Iconic Watergate Hotel set to reopen

By Chris Kitching for MailOnline

The hotel is located in the now infamous Watergate Complex in Washington DC. Photo / iStock
The hotel is located in the now infamous Watergate Complex in Washington DC. Photo / iStock

Washington's Watergate Hotel - located in the same complex that was at the heart of the political scandal that led to Richard Nixon's resignation - is set to reopen after being dormant for nearly 10 years.

The iconic hotel has undergone a US$125 million ($186.7 million) redesign by its new owner over the past two years, bringing it into the latest age of luxury while retaining its historic name.

Set to open next week, the Watergate Hotel closed in 2007 for renovations that never happened because of financial problems. Photo / The Watergate Hotel
Set to open next week, the Watergate Hotel closed in 2007 for renovations that never happened because of financial problems. Photo / The Watergate Hotel

Opening on June 1, the 336-room hotel features a brand new interior with a grand ballroom, whiskey bar and rooftop lounge among the additions.

The Watergate Hotel closed in 2007 for renovations that never happened because its previous owner ran into trouble and declared bankruptcy amid the US financial crisis.
It was eventually purchased by New York-based Euro Capital Properties, which launched the nine-figure redesign in 2014.

The iconic hotel has undergone a $125 million redesign over the past two years, bringing it into the latest age of luxury. Photo / The Watergate Hotel
The iconic hotel has undergone a $125 million redesign over the past two years, bringing it into the latest age of luxury. Photo / The Watergate Hotel

From around US$289 ($431) a night, guests will stay in 336 rooms, including two presidential suites and 26 speciality suites, and have access to a spa and pool, a library on a balcony overlooking the lobby, a whisky bar and a rooftop lounge with 360-degree views of the Potomac River and Washington Monument.

Every room has a marble bathroom and most have views of the river.

Every guest room and suite inside the Watergate Hotel has a spa-like marble bathrooms with custom La Bottega amenities. Photo / The Watergate Hotel
Every guest room and suite inside the Watergate Hotel has a spa-like marble bathrooms with custom La Bottega amenities. Photo / The Watergate Hotel

Kingbird, its restaurant, has two dining rooms and menus created by executive chef Michael Santoro, who previously worked at Heston Blumenthal's three-Michelin-starred The Fat Duck in Berkshire.

Designed by Ron Arad, the lobby features floor-to-ceiling windows, sculptural metal work, chandeliers, a black granite floor, a wall of hand-painted brass tubes and a 46ft long brass reception desk that mirrors the building's signature curves.

The hotel's whisky bar (pictured), lobby and restaurant, Kingbird, were designed by industrial designer Ron Arad. Photo / The Watergate Hotel
The hotel's whisky bar (pictured), lobby and restaurant, Kingbird, were designed by industrial designer Ron Arad. Photo / The Watergate Hotel

Hoping to attract Washington's elite, the whiskey bar features a spherical art structure made from 2500 illuminated bottles, creating a glowing bronze colour.

he hotel, which is on the US National Register of Historic Places, features more than 10,000 square feet of outdoor terraces overlooking the Potomac.

Guests of its 336 rooms and suites will have access to an indoor swimming pool, fitness facility and a spacious spa. Photo / The Watergate Hotel
Guests of its 336 rooms and suites will have access to an indoor swimming pool, fitness facility and a spacious spa. Photo / The Watergate Hotel

Given it's a historic property, its façade, which was designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti in 1961, remains untouched.

Euro Capital Properties said its aim was to give the hotel a 'modern reinvention from its scandalous past' by creating a space with classic elegance and bold mid-century modern design.

This rendering shows the hotel's first-ever rooftop lounge, which has 360-degree views of the Potomac River and Washington Monument. Photo / The Watergate Hotel
This rendering shows the hotel's first-ever rooftop lounge, which has 360-degree views of the Potomac River and Washington Monument. Photo / The Watergate Hotel

Hotel staff will wear retro-inspired uniforms from costume designer Janie Bryant, who won an Emmy Award for her work on the HBO series Deadwood and was nominated for three awards for her work on AMC's Mad Men.

The hotel's owner has maintained a level of secrecy around the project, choosing not to release photos of the suites and other public areas. Instead, it shared photos of a model room and renderings of areas such as the rooftop lounge, presidential suite, ballroom, pool, lobby and whiskey bar.

The 2400 square foot presidential suite has dark wood floors, custom furniture in shades of blue and yellow, and private balconies. Photo / The Watergate Hotel
The 2400 square foot presidential suite has dark wood floors, custom furniture in shades of blue and yellow, and private balconies. Photo / The Watergate Hotel

A major political scandal called Watergate ensued after the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate Hotel and Office Building were broken into in 1972.

The burglars were working for Nixon's re-election campaign, and the president, who won the election, was eventually forced to resign in 1974 after investigations revealed his administration's attempts to cover up its involvement.

- Daily Mail

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