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  • Writer's pictureDani Sauter

Mandarin Oriental Date-Cation

Following my Vegas trip earlier this month, I was so excited to do a Date-Cation at the Mandarin Oriental DC. This mini staycation came at the perfect time as I was having a post-vacation depression of getting back to real life – something I think a lot of us go through after a long vacation.

Whether it’s a post-vacay depression or just a need to do something different one weekend, a local staycation is the perfect remedy. Last weekend my husband and I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental for a date night staycation and it was so much fun to check out, in our own city, for the weekend!

I have always been a fan of the Mandarin Oriental DC- I work right by it for my full time job, and I have walked through the property on a few occasions when I want a quick mental break during the work day. I have always loved the lobby and the gorgeous floral display that is the main focal point. This was the first time I actually stayed at the hotel, but the stay was wonderful, as I imagined it would be.

The five-star Mandarin Oriental DC property is located in South West DC, close to the District Wharf and the National Mall. It’s tucked away on a cul-de-sac on Maryland Ave, and boasts beautiful views of the waterfront, Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin, and Arlington in the distance. The luxury hotel offers guest rooms and suites, a Forbes rated Four-Star Spa, exceptional dining and cocktails at Muse and Empress Lounge, event space, a 50 foot heated indoor pool, and fully equipped fitness center.

Our one night stay was the perfect blend of rest, relaxation, and fun. We lounged in the Club Room, briefly explored the spa/pool, enjoyed cocktails at Empress Lounge, experienced a wonderful dinner at The Wharf (which is within walking distance or a quick Uber ride away!), and lounged in our beautiful room. Just as if we were actually on a ‘real’ vacation, we went with the flow of the day, and didn’t make any firm plans, which was such a great break from our normal weekend plans.

Pom Pom earrings from Undeniable Boutique

My favorite things about the hotel were a mix of the hotel rooms and the Empress Lounge. The hotel room was super fancy, with a beautiful view and had intricate touches that really made them stand out. The closet, for example, had a automated light on the rod that lit up when the door opened. I loved this, and I want this at home! This was a great added touch, as so many other hotels I've stayed in have dim or unlit closets. I also loved the spacious bathrooms. The bathrooms had amazing lighting that could be controlled by a touch-remote on the wall with dim to bright selections. I'm really big on bathroom lighting, so this was huge for me! The mirrors had lights within the actual mirror, giving the perfect beauty light. The bathtub was another fave in the bathroom. It was luxurious and deep, making it perfect for a relaxing bath while beginning to read one of the selections from the Mandarin's Bedside Reading Program. The Bedside Reading Program features new best-selling books (some aren't even out yet!) which are complimentary for you to take home, or read during your stay and leave for the next guest! In addition, the bed was super luxurious and felt like a cloud! I had the most peaceful sleep and overslept the next morning, as I didn't want to leave the bed!

The Pastry Chef at the Mandarin is incredible and we were surprised with these delicious treats in our room!

The Empress Lounge was another fave! What I liked about the lounge most is how open and airy it is, with a great layout. It doesn't have a typical bar feel, but more of an upscale lounge feel and I enjoyed sipping some of the Mandarin Signature cocktails in the comfort of the lounge chairs. There is also a courtyard/patio attached to the Empress Lounge, but it was raining so we couldn't experience the outdoor area, but will be back again soon to test it out, as it looks awesome! My favorite cocktail from the lounge was the Tom Kha-Rita, a spin on the traditional margarita with Patron Silver, Cointreau, Galangal-Thai Chili-Ginger SyrupLime Juice, and Cucumber.

The Thom Ka-Rita cocktail at Empress Lounge

It's also nice how close the District Wharf is, which offers additional restaurants and activities. since it was raining during our stay, we used the Uber credit to check out the Wharf for dinner and some nightlife. We decided on Lupo Marino for dinner and we enjoyed some of the best Italian pizza we've had since our trip to Positano in 2015! We then enjoyed some live music right across the alley at Pearl Street Warehouse before heading back to the Mandarin.

Our Date-Cation experience was such a great break from the norm, and we felt like we were really on a vacation! I recommend looking into the Mandarin Oriental's Date-Cation package if you and your SO are looking for a weekend getaway or something different to do for fun!

You can learn more about booking the Date-Cation here, or see below for package inclusions.

The Date-Cation package includes:

- Complimentary overnight parking

- Daily $20 Uber Credit

- Two complimentary cocktails in the Empress Lounge per night

- Deluxe king bed accomodations

Rates start at $310, available through December 31, 2018.

Thank you, Mandarin Oriental, for a fun weekend staycation!

Photography by Arielle Lewis Studios.


Blonde in the District


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