Art

The Iconic Watergate Hotel Reopens After $125M Renovation

June 23, 2016 9:13 pm  |  Comments: 0  | Views: 1719
    
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.

(Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

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.

A night view from the Potomac River in 1974. (Image Credit: Mashable/Associated Press)

A night view from the Potomac River in 1974. (Image Credit: Mashable/Associated Press)

“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.”

Several original structures were restored, including the indoor pool and staircase. The saltwater lap pool, which is surrounded by tiles flecked in real silver, features two lanes, an aerobic area, and a whirlpool to unwind in. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

Several original structures were restored, including the indoor pool and staircase. The saltwater lap pool, which is surrounded by tiles flecked in real silver, features two lanes, an aerobic area, and a whirlpool. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

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.

The key cards pay homage to the Watergate Hotel's 1972 scandal. (Image Credit: WTOP)

The key cards pay homage to the Watergate Hotel’s 1972 scandal. (Image Credit: WTOP)

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.

A rendering of the new rooftop bar. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

A rendering of the new rooftop bar. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

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. 

The new design features interiors selected by renowned designer Ron Arad and sculptural furnishings from Italian designer, Moroso. “Mad Men” costumer designer, Janie Bryant, has also created chic uniforms for the staff to reflect the hotel’s new modern edge, while fun touches like pens reading "Stolen from The Watergate Hotel" and key cards that say "no need to break in" nod to the hotel's past. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

The new design features interiors selected by renowned designer Ron Arad and sculptural furnishings from Italian designer, Moroso. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

 

The Next Whisky Bar includes copper walls and 2,500 whisky bottles that line the walls. Drinks range from high-end curated selections of scotch to seasonal cocktails. There’s also the Kingbird, where diners can sample American cuisine served with a French twist, the Top of the Gate, the hotel's first rooftop lounge set to open this summer. (Image Credit: Watergate)

The Next Whisky Bar includes copper walls and 2,500 whisky bottles that line the walls. Drinks range from high-end curated selections of scotch to seasonal cocktails. There’s also the Kingbird, where diners can sample American cuisine served with a French twist, the Top of the Gate, the hotel’s first rooftop lounge set to open this summer. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

 

The 7,000 square foot Moretti Grand Ballroom features state-of-the-art-technology that includes LED light paneling, wireless sound systems, and high definition video, as well as 10,000 square feet of outdoor space. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

The 7,000 square foot Moretti Grand Ballroom features state-of-the-art-technology that includes LED light paneling, wireless sound systems, and high definition video, as well as 10,000 square feet of outdoor space. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

 

There are a total of 336 guest rooms, half of which include private balconies. Many of the suites come equipped with solid walnut furnishings and velvet upholstery, a fireplace in the living, a kitchenette, and sweeping waterfront views. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

There are a total of 336 guest rooms, half of which include private balconies. Many of the suites come equipped with solid walnut furnishings and velvet upholstery, a fireplace in the living, a kitchenette, and sweeping waterfront views. (Image Credit: Watergate Hotel)

Sources: USA Today, Business Insider, Mashable

 

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