With day-to-day excitement at a hotel that truly embraces the LGBTQ community, Chase couldn’t imagine working anywhere else but the Four Seasons.
In Washington D.C., the Four Seasons is considered the celebrity of hotels, and it is here you’ll meet the celebrity of concierges, Michael Chase, the openly gay concierge supervisor who has proudly served as Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC (www.FourSeasons.com/washington) concierge for 23 years. As a celebrated employee who has gone above and beyond for his team, and a member of the prestigious Les Clefs d’Or USA for 17 years, Chase has become a familiar face recognized in both the local DC community and the five-star Georgetown hotel, unarguably one of the most LGBTQ-friendly hotels in the district.
“The best thing about my job is that no two days are alike and they never goes as expected,” Chase says. “It’s better than a roller coaster. It’s fast, it spins, turns upside down and then back again, but never in my wildest imagination did I think I would have had such a rewarding career!”
Chase, who moved to DC to attend American University, says he’s enriched by the diversity, people, culture and food, but he also made sure to carve out time to explore the world (he’s traveled to all the continents and over 80 countries.) “I have always loved to travel and have been hopping into planes, trains, busses and cars since I was a kid,” he says. “Way back then, the world was huge and I wanted to see it all! I believed that learning from travel was a great way to be less ignorant of other people and cultures. It has opened my eyes and I realized we have to share this tiny globe with so many other wonderful people.”
Saying Chase moves the needle as concierge is an understatement. He has had multiple nominations for Employee of the Month with a couple of wins, as well as recognition from organizations outside the hotel, including: the Washington Area Concierge Association (La Lumiere Award); Guest Informant Magazine (Ambassador Award’s recipient); Where Magazine (Most Creative Concierge); Silver Plume Awards nominee (Rising Star of the Year); and Washington Area Restaurant Association (Hospitality Employee of the Year nominee).
With day-to-day excitement at a hotel that truly embraces the LGBTQ community, Chase couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. “All my colleagues here make Four Seasons Washington DC a wonderful place for all travelers, including the LGBT community. Diverse cultures, languages, customs, foods and beliefs make the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC a fantastic, nonjudgmental place. I am thrilled that I have so many LGBT colleagues, but especially happy when I look around my lobby and see 6 or 7 gay men and women working to make this place operate. We are always laughing! During Pride month we fly the Pride flag on the front of our building (and the staff entrance) alongside the American and Canadian flags. Our Drag Brunch was a total sellout during Pride Month and many of our regular guests came to enjoy the gay times we had out in our courtyard. It is just another normal day here in DC. We have pridefully served luxury for more than 42 years.”
Where are the coolest places to go for cocktails?
There is nearly a bar on every block in this town. Many are for the locals, and a few standout as exceptional for me. For a great vibe and a bourbon selection beyond compare, stop into the Four Seasons’ Bourbon Steak Lounge (2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Tel: 202-342-0444. www.fourseasons.com/washingtondc) and then stay for dinner. We have an exceptional cocktail and wine and list. I’m partial to anything cold in a tankard, and our duck fat French fries.
Famed celebrity chef Jose Andres has Bar Mini (501 9th Street, Tel: 202-393-4451. www.minibarbyjoseandres.com) that is a cocktail lab adjacent to Mini Bar that celebrates classic cocktails with more than 100 libations. This cozy lounge is for the most discerning; let them tease your taste buds!
Vue at Hotel Washington (515 15th Street, Tel: 202-661-2400. www.thehotelwashington.com) has the very best view of the White House, Washington Monument, and Department of Treasury you can get anywhere in DC without needing a security clearance. Go for the view from the rooftop terrace and enjoy classic and innovative cocktails.
Summit, the rooftop at the Conrad Washington, DC hotel (950 New York Avenue, Tel: 202-844-5900. www.conradwashingtondc.com) has a wonderful urban view of DC from almost every vantage point and an excellent selection of beer, wine, and spirits.
What are the best restaurants for a romantic dinner in the city?
Fiola Mare (3050 K Street, Tel: 202-525- 1402. www.fiolamaredc.com) right in Georgetown serves the best seafood with an underlying hint of Italian flare and seasonings. Be sure to share the lobster ravioli and ask for an outdoor seat if weather permits. It has a warm and cozy interior with prime tables facing the Potomac riverfront, but on the perfect day sitting outside is a delight. You get the panoramic views and beautiful river breeze. It is the quietist “see and be seen” restaurant in town.
Go to Floriana (1602 17th Street, Tel: 202-677-5937. www.florianarestaurant.com) if you want to stay in the gayborhood right in the heart charming Dupont Circle. It’s a restaurant of small rooms, rich in woody tones and hues of red (which is my favorite color). Sitting near the fireplace on a cold day is a major score, otherwise, their outdoor dining is always lovely on 17th Street.
The Kinship (1015 7th Street, Tel: 202- 737-7700. www.kinshipdc.com), the modern American restaurant by Eric Ziebold and Celia Laurent is a wonderful and ethereal with an elegant white interior. Be sure to try the lobster French toast. This restaurant is in a 1907 brick building that shares the same space with their sister restaurant Metier, which is another option for a romantic setting but with a prix fixe menu.
Who serves the greatest weekend brunch in town?
Here at the Four Seasons we have something tasty for almost every pallet, whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore. We have the most decadent offering of foods from sweet to savory for breakfast and lunch. Our dessert room is the closest some of us may get to heaven. Since I am addicted to almost everything sweet, I love the brioche doughnut with lemon curd and vanilla crème, but they say the pecan sticky buns with bourbon caramel sauce are simply decadent. For the main course at our brunch, have the Wagyu steak and egg with a side of duck fat French fries. It is really over the top! Be sure to look for our Drag Brunch in June.