Iconic Fairfax Embassy Row Hotel Debuts Changes to Space, Scene


Market Seating Area at Fairfax Embassy Row Hotel Photo Courtesy of Fairfax at Embassy Row

By: Kate Michael

For nearly a century, the iconic Fairfax at Embassy Row has hosted  D.C. insiders, social elite and political icons like President Dwight Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush. Its 259 guest rooms and community spaces could share a lot of stories about how times have changed; and now after an extensive renovation of the ground floor common areas, the hotel is featuring its own change front and center.

Designed by the acclaimed Rockwell Group, the landmark property has a re-imagined ground floor reception area, lobby, and dining venues.  The fresh look and feel are more open, lighter, and casually elegant.  Communal spaces are multi-functional — as today’s luxury client demands — while private areas still provide for discreet interactions.

Nook private area entrance and moving wall. Photo credit Jim Tetro

“Through the redesign of this very special landmark property, we have created an inspired gathering place for locals and tourists alike in the heart of the city” said, General Manager David Hendrix.

“The new open environment and modern theme complements our classic design, with an engaging living-room-style setting and for neighbors and guests to enjoy. And while the overall layout and aesthetic has been transformed, what remains unchanged is the emotional attachment that so many have for this beloved hotel.”

The sweeping new lobby is done in a neutral palette with emerald making an occasional vibrant appearance alongside warm walnut wooden furnishings. A spacious seating area invites guests to linger with low tables and a sculptural lounging sofa. Curated artwork includes custom murals of city views and local landmarks.

And then there are the new restaurants.  Immediately behind the front desk, one can see through an oversized glass wall to The Sally restaurant and lounge, named for a member of the prominent 18th century Fairfax family.

The Sally cocktail lounge. Photo Credit Jim Tetro.

Distinct, with a marble bar, dark wood floors, and an eclectic mix of furniture styles, this cocktail-centric gathering place also tempts with Executive Chef Ricardo Planas’ American-fusion small plates.

Sally restaurant lounge area and wine wall. Photo credit Jim Tetro

And don’t miss out on The Market, a quicker service café serving light breakfast fare in the mornings, or later, locally sourced beer, wine, and hot beverages in a more playful atmosphere with a ping pong table. Beyond The Market beckons The Nook, a library-style gathering area with pool table, fireplace and sectional couches.

This updated Fairfax Embassy Row maintains its tradition, but has renovated to transition, with new casual spaces for guests and local D.C. visitors alike to grab a bite, get down to business, or meet up to unwind.