Step into one of the most elegant and festive spots in the Nation’s capital to spend the holiday season. While we love this line of hotels across Canada, the Fairmont Washington, D.C is where every kid in the District knows to see the “Big Guy” in the Santa Suite.
Table of Contents
What you need to know about the Fairmont Santa Suite
There are a lot of questions when you are visiting the Santa Suite, like:
- Where is the Santa Suite?
- When to visit the Santa Suite?
- How much does it cost?
- What do you wear to meet Santa?
- Should you bring anything to the Fairmont?
- How long do you get to be with Santa?
- Where is the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown parking?
Trying to orchestrate the perfect Santa experience is stressful, so we’ll answer as many of your questions as possible. No one wants to feel unprepared or have their little cherub turn into a Grinch, right?
Don’t worry parents, there is a lobby bar and hot cocoa station at this Fairmont hotel in case you both need a pick me up. The Fairmont is always looking out for us.
When to visit the Santa Suite
The Santa Suite is open Saturdays and Sundays in December from 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. Simply walk into the main entrance of the Fairmont DC, and one of Santa’s helpful elves will escort you to see Santa in his suite.
Want to stay at the Fairmont DC? Check rates…
What to bring to the Fairmont DC
You don’t have to bring anything to visit Santa at the Fairmont DC. If your child has a list, they are encouraged to bring it. The elves also have special Fairmont postcards so children (and adults, I guess) can write to Santa in the lobby.
Santa does write you back at the Fairmont, which is a bit of an extra spin on the letter writing you will find at other Santa experiences. You will have to supply your address though. This Santa is good, but even he needs a little help with a self-addressed notecard from time to time.
Things to do when you visit the Fairmont Santa Suite
- Write Santa a letter
- Mail your letter in the special Santa mailbox (no postage necessary)
- Enjoy complimentary hot cocoa in the Fairmont lobby while you write to Santa
- Adults can purchase holiday cocktails from the bar while their children enjoy hot chocolate.
- Take photos at the lobby Santa set up (Santa not included, but his chair is there to sit in)
- Sit on Santa’s lap for photos
- Tell Santa what you would like for Christmas
- Sample a number of different Christmas cookies made by the Fairmont pastry team (Free to eat! Try the frosted Capital building cookies and the tiny meringues. Although the kids said the powdered chocolate balls were the best.)
- Pop into the Elves room where they help Santa get ready to meet the children.
- Sneak into Santa’s bedroom where he sleeps while staying at the Fairmont.
- See who is seated at Santa’s holiday table. To say we would like to be invited to Christmas dinner is an understatement (hello Queen Elsa!)
How much does it cost to visit the Santa Suite?
The Santa Suite at the Fairmont DC is free for anyone to visit. There are no pro photographer fees if you want a photo with Santa either. You can bring your own camera or simply use your mobile phone.
There is a collection box if you would like to give to Horton’s Kids, a local nonprofit, but it is not required.
This is simply one of the many ways that the Fairmont likes to celebrate many local Washington traditions and welcomes the Washington DC community, not just guests, in capital style.
Click for more free things to do in DC this Christmas
Do I need to tickets to see Santa?
Yes. While you don’t have to pay, you do need to sign up on Eventbrite to save a spot to see Santa. This is more for crowd control purposes than anything else.
We did not see tickets strictly enforced when we visited in early December. No one asked us for tickets, but the closer you get to Christmas, the more likely you will need to show that you signed up.
It’s free and easy. Just click HERE for your Santa Suite tickets to hold your spot on a specific day.
What to wear to meet Santa
There is no dress code to meet Santa. He accepts all boys and girls just as they are, whether they wear seasonal dresses or black t-shirts with rainbow tights. However, the Fairmont Washington D.C. Georgetown is a luxury hotel, and the décor does show this off.
If you would like to match the setting, feel free to get dressed in all of your finery. Just know that jeans are acceptable.
How long do you get to spend with Santa?
Each family is allotted 15 minutes to chat with Santa and poke around the Santa Suite on the 9th floor of the Fairmont Washington DC hotel (yup, that’s the Fairmont Gold Experience level). You probably won’t need that much time.
Most children, especially little ones, are just fine saying hello, telling Santa what they want, tolerating mom and dad (and lucky aunts) taking a few photos, and then going to explore the cookies.
Yes, there are cookies that you are allowed to eat in the Santa Suite.
Will you be in the Santa Suite by yourself?
No. The Elves bring groups of 10 people up at a time to visit the Santa Suite. This may sound like a lot of people, but it really isn’t. Think of it this way—it’s about two families of four to five people spread across three hotel rooms.
Everyone remains civilized, takes turns exploring the suite and getting their photos with Santa. The Elves are in constant contact to make sure there are no crowds, keeping some people downstairs in the lobby writing letters to Santa, while others are upstairs with the “Big Guy.”
Tips for visiting Santa at the Fairmont DC
- Visit Santa early in December before the mad rush to get time in with the him. You will want your kids fresh and happy to see Santa before they max out on “holiday cheer.” It can and does happen.
- Try to squeeze in naptime before you visit Santa whenever possible. Toddlers will be much more likely to smile for your photos.
- Feed your children before you come. Hungry kids = cranky kids. Give them some protein and a little fruit before you release them into a sugar-filled cookie winter wonderland. If you forget this golden rule, have no fear; the Juniper Restaurant has light nibbles and full meals available throughout the day.
Parking at the Fairmont DC
Valet parking is always available at the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown. If you visit the Fairmont DC Santa Suite on Sunday, parking is free on the street. Several parking garages are also available within a two-block radius of the hotel.
Use the ParkingPanda.com app or SpotHero.com app to grab the cheapest parking garages within walking distance of the Fairmont.
Take the DC Metro to the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown
Foggy Bottom Metro Station
- Take the escalators to the street level.
- At the top, turn around and walk away from the escalators.
- Make a right onto 24th Street, NW
- Cross M Street. You will see the Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown will be on the left-hand corner.
Dupont Circle Metro Station
- Take the Circle South exit.
- Walk south on 19th Street, NW.
- Turn right on N Street, NW.
- Left on 24th Street, NW.
- You will see the Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown on the next corner on the right
Looking for a Washington DC Hotel?
- Hotel Hive – Affordable, trendy, pet-friendly hotel
- Eaton Hotel – Stay in the heart of DC
- Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC – DC luxury at it’s best
- Kimpton Hotel George – Great for families and pets
- Willard InterContinental Washington – Historic hotel right near the White House
Need a car? Get the best rental car rates HERE.
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Washington, D.C. Travel Resources
Your Washington, D.C. vacation doesn’t have to be stressful. We’ve got the resources you need to plan your trip and make the most out of your time in the city and surrounding area. If this is your first time to the capital region, check out our Washington, D.C. trip planner and itineraries.
For transportation, check out our D.C. driving guide and our guide on how to ride the metro. For those flying in, you’ll want to read our guides to BWI, DCA and IAD airports.
Dive into our things to do in D.C., which is always being updated and evolving to make sure you have the latest and greatest activities to fill your checklist of things to do. Don’t forget about food, the real reason we all travel, right? Our Washington, D.C. restaurant guide will get you started and lead you into neighborhoods full of delicious treats.
For more resources, check out our pages on Baltimore, Frederick,Richmond, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Shenandoah National Park and beyond.
Where to Stay in Washington, D.C.
Budget: When it comes to Washington, D.C. budget hotels, prices vary depending on the season. In the middle of October, a four-star hotel could be under $150, while in December it may be over $400. At any given time of year, though, Hotel Hive is a safe bet for value when it comes to resting your head. If you are looking for a hostel, Hi Washington D.C. Downtown is well located for exploring all of the D.C. museums, restaurants and bars at the fraction of the price of a hotel. Check rates and availability here.
Mid-range: Every USA hotel chain can be found in Washington, D.C., but stay at the St. Gregory Hotel when you want a local touch. The modern, light-filled rooms will welcome you to the city, whether you are in a studio or suite with wraparound terrace. The hotel is walking distance to Georgetown, the National Mall and Embassy Row, making it easy to explore without a rental car. Check rates and availability here.
Luxury: You are spoiled for choice when it comes to luxury hotels in Washington, D.C. We love cozying up at the Graham Georgetown, a sweet little boutique hotel in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city. Check rates and availability here. Major hotel brands like The Fairmont, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons Hotel Washington D.C. and St. Regis Washington D.C. all have outposts here as well. If you want something a bit more historic, we recommend The Jefferson, Washington D.C. Ninety-nine rooms in this luxury boutique hotel bring together an attentive staff, petite spa, and the Michelin-starred Plume restaurant with all of the history you could hope for when you are in the nation’s capital. Check rates and availability here.
Family-friendly: We always gravitate towards the Kimpton hotels whenever we are traveling with kids. Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington D.C., once the General Post Office building, is located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood just four blocks off the National Mall near the National Gallery of Art. Price point is mid-range, depending on the time of year you visit. Parents will love the nightly wine events and evening nightcap perks as well as complimentary coffee and a tea bar each morning. Kids will love that they can borrow a fish friend for their stay, and that there is always a treat on hand that they can enjoy, and the robes are just their size. Kimpton also has adult and child-size bikes to borrow so you can cruise around town during your stay. Check rates and availability here.
Looking for Washington DC Rentals? Check HERE for the best location, size and rates.
Washington DC Rental Car
If you just flew in , you probably need a rental car. Although you can certainly take the Metro most places, especially if you fly into DCA, you may want a rental car to get out and explore. Find the best priced and availability HERE.
Planning a Trip to Washington, D.C.? Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Whether you are traveling domestically or coming from an international destination, travel insurance is a must for anyone coming to Washington, D.C. You will be exploring both inside and outdoors; hiking may even happen if you get adventurous. You could find yourself on a Segway or bike tour. The city is highly populated and accidents and crime do happen. This is not to scare you, but to prepare you for what could occur when you are checking out the free museums, exploring neighborhoods, finding the best food and learning about the local street art. Should something happen, travel insurance has you covered.
We recommend and use Allianz Travel insurance. Our family is covered under a household plan, but their individual plans are just as robust if you are a solo traveler or a couple looking to get away. I’ve been a customer for more than five years and have always been in good hands with the Allianz team.
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