Change is coming to the nation's capital. Not only because of the mid-term elections, which concluded Tuesday, but also because of the W Washington D.C., which announced this week that it will complete a $50 million renovation in 2019.
The closest hotel to the White House, W Washington D.C. is located in a historic Beaux Arts building that dates back to 1917. The renovation, however -- led by architecture and interior design firm Studio GAIA -- will make the property feel like as suited to the future as it does the past.
Upon arriving, for instance, guests will encounter a new waterfall that celebrates the capital's many iconic memorials. From there, they'll arrive in the Living Room -- W Hotels' lobby concept -- which will feature an infinity-looking mirror that references the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial, fresco art reminiscent of the Capitol dome and private, partially glassed-in areas for private conversations.
Elsewhere, the hotel's 317 guest rooms and suites will be completely reimagined to include boutique window-style closets; modular seating that transforms into additional bedding; new open-concept bathrooms with glassed-in showers; and custom décor that references local history, such as a minibar that mimics the angles of the Washington Monument.
The hotel's 1,176-square-foot presidential suite -- known as the Extreme WOW Suite -- also will be redone. Highlights will include a floor-to-ceiling graphic mural by artist Amit Greenberg, a sliding door with cryptic lettering inspired by the Central Intelligence Agency's Kryptos sculpture, mirrored ceilings that capture views of the National Mall and monuments below, and a full-size bar for in-room entertaining.
W Washington D.C. also is opening two new signature food-and-beverage venues: a ground-floor restaurant specializing in local flavors and shared plates, as well as a new speakeasy with an attached beer garden patio on Pennsylvania Avenue. High above both, guests will find POV, the hotel's rooftop bar and lounge, which also is being renovated.
Finally, there's the hotel's 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space, all of which will be redesigned -- including the hotel's ballroom, the Great Room, which will be updated with angled LED ceiling lights with changeable colors, a built-in bar and new custom carpeting that evokes a map of D.C.'s streets.
"W Washington DC has become a place where the powers that be come to play, a destination all its own in the nation's stunning capital," said Anthony Ingham, global brand leader, W Hotels Worldwide. "While the building itself is rooted in rich history, the W experience is about innovation and this revamp is the latest example of how we are keeping our existing hotels fresh while in the midst of great global growth."
Four More Go-To Properties for Capital Conferences
Washington, D.C., is full of venerable properties that are as ideal for meetings as they are for private political powwows. The W Washington DC is only one. Here are four others:
• The Hay-Adams: The Hay-Adams is a D.C. institution. Opened in 1928, it's located in an Italian Renaissance-style mansion in historic Lafayette Square. Historic and stately, yet still approachable, it was the residence for President Barack Obama and his family before they moved into the White house. It has 121 guest rooms, an onsite restaurant and bar, a fitness center and over 6,000 square feet of meeting space, including "Top of the Hay," which sits atop the hotel and offers panoramic views of the White House.
• The Willard InterContinental: In case The Hay-Adams isn't historic enough, there's The Willard InterContinental, which dates back more than 200 years to 1816. The grand hotel, which has hosted presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities galore, currently resides in a 12-story structure that was built in 1901. Inside are 335 guest rooms, a French brasserie, a spa and fitness center, and over 22,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including 19 meeting rooms and three ballrooms.
• Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.: The Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., isn't historic -- it opened in 2004 -- but its reputation nevertheless is legendary. Located in southwest D.C., by the waterfront, the hotel is near the District Wharf, a new, $2 billion development comprising restaurants, bars, shops and music venues. It has 400 guest rooms with an East-meets-West aesthetic; a 10,000-square-foot spa with a 50-foot heated indoor pool; two bars and restaurants, including the Empress Lounge, which is famous for its afternoon tea; and 36,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
• Kimpton Mason & Rook: Although D.C. has no shortage of regal properties, there also are options for groups that prefer "chic" over "stately." One such option is Kimpton Mason & Rook. Located on a tree-lined residential street, the hotel was designed to make guests feel like they're staying at a friend's chic urban apartment. In fact, the hotel is located in a former apartment building. Instead of apartments, though, it offers 178 guest rooms, a restaurant, a fitness center, a rooftop pool and lounge, and 4,000 square feet of meeting space, including three meeting rooms and the Exchange, a 1,700-square-foot ballroom whose signature feature is two onyx backlit skylights.