A nip of sherry from a crystal tumbler in this house's aristocratic sitting room may make you feel like a guest in a very elegant private home—and so you are. The 1883 Dupont Circle mansion, which you'd be forgiven for mistaking for a minor embassy, has been in the Ross family since 1989. The nine distinctively finished guest rooms are one-of-a-kind; the Blue Sky Suite is a fantasy of the French countryside, with a wrought-iron bed and a roaring fireplace, while the Lighthouse Room squeezes seafaring style into a small, round turret (all rooms have pretty, if old-fashioned, private baths). In summer, cool off in the outdoor pool, private behind a trellised wall.
Tip: Book early to get your choice of rooms—especially during cherry-blossom season.
Room to Book: The Duomo is positively regal, with Gothic windows and a turret bathroom featuring an oversize claw-foot bathtub.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.