The best places to stay in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)

$

Tabard Inn

Tucked into a quiet street off Dupont Circle; cozy rooms with antique clutter; "Cheery old-English lounge with plush sofas."—John Thompson, author, National Geographic's Washington, D.C., guidebook. 40 rooms are budget priced, shared baths from $100, private baths $50 more. Tabard Inn restaurant features seasonal dishes of seafood, meats, and poultry. 1739 N St., NW; tel. +1 202 785 1277. www.tabardinn.com

Adams Inn

"Very quaint; a 26-room charmer a couple of blocks from all the restaurants in Adams Morgan."—Robert Rouse, D.C. Chamber of Commerce. Victorian Style B&B that spans three 100-year-old buildings on a quiet street; Metro access at Woodley Park. 1746 Lanier Pl., NW; tel. +1 202 745 3600. www.adamsinn.com

Hotel Harrington

Conveniently positioned between the White House and the Capitol near Pennsylvania Avenue. A place with the budget traveler in mind; spare, clean rooms that accommodate up to six people; suites that sleep six for less than $170; three on-site restaurants serve cheap, but good quality, eats; child friendly. 436 11th St., NW; tel. + 1 202 628 8140. www.hotel-harrington.com

$$

Hotel Monaco

"Proximity to the Spy Museum, a bowling alley, and the Verizon Center; it is the perfect place to stay with tough-to-please teens."—Karen Sommer Shalett, editor-in-chief, DC Modern Luxury magazine. 183 modern and funky boutique rooms in one of Washington's oldest buildings; on-site café and bar Poste Modern Brasserie; near Chinatown; minutes to National Mall. All rooms furnished with a goldfish; pet friendly. 700 F St., NW; +1 202 628 7177. www.monaco-dc.com

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

"Ritzy-level accommodations at a reasonable price."—Robert Rouse. Set between the National Cathedral and Smithsonian's National Zoo in bucolic, tree-lined Woodley Park, just off Rock Creek Park; 1,335 rooms on 16 acres of flower-bedecked land; pubs, Starbucks, and restaurants on-site. 2660 Woodley Rd., NW; tel. +1 202 328 2000. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wasdt-marriott-wardman-park-hotel

Hotel Helix

"The most fun hotel in D.C.; decor transports you into an Austin Powers movie; super hi-tech with Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs."—Colleen Clark, co-author of Night Day D.C. Colorful, pop culture-style rooms in neon brights in a hotel wedged between nightlife-heavy Dupont Circle and Logan Circle; Helix Lounge on-site; 178 rooms, all non-smoking; pet friendly; in-room spa services. Don't miss the daily Bubbly Happy Hour. 1430 Rhode Island Ave., NW; tel. +1 202 462 9001. www.hotelhelix.com

$$$

St. Regis

The Italian Renaissance Palace-style hostelry features such lush accessories as damask drapes and Louis XVI chandeliers; eat fireside at the Library Lounge or the more upscale St. Regis restaurant; complimentary shoeshine with morning coffee. 923 16th and K Streets, NW ; tel. +1 202 638 2626. www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis

The Renaissance Mayflower

"Town & Country bartender Sam Lek has been a local legend for 30 years."—Eve Zibart, author The Unofficial Guide to Washington, D.C. Stately home to Inaugural balls every four years, housed Harry Truman during his Presidency, and J. Edgar Hoover was a lunchtime regular; 583 rooms; two blocks from White House. 1127 Connecticut Ave., NW; tel. +1 202 347 3000. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wassh-renaissance-mayflower-hotel

Hotel George

"Fringe benefit: great French food at Bistro Bis."—Eve Zibart. 139 rooms with custom-designed, contemporary furnishings in primary brights; granite-topped desks, marble baths, plush robes; adjacent to the Capitol. 15 E St., NW; tel. +1 202 347 4200. www.hotelgeorge.com

Ritz-Carlton

Two locations: Georgetown's spa offers Prada treatments; Washington Circle location features 300 rooms with featherbeds and 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. Washington Circle: 1150 22nd St., NW; tel. +1 202 835 0500. Georgetown: 3100 South St., NW; tel. +1 202 912 4100. www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/WashingtonDC

$$$$

Four Seasons Hotel

"Local fave, all-you-can-eat Sunday champagne brunch."—Eve Zibart.  Amenities from a lap pool to child-size bathrobes; world-class hair salon and spa on-site; Georgetown and Potomac views. 2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; tel. +1 202 342 0444. www.fourseasons.com/washington

Park Hyatt

"Newly redesigned; signature fragrance permeates the lobby and lounge; has a tea cellar with rare teas."—Colleen Clark. Modern décor, art, and vaunted Blue Duck Tavern restaurant; pool and spa on-site; a few blocks to Georgetown. 1201 24th St., NW; tel. +1 202 789 1234. www.parkwashington.hyatt.com

Mandarin Oriental

Two blocks off the Independence Avenue side of the National Mall on the waterfront; monument views, contemporary decor, monstrous marble baths, world-class spa, and on-site restaurant CityZen, which boasts former French Laundry chef Eric Ziebold. "CityZen must-have: housemade Parker rolls."—Eve Zibart. 1330 Maryland Ave., SW; tel. +1 202 554 8588. www.mandarinoriental.com/washington

Willard Intercontinental

"The hotel with the most history in D.C., and Round Robin Bartender Jim Hewes seems to know it all."—Scott Elder, columnist, Washington Post Sunday Source. Since 1850, the hotel has housed Presidents and their social functions; guests have included Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nathaniel Hawthorne; three restaurants and famed Round Robin bar; I Spa on site; adjacent to White House, short walk to monuments and Mall. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; tel. +1 202 628 9100. www.washington.intercontinental.com

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