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Passport Concierge: Kitt Vidnovic, The Fairmont Washington D.C., Georgetown

by Our Editors

We sit down with a concierge who has witnessed the evolution of Washington, D.C. and knows all the spots, from the hidden gems to the must-visit tourist attractions.

by Jordan McDowell

The decades may have changed, but the essence of what it means to be a concierge at The Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown (2401 M St. NW, Tel: 1- 202-457-4020. www.fairmont.com/washington) has remained the same, especially for a woman who has served at the hotel since 1989. Kitt Vidnovic has called Washington, D.C. home since the 1970s, and has long maintained her belief that a great stay for a guest begins with the hospitality of the hotel and its team. “The concierge profession has changed a lot since the late 70s, but one thing has never changed: it is a privilege to provide guidance and to serve my guests and my colleagues,” she says. Since becoming a concierge in 1976, she has witnessed the evolution of Washington, D.C. and knows all the spots, from the hidden gems to the must-visit tourist attractions.

A leader in her profession, Vidnovic has received countless awards for her work including the Washington Convention and Visitors Bureau Silver Award and the “Legend” award bestowed onto her by her peers in the Washington Area Concierge Association. She became a member of Les Clefs d’Or in 1995, an international association of professional hotel concierges, which earned her the prestigious golden keys that she proudly dis- plays every day on her jacket to show she knows her stuff.

As part of the Fairmont family since 1989, Vidnovic has good reason to feel comfortable at the property. “I chose the Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown because of its location and beautiful lobby. My desk has a vantage point that overlooks the lobby and the front drive.” And after all these years, Fairmont has become family to her. “My Fairmont family is so important in my life, to the point that I have my best friends as my colleagues,” she says.

Vidnovic has a lot to be proud of, and our insider guide has some exclusive suggestions on where to drink, eat, play, and visit in the District.

Fairmont Washington DC

Fairmont Washington DC

Where are the coolest places for cocktails in the city?
The Fairmont’s interior courtyard garden is filled with flowering plants and trees, and an Istrian marble fountain provides a soothing atmosphere. The Lounge at The Tabard Inn (1739 N. St. NW, Tel: 1-202- 785-1277. www.tabardinn.com>) is romantic and quiet and has lovely fireplace seating that’s very intimate. Light fare is available along with classic cocktails, wine, and beer. The Gibson (2009 14th St. NW, Tel: 1-202-232-2156. www.thegibsondc.com) has a real “speakeasy” vibe, and here you are able to reserve a table on their website. The drinks are recreations of Prohibition- era classics and are super-yummy.

What are the best restaurants for a romantic dinner?
Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier (2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Tel: 1-202-296-1166. www.marcelsdc.com) is an elegant French-Belgian restaurant with intimate cozy corners to hide away. Chef Wiedmeier’s menu is inventive and fun. 1789 Restaurant (1226 36th St. NW, Tel: 1-202-965-1789. www.1789restaurant.com) located in quaint Georgetown, has a fireplace and Federalist décor, along with contemporary American cuisine by Chef Samuel Kim. It is an exquisite restaurant with fine dining touches everywhere. Juniper at the Fairmont serves locally sourced fare by candlelight. In the warmer months, dinner is served in the flower-filled courtyard garden (Tel: 202-457-5020. www.juniperdc.com).

Who serves the greatest weekend brunch in town?
Juniper at the Fairmont features a Market Fresh Brunch each Sunday. Notable here is the BeeMyHoney doughnut made with the hotel’s rooftop honey. Café Milano (3251 Prospect St. NW, Tel: 1-202-333-6183. www.cafemilano.com) in Georgetown has a wonderful brunch where you can either choose items à la carte or visit the buffet. The setting is garden-like, and the food and service is impeccable.

What are the hottest shows, and how do I get tickets?
Cirque du Soleil (www.cirquedusoleil.com) is usually one of the hottest tickets each season, and you can purchase them directly from their website. Concierges are a good source to find any “special” seatings, etc. In 2017, the Inaugural Balls (www.presidential-inauguration.com) will be the tickets to get. These are tricky and difficult to come by, but we always try to find a way for our guests!

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