Hotel Madera remodels, Firefly ups its game

Neighborhood gem in DC shines after renovations

Hotel Madera, nestled in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington DC, recently underwent extensive renovation and modernization that was completed in February 2021. The hotel building, at 1310 New Hampshire Ave NW, was originally an apartment complex before it was transformed in the 1990’s. Then, five years after its debut, the beloved neighborhood restaurant Firefly opened its doors inside the hotel.

Hotel Madera now offers newly designed, contemporary and spacious guestrooms, an updated restaurant and event space that can accommodate up to 120 guests, as well as smaller meetings and gatherings. Guest rooms are up to 460 sq ft, with oversized bathrooms and plush linens. Studio suites include personal balconies overlooking a charming treelined street.

With an intimate 81 guestrooms, Hotel Madera provides a personalized guest experience and was recently ranked #3 out of 155 hotels in Washington, DC, thanks to its fresh design and tailored service. The property is an urban retreat in the heart of vibrant Dupont Circle. Classic design and unique spaces layered with colors and textures, create an upbeat, yet comfortable oasis for guests and locals.

Firefly, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is helmed by Chef Gari Thomas, who was born and raised in the DC metro area. Chef Gari has been serving the food and beverage industry for over 18 years and honed his culinary skills training under prestigious chefs at establishments across the region including the Ritz Carlton, The Salt Line in Navy Yard, and Kimpton Hotels. His menu always takes a modern and creative approach to traditional American comfort food. He loves to explore a variety of cuisines and has a particular flair for elegant fare.

Hotel Madera in Dupont Circle underwent a remodel. Photo by Hotel Madera.
Hotel Madera in Dupont Circle underwent a remodel. Photo by Hotel Madera.

“I believe all elements of a dish should come together harmoniously. For that whimsical touch, I think forbidden black rice is the perfect complement to an entrée,” Chef Gari said about one of his favorite items to add to a dish. When he is prepping in the kitchen, he loves playing 70s funk music to keep his energy and creative juices flowing. Some dishes he enjoys making for his guests are a cornish game hen with carrot ginger puree, and pan-seared scallops with couscous and tarragon cream; as well as a charred octopus appetizer that will appear on the Spring menu that Chef Gari is preparing to release this month.

Firefly is also upping its cocktail game. New additions include Birds of Paradise made with Corazon tequila, papaya, strawberry syrup, Gran Marnier Liqueur, and a splash of lime juice.

A local brunch and dinner destination for hotel guests and locals alike, Firefly’s warm and inviting atmosphere serves as the perfect backdrop to enjoy a cocktail and share a meal with friends and family. Guests can count on savory dishes that feature seasonal ingredients paired with unique hand-crafted cocktails. This Spring, the restaurant is excited to host numerous engaging events and gatherings, including special happy hours, mixology classes, and more.

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