DC Inauguration Fever
At the Ritz: Send Us Your Coddled Masses | washingtonpost.com
Captains of Washington's hospitality industry like to say the inauguration is their Super Bowl. But that's wrong. Coming every four years, it's more like the Olympics. Hotel staffs train for it, maniacally, for more than a year. An inauguration also is Washington's closest blowout to the Academy Awards, or the Grammys. Certain hotel bars are thick with stars. Even politicians, those gray creatures, are transformed like Cinderella into something to be envied, royalty temporarily liberated from their pumpkin chariots. For a brief, free-spending quadrennial orgy of fine food, couture and oratory, Washington is unashamed of itself, and the hotels rise to meet the glitz with their fussiest pampering. At the Washington Ritz-Carlton, at 22nd and M streets NW, the doormen wear top hats, silk scarves and special Hawaiian kukui nut leis that look like strings of polished black chocolates around their necks.