterford crystal. The 149 rooms are as jubilant as a cloudless day in County Clare, due in part to the color wheel of gold, burgundy, and green. The attached restaurant and pub, the Dubliner, brings in crowds with its Irish brews, traditional plates (fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage), and live Irish music every night. Later, work it off in the 24-hour fitness center. 520 N. Capitol St., NW, phoenixparkhotel.com, from $149 per night.

 

Akwaaba

This inviting 1890 brownstone has eight chic rooms with a subtle literary theme.

Nestled in the 16th Street Historic District, Akwaaba is just steps from the cafes and boutiques of the trendy U Street area and a 10-minute walk to Dupont Circle. Run by a husband-and-wife team, the hotel's name translates to "welcome" in a language spoken in Ghana, and so you are. The 1890 brownstone creates a warm and inviting space with fireplaces, a piano, and parlor-esque furnishings appropriate for a literary salon or a Merchant Ivory film. A literary theme runs through the eight chic rooms and an apartment suite that was once a retreat for writers completing works in progress. Each accommodation centers on an author or genre, whose spirit and style subtly inform the interior designs. To wit: the African mud-cloth pillow covers in the Toni Morrison chamber; the vintage suitcases and framed print of Cuban cigars in the Langston Hughes room (conveniently outfitted with a balcony). During the evening happy hour, sip and snack on Akwaaba-labeled red and white wines (the owners work with vineyards in Napa), cheese, nuts, and olives. A gift shop in the foyer sells souvenirs such as Akwaaba microfiber robes, bottle openers made in South Africa, and textile notepad boxes from Ghana. The only drawback? No elevator, which means a StairMaster-like climb to the fourth floor. Breakfast is included. 1708 16th St. N.W., akwaaba.com, from $150 per night.

 

Woodley Park Guest House

Guests will feel like they're staying at the home of a well-to-do local with impeccable taste for art and antiques.

Located in an upscale residential neighborhood near the zoo, you'll feel like you're a guest at the home of a well-to-do Washingtonian at the Woodley Park Guest House. The hotel feels very quiet and subdued-due, no doubt, to the absence of televisions and radios, and the fact that no children under 12 or pets are allowed. A former boarding house, the property has been tastefully upgraded with beautiful lighting, ceiling fans, central A/C, and granite countertops in bathrooms, yet retains its original appeal thanks to details such as bay windows and dormers. Though rooms are fairly small (especially the single-occupancy ones with shared bath), you'll feel cozy rather than cramped. There are six parking spots available to guests for $20 per night, which is a steal compared to other hotels around the city. The free breakfast is a cut above continental and is served in an elegant dining room. The afternoon brings complimentary cookies and brownies. If you ask, they'll do laundry for too, though it'll cost you $10. 2647 Woodley Rd. N.W., dcinns.com, from $125 per night.

 

Hotel Helix

A Kimpton boutique hotel with surprisingly large rooms-some with kid-friendly bunk beds-and a welcoming attitude to pets.

This boutique hotel's theme is "15 Minutes of Fame"-meaning guests are invited to think of themselves as celebrities. When you enter the lobby, red drapes open as if you're stepping onto a stage, the check-in desks look like podiums, and the walls are lined with Pop Art-style photos of actual celebrities. The lobby Helix Lounge is popular with guests and locals alike, thanks to its fun drinks and, during happy hour, half-price burgers; in winter, its spacious outdoor terrace is kept cozy with heat lamps. The rooms are surprisingly large-from 400 to 800 square feet-and even the smallest options have separate dressing areas. And in spite of the fact that the modern décor is heavy on bright colors and hard, sleek surfaces, the property still manages to feel homey. A bonus for families: Some rooms have bunk beds fitted into an alcove with a second flat-screen TV, so the kids can watch cartoons while parents tune out. Even Fido is welcome and, to prove it, the staff will provide treats, beds, bowls, and bottled water. Outside your room you'll find Logan Circle, home to eclectic shops and restaurants-and a Whole Foods if you're looking for the familiar. Be aware that rates fluctuate wildly depending on the season. You might find rooms for $99 or as high as $500. Weekends tend to be cheaper, as do low seasons like late summer and Dec-Jan.1430 Rhode Island Ave. N.W., hotelhelix.com, from $99 per night.

 

Adams Inn

A cozy trio of early 20th-century houses with a communal vibe, a large garden, and a pet-friendly policy.

You'll find the Adams Inn in Adam's Morgan, a neighborhood where restaurants wave flags from five continents and the bars crank up the music and host live bands. The trio of early 20th-century brick-town houses hasn't strayed far from its original roots as a group residence. More than half of the 26 rooms come with private baths; the remainder must share (ask the front desk for complimentary necessities like shampoo, conditioner, and shaving cream before you strip down). The pragmatic, only-what-you-need furnishings are dated in a good way. The color palette is soothing, and there's a refreshing absence of noise boxes (no TVs or phones). Two kitchens and numerous dining nooks mean you can save money by preparing meals or reheating leftovers. There is also a laundry facility in the basement. 1746 Lanier Pl., adamsinn.com, from $99 per night (shared bath), $129 (private bath).

 

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'There is much our nation can do to address the risks that climate change poses to human health and safety, but disregarding scientific evidence puts our communities in danger,' said Rush Holt, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the nation's largest general scientific society. California Gov. Jerry Brown was more blunt. 'Gutting the Clean Power Plan is a colossal mistake and defies science itself. Erasing climate change may take place in Donald Trump's mind, but nowhere else,' Brown said. While Republicans have blamed Obama-era environmental regulations for the loss of coal jobs, federal data shows that U.S. mines have been shedding jobs for decades under presidents from both parties as a result of increasing automation and competition from natural gas. Another factor is the plummeting cost of solar panels and wind turbines, which now can produce emissions-free electricity cheaper than burning coal. According to an Energy Department analysis released in January, coal mining now accounts for fewer than 75,000 U.S. jobs. By contrast, renewable energy — including wind, solar and biofuels — now accounts for more than 650,000 U.S. jobs. Trump's order initiates a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The regulation — Obama's signature effort to curb carbon emissions — has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas. The order also lifts a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The Obama administration had imposed a three-year moratorium on new federal coal leases in January 2016, arguing that the $1 billion-a-year program must be modernized to ensure a fair financial return to taxpayers and address climate change. 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A coalition of 16 states and the District of Columbia said they will oppose any effort by the Trump administration to withdraw the Clean Power Plan or seek dismissal of a pending legal case before a federal appeals court in Washington. Brown said in an interview he is confident the Obama-era rule will be upheld in court. 'Climate change is real and is a great threat that cannot be ignored,' Brown said. The Trump administration has yet to decide whether it intends to withdraw from the international climate agreement signed in Paris, which sets ambitious goals to reduce carbon pollution. Trump's order could make it more difficult, though not impossible, for the U.S. to achieve its carbon reduction goals. The order does not withdraw a 2009 finding by the EPA that greenhouse gases endanger the public health and welfare. The finding, along with a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, forms the basis of the Clean Power Plan. Some conservative groups have pushed to withdraw the so-called endangerment finding, but Trump's EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, has said the finding 'needs to be enforced and respected.' Trump has called global warming a 'hoax' invented by the Chinese, and insisted he would protect clean air and water while boosting energy jobs. Pruitt alarmed environmental groups and scientists earlier this month when he said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. The overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed studies and climate scientists agree the planet is warming, mostly due to man-made sources, including carbon dioxide, methane, halocarbons and nitrogen oxide. Gore blasted Trump's action as 'a misguided step away from a sustainable, carbon-free future for ourselves and generations to come.' But he said no one — not even Trump — 'can stop the encouraging and escalating momentum we are experiencing in the fight to protect our planet.' ___ Associated Press writer Michael Biesecker contributed to this report. ___ Follow Daly and Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDC and https://twitter.com/colvinj
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  • A woman was paying for parking in Midtown Sunday afternoon when a man slashed her throat and grabbed her handbag, Atlanta police said. Marla Franks was at a pay station at Juniper and 5th streets when the man tried to take her purse off her shoulder, according to an Atlanta police incident report. She resisted and held onto the bag.  “I will hurt you,” police said the man told Franks. She continued holding her purse. 'The man then took a knife and cut her throat about 5 to 6 inches,' Officer Stephanie Brown told Channel 2 Action News. He grabbed the purse and took off running, according to the police report. Fernando Bispo, who witnessed the attack, told police he ran after the man and got him to drop the handbag. Bispo stopped when the man turned the knife on him.  Another witness told police she saw a man jump the back fence of Kindred Hospital and offered to help him when he fell. She later learned about the robbery victim, according to the report. Police have not made any arrests in the incident. Bispo wasn’t injured in the encounter.  Franks had to get 17 stitches but was expected to recover. In other news:
  • Two men have been charged with murder in an October shooting outside a Pappadeaux in Marietta that began with a piece of costume jewelry and ended with a dead husband. Cobb police investigators filed the paperwork on Thursday against Dylan Marquis Ledbetter and Demarious Greene, both of whom were already in custody. The men are connected to violent crimes throughout Cobb and Cherokee counties. Ledbetter is also wanted in Florida on an attempted murder charge. Sentenced: Cobb man paid Filipino girls to perform online sex acts The Cobb murder charges stem from an Oct. 7 shooting. Cynthia and Anthony Welch were heading to their car after a birthday dinner at the Windy Hill Road restaurant when they were stopped in the parking lot. Cynthia Welch previously explained that a man shot her husband of 25 years and snatched the $5 costume necklace off her neck before shooting her and running away. The warrant doesn’t specify who police think pulled the trigger. Cobb man indicted in double murder of his mother and Buckhead teacher  Ledbetter was 22 when he was indicted in January for allegedly trying to run over officers with a car. A week after the Pappadeaux slaying, cops were trying to stop Ledbetter because the car he was driving matched the description of a vehicle connected to the shooting. Officers shot Ledbetter in his arm and leg as they said he sped toward them. Lab results in the Pappadeaux shooting were recently returned from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, and Cobb police were able to file charges in the case. Man facing death in Craigslist slaying of Marietta couple appears in court  Ledbetter has been in jail since Oct. 18. Two days before that, 21-year-old Green was booked into Cherokee County jail on charges of robbery, aggravated assault and other counts. Those Cherokee charges are from an Oct. 12 incident when the men allegedly stole a man’s necklace at gunpoint outside the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta. Like Cobb County News Now on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.  Ledbetter has also been accused of a similar necklace-snatching crime in Sandy Springs. A woman told police she was holding her 1 year old and just getting home when a man snatched a gold chain off of her and the child. The men are awaiting indictment on the Pappadeaux charges. Authorities have not discussed how they will handle the pending charges in other jurisdictions.