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City Desk

“The District Reborn,” an article in the November-December issue of National Geographic Traveler, celebrates “a fresher Washington” and praises recent additions to the city’s retail and nightlife scene. In the section “Hip Sleeps,” the magazine highlights the W hotel chain owned by Connecticut-based Starwood Capital Group. That’s not so cool: Starwood Capital is the parent company of Starwood Urban Investments, which has been gobbling up District retail space populated by independent merchants, raising rents, and replacing those unique stores with generic Ann Taylors (“Blocked Out,” 7/9/99). But even the W can’t compare to the Hotel George, a Capitol Hill hotel that’s “currently the choice of visiting Hollywood stars,” according to the Traveler. Hotel George General Manager David Hill lets out a hearty laugh. “We’ve [had guests] who live in Hollywood,” says Hill. “They’re not movie stars, per se.” —Laura Lang