Wednesday, June 24, 2009

W Hotel Debuts in DC July 8

Washington DC's first W Hotel will open to the public on July 8th, the first local opening for the hip hotelier. The international pop luxury chain, operated by Starwood Capital Group, takes the place of the Hotel Washington, once a grande dame of DC hotels but that had become faded and tired before selling in 2006, first for $120 million and then to Istithmar Hotels for $150 million, then closing for renovation in 2007 and selling yet again to Nakheel Hotels. Both Istithmar and Nakheel are partly owned by the government of Dubai.

Starwood will provide 317 rooms and suites, stretched out from the original 400 rooms, retaining the famed 11th-floor rooftop terrace that overlooks Tim Geithner's office, not to mention the White House, in a decidedly more upscale setting - the word "swanky" being all but ubiquitous in reviews of the hotel chain. In keeping with its "category buster" profile, the hotel was re-designed by architect Dianna Wong, a Los Angeleno, who kept many of the original architectural elements while adding such must-haves as a DJ and "digital fireplace," for an appearance that will be "sophisticated and sleek but never trendy."

The hotel renovation, which took 18 months to complete, entailed a complete gut and overhaul, and the new owners "gutted it to the girders," according to Barbara Martin, Director of the Patton Group, a public relations firm. Some original elements of the building such as chandaliers, check-in desks, and archways were taken out, restored and returned to the building, but the rest will be new. The POV (point of view) Lounge on the top floor will operate year-round, with drop-down screens and raised awnings for yet better views of the executive office.

Opening within the hotel will be J&G Steakhouse. Rates available on the W's website start at $289 per night single-occupancy. The hotel was built in 1888 as department store and renovated in 1917 to become the fabled Hotel Washington. The July 8th event will be open to the public.

Bottom rendering courtesy Dianna Wong.

Update: It should also be noted that BBG-BBGM was the architect of record for the redesign of the hotel. BBG-BBGM has designed numerous hotels both locally and internationally, and designed the W Hotel in New York City.


Denny said...

Awesome! Is it just me, or is DC becoming a real city?

Anonymous said...

Denny, yes, I agree too....we are finally becoming a real city.

And here's my plea to all who read these blogs....stop driving to Tysons or anywhere outside of DC to shop or dine out. The more we spend our dollars in DC, the more we can hope to attract great retailers, restaurants and attractions to our great city!

Sean Hennessey on Jun 25, 2009, 2:48:00 PM said...

i have a special fondness for that balcony.

i'm glad it will be reopen.

janice on Jun 25, 2009, 3:51:00 PM said...

Im SO EXCITED. Dc realy "is" becoming the new New York,,this is great!!!!

Five K on Jul 13, 2009, 9:53:00 AM said...

I always loved taking visiting friends and family to the rooftop bar! The drinks were already pricey though... wonder what they'll charge now.

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