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Inauguration News: Lincoln Did Not Sleep Here

Andrea Sachs

Most likely, your chances of nabbing an invite to a sleepover in the Lincoln Bedroom are as slim as Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff getting off with only 100 hours of community service. However, those who want to count sheep in the 16th president's bed, or at least a replica, can walk a few blocks north of the White House to the Loews Madison Hotel. (Cocktail party tidbit: Every president since JFK, who unveiled the property in 1964, has visited the Madison at least once.)

The property on 15th and M streets NW now features an ersatz Lincoln Bedroom to celebrate Inauguration Day and the bicentennial celebration of Lincoln's birth, for which sites throughout the country will hold special events all year. Illinois, presidents, high-thread counts -- that's enough of a reason for a visit for us.

The hotel is sold out for Obama's Big Day, but its Lincoln Bedroom will be available through Dec. 31. So, what do you get for $809 per night, besides knowing that $809 is a nod to 1809? Well, the room is furnished with pieces styled after the originals in the White House, including a heavy wood bed with an ornate headboard, pillows and other soft linens in a burgundy and cream scheme, a draft of the Gettysburg Address (a copy of which guests can take home), a portrait of Dolly Madison (was Mary Todd not available?) and a rocking chair with a red velvet seat reminiscent of the 16th president's own.

The hotel staff based their designs on photos supplied by the White House curator, plus some of their own imaginative flourishes. Like those "I Slept in the Lincoln Bedroom" towels, also a parting gift, which probably were not hanging in Abe's bathroom. The package also includes breakfast in bed for two, two passes to Madame Tussauds DC to see Lincoln (his eminent waxiness was a guest star at the press event yesterday; we marveled at his long torso and age spots) and a copy of Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, Team of Rivals: The Politlcal Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

Those who'd rather use their $809 to, say, pay their rent can still partake in the executive cheer at the hotel's restaurant, Palette, which has created a prix-fixe menu including dishes from past inauguration lunches. Selections include cream of tomato soup with crushed popcorn (JFK), shrimp cocktail (Eisenhower, Nixon), California garden salad (Reagan), McDonald's (Clinton) -- kidding! On his inauguration day, POTUS 42 dined on rosemary chicken with pecan rice, ginger carrots and broccoli and apple-cranberry brown betty. Lunch costs $ $39; dinner, $55. The special menu runs through Jan. 25, Day 5 of the new administration.

By Andrea Sachs |  January 7, 2009; 10:41 AM ET  | Category:  Andrea Sachs , Dining , Hotels , Mid-Atlantic Destinations , We Were There
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JFK would have had a hard time "unveiling" the Madison in 1964. November 22, 1963 was a significant date in his life.

Posted by: dd1008 | January 7, 2009 4:32 PM

If $809 is a little too rich for your blood, but you're still looking for a taste of Lincoln history, you can head over to the Hyatt Regency Washington Capitol Hill. They've got a Ford's Theater package, where you can get a pair of tickets to see a performance there, which has recently gotten spruced up.

Our editors at assessed that the goodies in the package provided about 16% savings from your trying to assemble it yourself... you can check it out yourself:

Posted by: dealbase | January 9, 2009 2:30 PM

Definitely a cute idea, though why would anyone do that. The DC area has many great restaurants, world-class hotels and amazing things to do for free. See -,Places-to-Visit.aspx

Posted by: elliot123 | January 14, 2009 8:48 AM

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