If you have not stayed at a Fairmont Hotel, chances are you have seen one. Although the hotel group counts less than 80 properties worldwide, Fairmont Hotels has been in so many movies that the group had to list by property which movies and TV shows were filmed where. The famous Plaza Hotel (managed by Fairmont Hotels), which e.g. Overlooking Central Park in NYC, Gentlemen’s Agreement, filmed in 1947, as well as both renditions of The Great Gatsby (directed in 1974 by Jack Clayton and in 2013 by Baz Luhrmann) count as a couple of his 100+ film credits. Not surprisingly, Fairmont Hotel’s motto is: “Unforgettable. Since 1907. ”
Although the property in Washington DC Fairmont has only been named Fairmont since 2002, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before this property collects a list of its own movie credits. I stayed this summer for a handful of days at this Fairmont while I was on a trip to DC and it is clear that this hotel has a great deal that attracts business travelers and locals.
Fairmont Washington, DC’s first attribute is its one-two-stroke culinary power: Chef Jordi Gallardo and Executive Pasty Chef AJ Thalakkat. Gallardo has been in the Fairmont family since 2003 and has toured several of the group’s properties around the world, including Arizona and Canada. Now on DC
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place for more than five years, Gallardo has gained a quite local name with annual traditions and culinary occasions. I heard Gallardo’s name twice while chatting with the locals at the bar one evening. The talk at the moment is the interest in reopening the Courtyard Bar in October. The new Courtyard Bar, loved by foreign dignitaries and DC lobbyists, opens with a weekly champagne sabering ceremony that includes caviar, seafood towers, homemade Mac ‘n cheese, foie gras and more. Later in November, Gallardo’s signature Thanksgiving brunch extravaganza will be held again at the hotel’s Colonnade Restaurant. People are already making reservations, according to the bartender.
One thing without a doubt better than exciting cuisine is extraordinary chocolate. While the executive confectioner for Fairmont in British Columbia, Canada from 2014 to 2018,
Ashish Thalakkat (AJ) whipped four signature chocolates for Fairmont at his “chocolate lab” in France. His chocolates have sprinkled his frayed croissants and elegant twist torsades since his arrival at the DC Fairmont in the summer of 2020. The chocolates are so popular that bulk bags of them are sold in the hotel’s gift shop. I took two whole bags with me back to California to the surprise of a TSA officer.
In addition to an event-packed program that keeps DC Fairmont buzzing, the property is part of the parent company’s Planet 21 initiative, another property worth mentioning. I am becoming more and more aware of the environmental obligations of hotel chains, as waste in the industry has become a dominant issue in hotel management, as it should be. According to Accor, the parent company that owns Fairmont Hotels, 1,882 Accor hotels have launched a food waste control program, 1,218 urban vegetable gardens have been created within the hotel collection, and more than seven million trees have been planted since 2016, when Planet 21 was deployed. . Fairmont Washington, DC has quietly modeled good environmental management for years. Honeybees in particular have been the stars of environmental management. In 2009, the hotel welcomed more than 100,000 Italian honey bees on the hotel’s rooftop terrace and has delivered 300 pounds of honey a year to Chef Gallardo’s soups, cakes, cocktails,
and more ever since. While bees contribute to the hotel’s culinary delights, they also play a major role as effective pollinators of plants, 90% of which rely on pollination to reproduce. In addition to bees, this property has also secured wind power, enrolled in the U.S. EPA Energy Star program, reduced CO2 emissions by 20 percent back in 2006 and donated more than 10,500 pounds of recycled swimwear and bedding.
Finally, for those who love the holidays, this Fairmont brings total joy and is another reason that makes the Fairmont Washington, DC a special property among the group’s collection. From December 4, Santa Claus will once again check into his Santa Claus suite for a 15 minute free visit with all the boys and girls. This year, Santa already called his Harry Potter friends who want to give the suite a Hogwarts flair. I was already informed not to forget to snag a couple of Thalakkat’s signature gingerbread cookies.