REVIEW

Akwaaba D.C.

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

By Andrea Sachs, Monday, Feb 28, 2011, 12:00 PM

(Courtesy Akwaaba D.C.)

Akwaaba D.C.

About this Hotel

Price From $150

'Hood The 16th Street Historic District, which winningly blends the architectural grandeur of late 19tth- to early 20th-century buildings with the cafes and boutiques of the trendy U Street area. It's a 10-minute walk to Dupont Circle.

The Vibe 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.

Rooms 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); and the stash of lovey-dovey books in the Romance room.

Plus 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. For those “Whoops, I forgot” moments, the guest pantry is stocked with bathroom essentials, such as nail-polish remover, deodorant, and razors; it also contains a mini microwave and ice-maker. 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.

Minus No elevator, which means a StairMaster-like climb to the fourth floor.

Free Wi-Fi? Yes

Credit Cards Accepted AmEx, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Details Doubles from $150, including breakfast. The Writer’s Retreat suite, which sleeps six, starts at $225 a night, a smart pick if you need more than one room.