“Enjoy the vibe.” You aren’t the only one invited to live by the Thompson Washington, D.C. hotel’s motto. So too can your pooch. Not only is the property itself super pet friendly, it’s surrounded by plenty of open green spaces in the capital city’s revitalized Navy Yard that are just made for romping for the two (or more) of you.
After a brief opening before the pandemic shutdown, the Thompson D.C. has just reopened for real. It’s buzzing now and still has that new car smell. Your dog may not appreciate the effort, but NYC-based firm Parts and Labor Design has given the hotel a subtle, yet distinct nautical look in appropriate homage to its location on the Anacostia River.
It all starts right off with a sailing rope motif at reception and continues throughout the lobby and ever upward. Rounded edges to the night tables and dark wood furniture, as well as other elements such as wall sconces and clocks, distinctly suggest ship design proportions. When you’re working on the fold-down desktop in your room, think of yourself as in a ship’s cabin—but a nicely comfortable one. The rooms’ floor-to-ceiling windows will entice Fido to lie in the doggy bed and enjoy staring out at the river, while tucking into the swag treats that comes as part of the property’s Paw-fect Escape Package.
With a long dark wooden table that some guests use as a remote work spot on one side, and low-slung furnishings in different color schemes on the other, the lobby feels more den-like casual that hotel formal. At the Thompson Bar Room, which takes up its whole center, Spot is welcome to lie at your feet while you sip cocktails with nautical-themed names.
If you know how to read them, a panel of wooden flags on a wall in the property’s just-opened lobby-level restaurant spells its name, Surveyor. A surveyor in a navy is one who makes sure everything is shipshape. Surveyor’s drinks are all named after nautical knots—where else have you ever sampled a brummel splice cocktail of Jim Beam black, Punt e Mes vermouth, Angostura bitters, and hickory smoked cherry? With his Southern roots, Chef Brian Hatfield has built a comfort food menu that includes dry aged pork chops and a garlic butter N.Y. strip steak.
Drinks on the Rooftop at the Thompson are named after parts of a ship as well. And who would guess that ordering a spinnaker cocktail means gin, sherry, honey and lemon? With wrap around terrace views to what are really two separate bars with different vibes, the Rooftop gives you a panoramic sense of the magnitude of the still-operating Navy Yard. And the sunsets at this prime riverside venue are insane. While you’re up there, a Thompson 15% off of daycare service with District Dogs Navy Yard will come in handy to arrange a companion for Rover.
When you and Fido do venture out of the Thompson doors, you’re a quick jaunt away from Yards Park that was designed a dozen years ago by landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg. Sure, there’s a little dog run there, but the park proper is packed with pooches all day. And the Anacostia Riverwalk makes for a great trek or jog with the dog. As does much of the whole area called The Yards, with handsome new residences, many with a distinct Bauhaus/warehouse aesthetic to them.
You’ll find historic plaques all around, including for the 1913 Foundry that stood at Yards Park and supplied steel for the navy guns. And without a marker, you’d never guess that today’s glass commercial building with the popular Due South restaurant is the original post-WWI Lumber Shed Building.
The Navy Yard in general is chockablock with dining and nearly all venues have outdoor seating where Fifi is welcome, while most cafes and shops have dog bowls out front as well. Steadfast Supply DC is a popular design shop that even serves a monthly puppuccino. The enormous Blue Jacket brewery and restaurant has a spacious patio in front, as does The Salt Line restaurant across a pedestrian bridge.
As you cross that bridge, you go past the city’s red brick O Street Pumping Station, an elegant 1905 Beaux Arts building erected back when even utilitarian structures were things of beauty. Its adjacent new green HQO water headquarters is pretty cool in its own right. If Rex is intrepid and open to a doggy backpack ride, an extensive bikeshare program will help you cover more terrain past Nationals Park baseball stadium or down to admire the arched spans of Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge that opened last year over the Anacostia River.
When you and your little Lassie are worn out and ready to bunk down in your Thompson Washington D.C. ship cabin, you’ll find turndown treats by the Vienna, Virginia chocolatier Cravings for Chocolate. Just don’t leave any out for your four-legged roommate to get into mischief while you snooze.