Calvin Coolidge’s inaugural ball in 1925, the first inaugural ball in held at the Mayflower Hotel. Thousands of prominent and elegant people came together to attended this lavish event at the “Second Best Address” in Washington, DC.


1932, President Franklin D. Roosevelt in suite 776 planning for the inaugural address for the next day.

Opened in 1925, The Mayflower Hotel is now a luxury Renaissance hotel that provides a contemporary stylish location to their customers currently owned by Marriott (Cooper). The hotel is located at 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW, half a mile five-minute walk from the United States Capitol (Powell). The hotel holds ten floors along with  581 elegant guestrooms that structure the hotel. Out of these 581 rooms, a few of these rooms contain an attention-grabbing piece of United States history (Bhattarai). For example, in 1933, president Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed in suite 776 preparing for the inaugural address that would be given the next day ( Powell). Fifty -six years later in 1989, the former Washington DC mayor Marion S. Barry Jr. was suspected of consuming cocaine while staying in a Mayflower room ( Powell). Nineteen years later, the former New York governor, Eliot Spitzer stayed in room 871 where he paid a prostitute $1,000 an hour for her services at the hotel (Paschall). Ironically, Monica Lewinsky stayed in room 860, just a few doors down from Spitzer’s room and was caught and photographed hugging President Bill Clinton during his campaign event in 1996 that took place in the Mayflower Hotel (Tom). These two events alone provide the Mayflower hotel an unique character and history that no other hotel in DC let alone the United States holds.


Monica Lewinsky, who stayed at the Mayflower Hotel, and President Bill Clinton in a warm embrace at Bill’s 1996 campaign event.

Fast forward to today, Marriott strives to enhance the hotels guestrooms in order to be able to better cater to their current clientele known as the “generation of travels” (Bhattarai).  The Mayflower Hotel’s recent customers no longer prefer “to work at a desk anymore” (Bhattarai). Therefore, Marriott will design “each room [to] have chaise couches with tables, where you can sit down with your laptop. There will [also] be more outlets, more USB ports by the night stands, [and] additional lighting” (Bhattarai).

Also, the second floor, known as the mezzanine level, of the Mayflower Hotel expounds upon the hotels fascinating history and offers a striking overlook of the sophisticated architecture of the lobby and second floor. Upon exiting the elevator, guests cannot help but notice the red, blue, yellow, and green patterned rug, thick off white marble pillars, and surrounding the top of the pillars are several “twenty-three karat gold leaf” mounted on top of the pillars (Roberts 92). The mezzanine level of the Mayflower Hotel was originally used “as an open seating area for hotel guests to relax” (McClinsey 113). In addition, President Bill Clinton spoke with ABC’s Good Morning Americas host Joan Lunden on the couch at the mezzanine level of the Mayflower Hotel the day after his inauguration (McClinsey 125). The style of the hotel and Clinton’s event sets the Mayflower hotel apart from all other hotel’s.


The thick off white marble pillars contain several “twenty-three karat gold leaf” mounted on top of the marble pillar.


The bright chandelier and gold plated detailing sets an elegant tone for the hotel.



The hotel prides itself on its unique history and displays their pride by displaying various artifacts.

Currently, the Mayflower Hotel prides themselves on its longstanding history and preserved artifacts. This pride of the hotel’s history can be seen on the mezzanine level through the exhibit that contains several achieved pictures of events that occurred at the hotel such as musicians famous or hired coming to perform at the hotel in 1925. Also, numerous artifacts such as the golden plated dishes are placed in the exhibit. These golden plated dishes were utilized to serve Soviet Embassy guests at a dinner event that occurred at the Mayflower Hotel in 1956.

Standing atop the balcony of the mezzanine level, visitors can enjoy a grand overview of the elegantly designed lobby and the long promenade. In previous years, the lobby held a fancy area for sitting, carpet, and a big fountain (McClinsey 125). Once a guest past the lobby a large hallway known as a promenade held chandeliers, artwork, and comfortable seating (McClinsey 89).  Overlooking the magnificent lobby and promenade, visitors cannot help but reflect back to the past when all the elegantly and prominently dresses people all socialized and gathered throughout the hotel during Calvin Coolidge’s inaugural ball in 1925 (McClinsey 35). Nowadays, the carpet in the lobby has been removed along with the seating. The chandeliers still remain but now accompanied with golden detailing , marble floors and columns, and a purple contemporary style front desk. Today’s events that take place in the hotel’s lobby and promenade appear to be company baking seminars such as J.P. Morgan.


Lobby and Promenade in 2016



Lobby and Promenade in 1925  

In conclusion, the old interior of the Mayflower Hotel contained a more relaxed atmosphere while several astonishing events took place. Overtime, the Mayflower Hotel’s newly developed interior encompasses a more formal atmosphere in order to fulfill the needs of the businesslike clientele while still remembering the hotels unique history. Lastly, the overarching quality of the Mayflower Hotel lies in its historical uniqueness that parallels with its changing interior.   



Works Cited

“1925: INAUGURATION BALL,” director. The March of Time, 1925, Getty Images,

Bhattarai, Abha. “Mayflower Hotel to Undergo $20M Guest Room Renovation.” 4 Aug. 2014,

Cooper, Rebecca. “Even with History in Its Halls, Mayflower Goes Modern with Its Rooms.” Washington Business Journal, 12 Aug. 2015,

“Franklin D. Roosevelt Videos .”, A&E Television Networks,

McClinsey, Keith. Washington D.C.’s Mayflower Hotel. Charleston, SC, Arcadia Pub., 2007.

“Monica Lewinsky Bill Clinton Quotes.” Quotes Gram,

“N.Y. Governor Spitzer Caught in Prostitution Scandal,” director. TheNewzFlash, 2008, Youtube ,

“Opening Day 1925.” Picture of Elegance ,

Paschall, Valerie. “A History of Scandal and D.C. Hotels.” Curbed DC. N.p., 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

Powell, Michael, and Kershaw, Sarah. “Just a Hotel? For Some, Its an Adventure.” Fashion and Style. New York Times, 20 Mar. 2008. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

Roberts, Robin. “The President’s Hotel.” Saturday Evening Post 258.1 (1986), vol. 258, no. 1, 1 Jan. 1986, pp. 92–93.

“Roosevelt.” The Mayflower Autograph Collections ,

“The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection.” Historical Hotels of America, www.historichotel’

Tom. “Three Bits of Trivia About the Mayflower Hotel – Ghosts of DC.” Ghosts of DC, 16 Feb. 2015,