The U.S. capital will soon be blooming with new hotels, as 18 properties representing some 3,987 guest rooms are now in the active pipeline. The 209-room Eaton Hotel already is open, and several brands, including the Conrad Washington, DC, will soon debut.
The Hilton Washington DC National Mall at L'Enfant Plaza is being completely renovated and rebranded, and will reopen in March with 367 guest rooms, 23,000 square feet of meeting space and a grand ballroom that will hold up to 600 people.
Good to Know
CONVENTION CENTER: The Walter E. Washington Convention Center
; meeting space, 198,000 square feet; exhibit space, 703,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 77.
TAXES: Room tax, 14.5%; sales tax, 5.75%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14.95%
CONTACT: Destination DC
The former Four Points by Sheraton at 12th and K streets NW is now a 209-room lifestyle property known as the Eaton Hotel. Highlights include Allegory, a speakeasy; Kintsugi, a coffee bar; Wild Days, a rooftop lounge; and American Son, a restaurant from Tim Ma (of Kyirisan fame). Among amenities designed to charm Millennial travelers: a radio/podcasting studio, a movie theater seating up to 50 people, a co-working space that can accommodate up to 370, a newsstand, a library and a wellness center offering a range of alternative treatments. The hotel opened this past October.
The 360-room Conrad Washington, DC, is set to open in February. The hotel anchors the second phase of CityCenterDC, a high-end, mixed-use development in downtown known for its collection of upscale retail stores and eateries. The Conrad's 32,000 square feet of meeting space will be bathed in natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows, and special events will be held on three outdoor terraces, at a rooftop bar and on a dedicated event terrace featuring views of the U.S. Capitol. The on-site signature restaurant, Estuary, is the creation of two James Beard nominees and Top Chef alumni, Bryan and Michael Voltaggio.
The 15-year-old Walter E. Washington Convention Center is undergoing a series of updates to add value for groups, such as enhanced digital signage throughout, new flexible and removable communal seating, a surrounding streetscape plan that will transform the facade of the facility and more. This series of improvements will take place through 2021. In addition, the historic Carnegie Library directly across the street from the center is being converted to an Apple store, set to open early this year.
The W Washington D.C. is undergoing a $50 million top-to-bottom renovation set for completion early this year. Being refreshed are the property's 317 guest rooms and suites, the Living Room (the W brand's lobby), the rooftop bar and the more than 12,000 square feet of event spaces.
In the spring, the International Spy Museum will move from Penn Quarter to L'Enfant Plaza, and will span 140,000 square feet, more than twice the size of the old facility.
Properties in the District include the 1,175-room Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.; 1,152-room Washington Marriott Wardman Park; 1,070-room Hilton Washington; 897-room Grand Hyatt Washington; 838-room Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill; 834-room Omni Shoreham Hotel; 807-room Renaissance Washington, DC, Downtown Hotel; 772-room JW Marriott Hotel Washington, DC; 581-room Mayflower Renaissance Washington, D.C.; and 317-room W Washington D.C.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit Northstar Meetings Group's new venue finder.
In D.C.'s Buzzard Point neighborhood, the $300 million, LEED Gold–certified Audi Field opened last July and is home to Major League Soccer's D.C. United team. The venue seats 20,000 and includes 500,000 square feet of mixed-use retail and event space, the latter dispersed among 31 meeting rooms.
Warm Heart, Cold Nose
The 413-room Fairmont Washington, D.C.
, Georgetown, is adopting a puppy from Guiding Eyes for the Blind to serve as the hotel's Canine Ambassador. Georgie, a Labrador, will have a part-time home in the property's newly renovated lobby, where she will welcome visits from guests. The hotel has a total of 28,866 square feet of meeting space.
Speed pitching in the Washington Nationals Park Bullpen makes a cool, interactive event for groups of all stripes. Let your guests test their arms in the same space where a Major League Baseball pitcher warms up, or take batting practice inside the Nationals' batting cages.
Add a bit of tension to team building at Escape Room Live DC in Georgetown. Among options for the interactive adventure: Groups need to collaborate to escape from a locked stateroom in the rapidly sinking Titanic.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the first major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the lens of culture. Along with an ever-changing roster of exhibits, the venue has a number of spaces ideal for events, from private cocktail receptions in the Third Floor Gallery to elegant sit-down dinners in the Great Hall.
A Landmark Expands
A $175 million expansion project at the Kennedy Center
will soon be completed, with the results scheduled to open in September 2019. Dubbed the Reach, the complex will include 72,000 square feet of new performance and events space, approximately 130,000 square feet of gardens, terrace seating for up to 1,600 people and a scenic walkway leading to some of D.C.'s esteemed monuments nearby.
The 4,200-seat Entertainment and Sports Arena, which opened this past September, is a new hub for entertainment, esports and field sports, including the NBA Washington Wizards and WBNA Washington Mystics. Contact the venue for details about meeting and venue space, still under wraps at press time.
Getting Here and There
Reagan National Airport, 20 minutes from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, about $25; by shuttle, $16
Dulles International Airport, approximately 45 minutes from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, about $75; by shuttle, $30