Since the hotel opened in 1970, it has been a neighborhood hangout as well as host to politicians and celebrities — Hillary Clinton and Denzel Washington are among those who’ve visited.
The hotel’s $15 million renovation, completed in 2015, included the Rooftop, which welcomes locals for swimming, sunning and imbibing.
It’s one of two hotels — the Liaison Capitol Hill is the other — with rooftop pools and programming open to locals.
The 10th floor of Embassy Row overlooks trees and embassies. It has a heated, 25-foot-square pool, a lively bar scene — and a bundle of activities.
Sunbathing day pass: Sink into a teak lounge chair with a book, cool off in the pool or play giant Jenga with friends. Access is free for hotel guests, and a day pass for locals is $30 , starting at noon.
The hotel offers free passes Fridays, starting at 2 p.m. Rent a canopied daybed ($200) for two for a full day beginning at 9 a.m. The Rooftop’s bar menu includes burgers, barbecue shrimp and grilled wings.
Epic Yoga morning classes: Instructors from the local studio lead weekend vinyasa classes for all levels at 8 a.m. Shannon Cady, Epic’s studio director and rooftop yoga instructor, says the class of 20 to 25 people is a mix of Epic regulars, guests and locals. “My favorite thing is you can feel the breeze touching your skin,” Cady says. Register at $19.
“Art in to Dusk”: A DJ spins tunes while you study works by local artists, including the mural near the bar. The swanky evenings are Thursdays from 6:30 to 10.
Support a Cause happy hours: For Wednesday happy hours, t he hotel will donate $1 to a featured charity from each draft beer and glass of wine sold.
“It’s a different kind of atmosphere up here by the pool, even if you’re not swimming,” says Kathleen Wach, a D.C. resident, adding that it’s a good place to bring out-of-town guests.
Access to the Rooftop’s bar is free after 5 p.m. On weekend nights the bar is in full swing, including Friday’s “silent disco,” when you can wear your wireless headphones (or rent them) and choose from three DJ-hosted music channels. The season ends Sept. 30.
The Liaison Capitol Hill
Years before the Embassy Row Hotel had its Rooftop, the Liaison hotel (415 New Jersey Ave. NW) was attracting sun worshipers . The hotel’s rooftop opened in 2009 and was redesigned for this season. It, too, offers yoga, art, music and social-awareness-themed evenings. Full-day passes (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) are $35.
The view from Liaison’s rooftop isn’t very green — office buildings and satellite dishes — but it’s larger. The pool is 20 by 50 feet and has a family-friendly section with a depth of three feet. What it doesn’t have in scenic greenery it makes up for in umbrellas, outdoor sofas and potted plants.