The Watergate Hotel
Washington DC, DC and The South, United States of America
At a Glance
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The city's peak seasons generally coincide with two activities: the sessions of Congress and springtime- starting with the appearance of the cherry blossoms along the Potomac.
Specifically, from about the second week in September until Thanksgiving, and again from about mid-January to June (when Congress is "in"), hotels are full with guests whose business takes them to Capitol Hill or to conferences. And mid-March through June traditionally is the most frenzied season, when families and school groups descend upon the city to see the cherry blossoms and enjoy Washington's sensational spring. Hotel rooms are at a premium and airfares tend to be higher. This is also a popular season for protest marches.
If crowds are a turn off, consider visiting Washington at the end of August/early September, when Congress is still "out" and families return home to get their children back to school, or between Thanksgiving and mid-January, when Congress leaves again and many people are ensconced in their own holiday-at-home celebrations. Hotel rates are cheapest at this time, too, and many hotels offer attractive packages.
If you're thinking of visiting in July and August, be forewarned: The weather is very hot and humid. Despite the heat, Independence Day (July 4th) in the capital is a spectacular celebration. Summer is also the season for outdoor concerts, festivals, parades, and other events.
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Synonymous with White House drama and intrigue, the Watergate Hotel occupies a key part of America’s political history and has been restored to its former glory with more than a nod to the infamous events of 1972.
Located a mile from the White House and close to the Potomac river, the Watergate Hotel is perfectly placed for exploring the city. After a day exploring, retreat back to the beautifully renovated hotel, complete with it's Top of the Gate roof top bar and terrace with 360 degree views across the capital city.
References to the 1970s - a 21st century take on the more stylish design tropes of the era. Crisp white linens and large beds offer a cosy retreat after a day exploring the iconic sights of the nation’s capital, while complimentary wifi, espresso machines and minibars add to the comfort. With rooms looking out over the city, river or the Watergate complex, the views are a constant reminder of the great city that lies outside the door. Fast becoming a hip hangout for the capital’s young politicos, the bars of the hotel offer a trendy space for a pre-dinner drink or a nightcap after an evening enjoying Washington’s vast array of culinary hotspots. Hidden away behind a wall of illuminated whisky bottles, the Next Whiskey Bar is a feast of colour and creative design, not to mention the delicious cocktails and aperitifs. Without a doubt, the place to see and be seen is Top of the Gate, the hotel’s spectacular rooftop bar with 360° views over the city, perfect for a spot of people watching and soaking in the sparkling skyline. And while some of the country’s best restaurants lie within reach, the hotel’s flagship restaurant, Kingbird combines New American with French fine dining to offer up a delicious range of dishes with stunning views over the Potomac River.
With luxurious treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, sauna and indoor pool, the Argentta Spa eases away any signs of jetlag or post-sightseeing muscle aches.
The location of the Watergate is ideal for exploring the chic boutiques, charming cafes, upmarket bistros and picturesque streets of Georgetown, while instantly recognisable attractions such as the Lincoln Memorial, the White House and the Smithsonian are within a short cab journey. Wander along the avenues of cherry blossom in the spring, or join the joggers along the banks of the Potomac to appreciate the natural beauty amongst the city’s high-rises and monumental buildings.
Bringing a modern eye to mid-century and 1970s design, the 336 guest rooms and suites are chic and understated, with a neutral colour palette of white, grey and brown. From the Superior Rooms to the Rose Suite, the attention to detail creates a welcoming and restorative escape, with La Bottega amenities, marble bathrooms, Nespresso coffee machines and goose down duvets. True aficionados of political drama could stay in the Scandal Room, the original site of the 1972 break-in and decorated with items from the period.
For breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Kingbird brings a French je ne sais quoi to American classics to create an imaginative menu of dishes including Eggplant Caviar, Lobster Bucatini and Maryland Blue Crab. Weekends see an indulgent afternoon tea with a retro twist, while the Next Whiskey Bar and Top of the Gate are impossibly stylish hangouts for a mixologist crafted cocktail or classic Manhattan with the elite of Washington DC’s society.
The luxurious Argentta spa is a tranquil enclave for innovative and indulgent treatments with an extensive menu of massages, facials and beauty services. After pounding the streets of Washington, a few laps in the 15m pool or time in the sauna and steam room will soon restore depleted energy levels, ready for a night amongst the bright lights of the city. There is also a good size fitness room with cardio and weight machines as well as free weights and CRX.
Within reach of the hotel, the city’s sights are accessible on foot or by cab. You could spend a day exploring the world-leading museums, from dinosaurs to journalism, or stroll along the Mall spotting iconic monuments and buildings. Walk through the overwhelming expanse of the Arlington National Ceremony and look back over the city to gain a panoramic view of the skyline.
Anna Bleasdale (Staff)
Yes it is that hotel from the 1972 scandal and the newly opened Watergate Hotel offers a wonderfully retro feel with a hand very much still in those fascinating times. This is not a hotel for a low key stay. From the dazzling lobby, complete with a whisky bar with thousands of illuminated bottles in the wall, through to Top of the Gate rooftop terrace and bar with spectacular views over the whole complex, Potomac River and beyond, this is definitely more of a place to be seen by the DC hip crowd. Its a fun place though and you cant get more DC than this particular location. They even have a Scandal room, number 214, which was one of the original rooms from that original break in, complete with themes from that time. The rooms are retro modern and they are surprisingly family friendly here too with connecting options and suites, theres even a really decent sized indoor pool which is well utilised too. Its a bit of a walk to the main sites but Georgetown is only around 10-15 minutes walk away with lots of restaurants and shops to enjoy. This place is definitely more of an acquired taste, its perhaps not for the traditionalists, however, for those with a sense of fun who dont mind a bit of a sceney hotel, I would highly recommend it. Most importantly, get up to the roof terrace for sunset cocktails, its THE place to be!
Location & directions
Washington DC, DC and The South, United States of America
Located on Virginia Avenue NW, The Watergate Hotel forms part of the Watergate Complex that lies opposite the Potomac River, next to the Kennedy Center.
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