DC’s Most Famous Hotel is Back in Business

After a $125 million renovation, the prestigious Watergate Hotel is welcoming its first guests in nearly a decade.
Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., interior rendering

Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., interior rendering

Washington—‘Unapologetically luxurious,’ ‘Dream in couture’ and ‘The return of a legend’–these are the taglines used to announce the reopening of the infamous Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., nine years and $125 million in renovations after its 2007 closing.

Part of the 10-acre Watergate complex in Washington’s Foggy Bottom, the 368-key lavish hotel is currently owned by Euro Capital Properties, who bought it in 2010 for a reported $45 million. The property, which initially opened in 1967, bears the architectural signature of Luigi Moretti. The team tapped by Euro Capital Properties to revitalize the Watergate Hotel was spearheaded by designers Ron Arad and Moroso, and architectural and interior design firm BBGM.

“We paid meticulous attention to every detail in its renovation and we’re excited to bring our vision to life. Its intrigue is driven by evocative design, from the deep-rooted retro feel to the mystique that lies behind every curve of the hotel’s architecture,” said Rakel Cohen, senior vice president of design and development with Euro Capital Properties, in prepared remarks.

“At the end of the day, we are known for the scandal, but I’m trying to bring back the heyday, what we were before and after,” Cohen said last month in an interview with Vanity Fair, referring to the events that resulted in the resignation of former President Nixon. The new owners are taking pride in the site’s history, with ‘no need to break in’ messages on room keys and pens with ‘stolen from The Watergate Hotel’ inscriptions.

In addition to the 336 hotel rooms, the property, located at 2650 Virginia Ave., showcases a total of 32 suites. The Watergate currently offers two upper-upscale food and beverages options overseen by Chef Michael Santoro. The Kingbird, a dining room/bar with riverfront outdoor seating, is complemented by The Next Whisky Bar, a lobby destination sporting an extensive whiskey collection. Top of the Gate, a rooftop lounge boasting 360-degree views of the capital’s Potomac River, the Capitol and Washington Monument, is slated for later this summer.

The property will also offer a 12,000-square-foot luxury spa featuring eight treatment suites, nail salon, changing rooms, sauna and steam rooms, relaxation area, saltwater pool and whirlpool, and a state-of-the-art gym facility. The recent renovations also brought 27,000 square feet of meeting and function space, including 11 flexible indoor/outdoor spaces and the 7,000-square-foot Moretti Grand Ballroom.

With promotional rates starting at $287 per night and regular ones at $425, the hotel is already welcoming its first new guests in almost a decade. Also, according to Robb Report, Mad Men’s costume designer Janie Bryant consulted on staff uniforms. Not too shabby.

Images courtesy of thewatergatehotel.com