Hotel Spotlight

Inside Line DC, The Coolest Hotel in the Nation's Capital

by Daniel Schwartz
All photos courtesy of Line DC.

Line DC
Washington, D.C.
Trendy, $$$

In a town where straight-laced, big-box business hotels are practically a dime a dozen, Line DC stands out as a literal temple of high design, gastronomy, and cultural inclusivity in the capital’s eclectic and ceaseless Adams Morgan neighborhood. The unique boutique is housed in a refurbished, century-old Neoclassical church that, in the most charming way possible, stays true to its original form. Instead of pews, the nave and balcony are lined with seating of a far more comfortable sort, where folks from near and far gather around coffee and laptops and fine culinary fare from a powerhouse roster of local chefs. Instead of an altar, visitors look up at glorious vaulted ceilings and a stunning chandelier fashioned from organ pipes. Instead of a sermon, congregants tune into Full Service Radio, a podcast proclaiming stories of and from the community that’s broadcast live from the lobby. The result of this holy transfiguration? One of the coolest places to visit in D.C., whether you're planning to stay the night or not.

The Line DC entrance.
The centerpiece spiky chandelier (left). A giant mirror piece on the stairs leading up to A Rake's Progress (right).
Brothers and Sisters. Photo by Gary Williams.
Food and drink from A Rake's Progress.

At a Glance

Style: Tons of natural light. Tons of vintage furnishings. Tons of church references, like massive copper doors at the hotel entrance and wooden hymnal boards in the hallways that direct guests to their rooms.

Standout Detail: The hotel’s approach to community, from the guests they bring in for Full Service Radio, run by former Heritage Radio Network alum Jack Inslee (who has a guide to Adams Morgan on Fathom), to the massive community and nonprofit incubator space they host on site. The stairs in front of the hotel, where folks gather to snap photos and enjoy their morning coffee, is also a standout.

This Place Is Perfect For: Urban sophisticates, couples, anyone who wants character out of their D.C. hotel.

On Site: There’s a 24/7 gym, a Saturday morning run club, routine rooftop yoga, a satellite location of the DC Public Library, and a 4000-square-foot community center that functions as an event and exhibition space for artists and non-profits, with scheduling priority given to those headquartered in Ward 1 of Washington, D.C.

Rooms: Rooms are located in new-build stacks above the church building and are decidedly more modern. They’re bathed in natural light, and each comes equipped with all the millennial essentials: plants, furnishings thrifted from nearby antique stores, book collections curated by neighborhood fixture Idle Time Books, and original local artwork, the majority of which is sourced from female artists.

Food + Drink: The highlight here is A Rake’s Progress, James Beard Award-winning chef Spike Gjerde’s culinary tour de force, where rustic plates made exclusively from mid-Atlantic ingredients and cocktails mixed with local spirits are served in a dinning room blessed with glorious natural light that flows through massive milk glass windows. (Reservations highly recommended.) Gjerde also manages The Cup We All Race 4 in the lobby, which serves coffee, the glorious bread they bake upstairs, and pastries from Amanda Cook (of Cookshop fame). Also in the lobby: D.C. chef Erik Bruner-Yang’s very popular East-meets-West restaurant Brothers and Sisters, which has two handsome wooden bars manned by local mixologist Todd Thrasher and a killer dessert menu from local sweets guy Pichet Ong (save room for one of his wildly imaginative cakes). Just off the lobby is Bruner-Yang’s standing-room only restaurant Spoken English, which serves Asian street-style plates well into the night.

Full Service Radio podcasting booth. Photo by Adrien Gaut.
A guest room.
A guest room bathroom.
Guest room details.

What to Do Nearby

Adams Morgan is packed with international restaurants, lively bars that always have live music, and quirky shops (as well as a few headshops) — the main strip, 18th Street NW, is right around the corner from the hotel. Give it a walk and make sure to pop into Idle Time Books, curators of the books you'll find in your hotel rooms; Tail Up Goat for a Michelin-stared meal; SongByrd Music House and Record Cafe, which hosts some of the best concerts in D.C.; Jack Rose, who claims to have the largest whiskey collection in the Western Hemisphere, and The Diner, for a fourth meal — this place is open around the clock. For a full list of Adams Morgan essentials, check out the Jack Inslee's (the guy behind Full Service Radio) guide to the neighborhood on Fathom.

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