The Watergate Hotel gets a clean start

JUL 26, 2016 | By Tasneem Merchant
The hotel has 336 guest bedrooms that offer breathtaking views of the Potomac River and its surroundings. Part of the $125 mn renovation is the Next Whisky Bar designed by Ron Arad and stocked with 2,500 bottles of the drink. You know you are in an indulgent hotel, when you have a floor to ceiling marble bathroom piled with exclusive cosmetic products.
The Watergate Hotel, which first threw open its doors to people in 1965 was designed by renowned Italian architect Luigi Moretti. It became the eye of the storm in 1972 when members of the Republican Party were caught breaking and entering the offices of the Democratic National Party, housed in the hotel. The Watergate Scandal, as it came to be known also provided the moniker for subsequent scurrilous political activity.
Its recent re-opening marks an important milestone in Israeli architect Ron Arad’s career too. How, you might wonder? The answer lies in the fact that he played a key role in restoring the original interiors of the property to its former grandeur, marking his first project in America.
The main areas designed by Ron include the lobby, a world class whiskey bar (that references the curves of the hotel’s facade), restaurants and the contemporary furnishings. The furniture pieces in the revamped hotel are from luxury Italian brand Moroso.
The hotel promises its patrons an “unapologetically luxurious” stay with 336 guestrooms decked in plush bedding, splendid views of the Potomac River and floor to ceiling marble bathrooms with custom La Bottega bath amenities. Its almost 10,000 sq ft Argentta Spa, indoor swimming pool with dedicated aerobic area and fitness centre provide tailor made guest services.
True to its tagline, the hotel will have you spoilt for choice when it comes to culinary delights too. How does a curved wall stocked with 2,500 whiskey bottles sound to you? That’s the Next Whisky Bar for you. Alternately, you can dine in the in-house Kingbird restaurant or have a casual meeting at the Top of the Gate rooftop lounge and bar. The choice is yours.
Many more engaging features in our Aug-Sept 2016 issue, click here to leaf through some of our pages.
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