The Loews Madison is a lovely hotel that's conveniently located --about a mile from White House, memorials, The Mall, etc. The neighborhood is walkable with restaurants and Metro stop nearby. The decor is elegant without being stuffy--and the staff were attentive without being pretentious or intrusive. Room was quiet and had down comforters and plump soft pillows. The luxury level far exceeded the price--a great value.
Downtown DC is awash with culture. The Smithsonian Institution museum complex flanks the National Mall. The Washington Monument bisects the Mall, just south of the White House. Federal agency headquarters house bureaucrats of varying stripes. Moneyed and powerful lobbyists help create (and quash) laws from K Street. Chinatown and the Washington Convention Center lie east of downtown.