Guests can expect an elevated, swanky experience with playful touches that pay homage to the hotel’s historic past
Washington D.C.’s notorious Watergate Hotel officially reopened this week after nearly a decade of being closed, unveiling a $125M renovation. Located within the complex that sparked the political scandal that ended Richard Nixon’s presidency during the 1970s, the iconic hotel closed to the public in 2007.
In the 1970s, the Watergate name was synonymous with luxury and glamour. “It was all encompassing,” said Gigi Winston, president of Winston Real Estate. “People would come from the suburbs to spend the day. You would see all sorts of celebrities around. We experienced the best shopping and food. It was everything.”
Winston believes the new renovations will help give the complex a fresh start and bring back some of its lost luster.
The design of the D.C. complex was a revolutionary idea when it was constructed in the early 1960s by the famed Italian architect Luigi Moretti. The Watergate Complex consists of several structures, including office and residential buildings, commercial areas and the Watergate Hotel.
“It’s an Italian building unlike many in the U.S.,” said Richard Longstreth, a professor of American Studies at George Washington University. “Watergate seems like a ‘strange’ group of buildings because the complex is really one-of-a-kind in the United States and very different from the myriad tendencies we associate with Modern Architecture here during the mid-twentieth century. Few Washington properties … come close to matching its significance as a design.”
According to USA Today, the recently debuted renovation “emphasizes the building’s mid-century design, and retained some of the hotel’s original structures, including a curvaceous staircase and indoor pool.”
Rakel Cohen, Senior Vice President of Design and Development for Euro Capital Properties, the company responsible for the $125-million renovation, said people will still recognize the familiar exterior of the hotel, while noting that the building was designed to look like a sail on the Potomac, and that the renovation takes opportunities to build on that. “We wanted to be the first to really embrace the building’s history, avant-garde architecture and bold curves,” says Cohen.
As part of the renovation, Euro Capital Properties wanted to ensure they left Watergate’s legacy is intact, scandal and all. The hotel even offers guests sly reminders of the Watergate’s iconic past with key cards that say “no need to break in” and pens emblazoned with “stolen from The Watergate Hotel.”
The new Watergate Hotel features 336 guest rooms and 32 suites, including two ultra-luxe Presidential Suites. Other new hotel amenities include a rooftop lounge, a whisky bar in the lobby, a full spa and health center and a new restaurant, called Top of the Gate, scheduled to open later this summer with 360-degree views of the D.C. skyline.
The hotel’s location is convenient for both business and leisure travelers, located next to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and close to the National Mall, State Department and George Washington University.
Promotional rates for later start at $287 a night and can be book via the Watergate Hotel’s website.