The State Department has been on the phone around the clock with executives of major hotel chains in the Washington area, trying to find someone with enough room to house all the hostages and their families and government officials who will be in attendance in the weeks ahead.

For security purposes, the State Department was hoping to take over an entire hotel, sources said yesterday. Convention groups who had booked space into February were being contacted by long distance to ask if they would mind relinquishing their advance bookings.

A spokesman for one convention that had booked rooms at the Hyatt Arlington in Rosslyn for Feb. 6 through 8 said yesterday that they had agreed to be moved if it is determined that "the hostages have no place else to go."

But the hostages seem likely at this point to end up at one of the Marriott hotels in the area. A spokesman for Marriott said yesterday that the 340-room Crystal City Marriott is everyone's first choice at the moment.

But the logistics of moving the advance bookings in that hotel to other Marriott hotels in the area is complicated. Another possibility is the recently opened Marriott in Tysons Corner.

The State Department spokesman who has been negotiating with different hotels in the area said the uncertainty of the timetable has complicated the decision on which hotel to use.

Ralph Frank, assistant for management in the State Department's Near East branch, said if everything works as hoped, the hostages will come to Washington so they can be together with their families "for some sort of national greeting." The hostages will first go to Algiers, where they will be transferred to American hospital planes and taken to Wiesbaden, West Germany, for processing before coming to Washington.

Socialite Steve Martindale was claiming credit Sunday night for bringing Andy Warhol and Marion Javits to the New Republic's party at the Bread Oven.

"They're my guests here, they both came with me," Martindale claimed as he leaned on the bar. "I'm taking them to a concert at the Kennedy Center later."

But that was nonsense, according to New Republic publisher Marty Pertz, who wanted to assure that he was responsible for all the party's celebrities. "Marion Javits is a personal friend of mine and has been a personal friend for a long time. She was sent an invitation," he said.

While some in the crowd bemoaned the advent of the Republicans, one self-professed conservative from the Heritage Foundation found the situation gleeful. "A lot of the liberals came here as a wake, but for some of us it's a scream. We've been waiting a long time for scenes like this," he said, motioning toward noted liberal Joe Rauh, who was talking animatedly to Frank Sinatra's attorney, Micky Rudin.

Meanwhile by the door, Henry Kissinger stood engrossed in conversation with U.N. ambassador-designate Jeane Kirkpatrick. Several guests interrupted their talk, telling Kissinger to "give her advice."

"I've been a fan of hers for months -- ever since I read her article in Commentary," Kissinger demurred. "But she won't let me give her advice. I've asked her to have breakfast with me for months, but she won't. She claims she's too busy," he said as Kirkpatrick laughed.

Jelly beans may have become the new chic munching food with the Reagans' move to Washington, but if Nancy Reagan's friend Nancy Reynolds has her way, chocolate truffles will soon be as popular.

Reynolds snatched a truffle from a tray full in the kitchen at the Peter Hanafords' Washington house Friday night during a party she was hosting with them.

Reynolds had taken the Mike Deavers into the kitchen to introduce them to Bill Homan, part owner of The Broker, who catered the affair. "There's a truffle," Deaver said to Reynolds as he pointed at a tray.

"Where? Where?" Reynolds asked, slipping on an empty box on the floor of the crowded kitchen before finding the truffle. "The rest of them are for me, aren't they?" she asked mischievously, as she did a little dance and pointed to 500 of them lined up in rows.

The secret service agents covering the Reagans are thrilled with the obvious extravagance. After four years of eating at food stands in places like Plains, Ga., they're now eating at Jimmy's, an exclusive Beverly Hills restaurant.

The most unusual person at PepsiCo's brunch yesterday for the foreign ambassadors almost went unnoticed.

It was J. C. Louis, author of "The Cola Wars," which takes a poke at PepsiCo's attempts at dominance of the world's cola market. Louis was covering the brunch as a free-lancer for a trade magazine.