Why Go: Opening in May, the Watergate Hotel (from $425 per night) is gunning to re-up the sex appeal of the infamous hotel. The 10-acre Watergate complex opened in 1967 as Washington’s first mixed-use development and its first buildings designed using a computer. Italian architect Luigi Moretti conceived six structures with no right angles, standing in stark contrast to the Greco-Roman monuments lining the National Mall.
No changes were made to the 336-room hotel’s exterior during its $125 million renovation, but, inside, its retro look and Italian bent has been upgraded. Mad Men’s costume designer Janie Bryant consulted on the staff uniforms, and Italian furniture designer Moroso mimics the exterior’s bending horizontal lines in headboards and armchairs. The Next Whisky Bar displays hundreds of whiskey bottles in curvilinear floor-to-ceiling cases among rosebud-like rounded red chairs.
What to Expect: Scandal and history aside, the Watergate’s location adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and along the Potomac River is bar none. Ninety-five percent of the rooms and suites overlook the river, with the best views enjoyed from the rooftop bar: the Top of the Gate. Cocktails and Asian street foods in hand, patrons take in 360-degree views over the Pentagon, Washington Monument, and Washington National Cathedral. On the ground level, restaurant Kingbird will serve three meals daily, as well as a préfixé dinner menu in its anticipated fine-dining room. The hotel continues to accentuate its curves among extensive fitness facilities and eight-treatment-room Argentta Spa.
How to Get There: Fly into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for the most-convenient transfer, about 15 minutes by car. (thewatergatehotel.com)