The W Washington DC likes to call it revelry versus rivalry to describe what’s in store at the newly renovated property. The Beaux Arts landmark located a stone’s throw from The White House debuted last week, emerging from a $50 million floor-to-rooftop redesign.
The design team was led by notable architecture and interior design firm Studio GAIA, and aimed to infuse irreverent energy and cutting-edge design into the historic property that has been at the epicenter of the city’s social and political scene for more than 100 years.
“It’s been a decade since W Washington DC opened its doors and forever transformed the nation’s capital with a bold and dynamic energy that has been embraced by the city’s power players and visitors alike,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels. “This complete reimagining further cements the hotel as a destination in the heart of the city and it also marks an important milestone in our substantial renovation strategy currently underway at many of our W properties in North America. It’s where every Party comes to party.”
An homage to the city’s many memorials that use water as an accenting ornament, a waterfall greets guests on entry, canceling the street noise and briding the way into the W experience.
The power center of the hotel – the Living Room (the brand’s “signature see-and-be-seen” lobby) – is the perfect place for guests and politicos to cross party lines while sipping handcrafted cocktails at the geometric-shaped lobby bar. The space’s design captures the city’s iconography: a mirrored ceiling that evokes the city’s reflective memorials; cut-out graphics of lobbyist symbols stamped into the Living Room’s archways; and a replica of the Capitol’s dome ceiling fresco (“The Apotheosis of Washington”) above the bar.
Re-thinking the Suite
Originally built in 1917 as the Hotel Washington, this Beaux Arts anchor was transformed in 2009 as the W Washington DC, and redesigned in 2019. The hotel’s renovation includes the reimagining of its guest rooms, increasing the total to 326 rooms, including 15 Fantastic suites, eight Marvelous suites, seven “WOW” suites, and one “Extreme WOW” suite (the brand’s take on the Presidential Suite). The hallways that lead to the rooms play with lighting – with beams of light followed by dark shadows to symbolize the two sides of the aisle. Neon art by Amit Greenberg adorns each hallway, inspired by presidential portraits and ubiquitous DC handshakes.
Each guestroom remixes classical architecture with playful references to the city. The studio layout features modular seating, open-flow bathrooms, marble vanities as well as cherry blossom motifs on the headboard.
Other special touches include MIX BAR (minibar) towers and side tables angled and the same shape as the Washington Monument; green, window-style couches that convert to an extra bed; caricatures of US presidents, which can be held up as a mask for the perfect political selfie; and surprise artwork in the bathrooms of ripped cartoons that reference politics and DC history.
The Extreme WOW Suite earns its name with a one-of-a-kind design that includes a floor-to-ceiling graphic mural using the surrealist technique of automatic drawing; a sliding door with cryptic lettering (inspired by the Kryptos sculpture of the CIA); and mirrored ceilings that capture the astounding views of the National Mall and monuments below. The 1,176-square-foot one-bedroom, 1.5-bath suite also adjoins with a neighboring room, providing additional bedrooms for a full entourage (or an entourage of security detail).
POV, the hotel’s rooftop with direct views of the White House, is a year-round destination with floor-to-ceiling retractable glass windows on the Terrace and windows that open out in the Lounge for crystal clear views of the famous sites. Offering craft cocktails to accompany the vista, POV’s beverage menu features creations by Amsterdam-based Cocktail Professor with a menu of insta-worthy interactive libations. To accompany the inventive cocktail program, the food menu will showcase an all-day “ocean to table” concept, highlighting seafood-driven dishes such as innovative takes on lobster rolls and crab cakes, to hearty surf and turf options and hand-crafted burgers.
The reimagined W Washington DC sees the launch of two brand-new culinary concepts, Cherry and Corner Office, both overseen by chef William Morris as Chef de Cuisine. Showcasing an open fire kitchen, Cherry’s menu centers around a 15-foot custom-built Infierno Grillworks wood-fired grill – the largest in the D.C. area – that utilizes a custom blend of cherry, red oak, white oak, hickory and pinot woods to impart uniquely bold flavors into each offering. Showcasing simple, from-scratch cooking and accessible food that stands for itself, elements of each dish touch the fire, from starter courses through dessert.
Corner Office offers artisan wood-fired pizzas with 38 rotating taps pouring unique craft beers. Bocce courts in the beer garden during the warmer months and a curling rink in the winter keep customers entertained.
The hotel’s 12,000 square feet of modern meeting and event space brings a Great Room with new, angled LED ceiling lights with changeable colors to match any theme; a built-in bar for guests to order cocktails without stepping too far away from the dance floor; and custom carpeting that evokes a map of the city’s streets.
Three event space options include Altitude, the rooftop ballroom, that is appropriate for formal affairs.
Located on the ground floor, Studio meeting rooms, with built-in pre-function space, provide natural sunlight and retractable room dividers to accommodate up to 230 guests. Focus meeting room, a new addition, overlooks the Living Room, offering an intimate space for a meeting or a private celebration with a view on the action below.
W Hotels Worldwide participates in Marriott Bonvoy, the new name of Marriott’s travel program replacing Marriott Rewards, The Ritz- Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).