Inauguration timeIt’s the New Year, a time of resolution and change for all of us. Of course, nothing will exemplify the new hope and direction of 2009 more than the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President in Washington, D.C., on January 20. Before the huge and challenging work starts, there will be a slew of parties, concerts, events, and the swearing in itself, all based on the theme “Renewing America’s Promise.”

This should be one of the busiest times for tourism in the city for years, with 15,000 to 18,000 people expected to act as volunteers alone. Flights and hotels are selling out fast, and a number of hotels have a host of special packages for the celebration. The Kimpton Group, for example, has a Ba’Rock’ Star Treatment Package to get people ready for any inaugural balls or other events they might have been lucky enough to snag tickets to. Treatments include hair and makeup, massages, manicures, and pedicures. Hotels participating in the package (rates start at $709), which are based on availability, include the Topaz, the Hotel Rouge, the Hotel George, and the Hotel Monaco. But to really live large you might want to consider the “American Talents” package at the Park Hyatt from January 17 to January 21, which makes the newly renovated Presidential Suite your own mini White House. Think butler service, an in-room massage for two, an Audi A8 to zip around town, VIP tickets to the Kennedy Center concert, dinner at the Blue Duck restaurant all for the K Street-level sum of $70,000. The hotel will also donate a stay at the hotel for a less fortunate family through the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Further reading:
* My
It List of 2009: The places that will make you feel all right about the world again–check here
Word of Mouth: The buzz worldwide