America’s travelers made plenty of inauguration plans before the election, then had to unmake them. The result is a big jumble with many hotel rooms still available in the Washington, D.C., area, whether you’re celebrating or protesting the new president. But nothing’s cheap.
Some sample prices:
The Watergate Hotel: $995 and up.
Trump International Hotel: apparently sold out.
The Tabard Inn: $335 for a room with shared bath.
Instead of Hillary Clinton voters converging on Jan. 20 to celebrate the inauguration of the country’s first female president, as many expected, Donald Trump voters are rushing to book rooms so they can be on hand for the ceremony. But the Clinton people aren’t necessarily staying home.
Many feminists are now planning a Jan. 21 Women’s March on Washington. Jack Lindemuth, director of revenue for the Kimpton Hotels in the area, reported via email that the women’s march “is driving significant additional demand” for that weekend.
At the Kimpton chain’s 10 hotels in Washington, D.C., inauguration specials carry a four-night minimum, with rooms of roughly $660 to $1,500 nightly, before taxes. Most of those hotels also have single nights available between Jan. 17 and 23, a spokeswoman said, but the hotels closest to the parade route, the National Mall and the Capitol building are selling faster.
At northwestern Washington’s historic Tabard Inn, “a lot of rooms got canceled regarding Mrs. Clinton,” said general manager Roberto Mancia. “But at the same time, people were booking for the other candidate.”
By Tuesday afternoon, the 35-room hotel had just two rooms left for Jan. 20. Like many hotels in the area, the Tabard Inn was requiring a four-night minimum and had bumped up its usual prices. For a room with a shared bathroom, ordinarily priced around $140, the inauguration-week rate was $335 per night.
At the Trump International Washington D.C. Hotel, which opened in September on Pennsylvania Avenue, director of sales Patricia Tang said in October that the hotel’s inauguration rates would be $1,250 a night with a five-night minimum, regardless of who won the election. On Tuesday afternoon, the hotel’s website reservation tool said it was sold out on the 20th and 21st, but a telephone reservation agent said email reservation requests would be considered at email@example.com.
(For what it’s worth, Room 22, the hotel’s presidential suite, was available at $12,000 nightly beginning Jan. 22.)
At the Watergate, reborn in 2016 as a luxury hotel with ’60s style, management decided before the election on inauguration-weekend rates of $995 nightly and up (with a three-day minimum). So far, the hotel is sticking with it.
Bookings had a “slower start than expected,” a spokesman wrote in an email, “but as people get acclimated to the new president, bookings have picked up.”
At the Jefferson, a luxury hotel on 16th Street NW, inauguration-weekend rooms are priced at $1,500 per night, with a four-night minimum. Despite a slow start in sales, a spokesman said, “We are just about sold out now.”
As of early this week, the Kimpton George Hotel, the Kimpton Topaz Hotel, the Kimpton Hotel Madera, the Kimpton Rouge Hotel and the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington D.C. were all close to selling out, probably because they’re close to the White House, the National Mall and the Capitol Building.
The Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel, the Kimpton Donovan Hotel, the Kimpton Carlyle Dupont Circle Hotel, the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel and the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Washington D.C. reported more availability.
A Kimpton spokeswoman said the chain’s inauguration-week rates are 400 percent to 500 percent higher than the usual rates for January, one of the slowest months in most years. The inauguration rates are only about 200 percent above the usual price when Congress is in session and there’s a big conference on.