Ladies: Had a tough day in your dingy, grey, government building? Feeling like an unappreciated slug? Need to freshen up for a hot evening out? Amidst a sea of DC blandness, an oasis of splendor appears at 1330 Maryland Ave SW—the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Walk into the hotel like the queen you know you really are and head straight to the back, past the posher than posh glass-enclosed handbags and jewelry displays.
Open the door on the right and slip into the lap of luxury that awaits you in the Mandarin’s ladies’ restroom. Let all of your senses drink it in…the mirrors, the lighting and the hidden stalls to your left. To call them stalls is really an injustice. In reality, they are more like beautiful closets, each with its own wooden door. There are five of these “closets” and two larger handicapped “closets.”
Next take a look at the individual sinks. Each sink has its own mirror and each comes with bottles of Gilchrist and Soames soap and lotion for your cleansing pleasure. When you are done, dry your hands with the monogrammed towels. Can they really be paper? To the touch they feel more like a luxurious 1500 thread count Egyptian cotton, but paper they are. It’s almost as if this is where paper goes to die. It seems like a sin to throw them away, but there is a beautiful wooden chest in which to discard them.
You can check yourself out in the full-length mirror and then it’s time to go. It will be hard to leave, but the rest of the evening…or day awaits.