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Watergate Hotel Review

Washington D.C. is rich in American history. Many people visit our nation’s capital every year. If you are considering visiting, you may be wondering where to stay. Due to the high amount of landmarks and attractions, many people want to find a place that serves as a good base to visit these attractions, such as the Watergate Hotel. Many people have heard of the Watergate Hotel in their history books or from the news, depending on their age. The Richard Nixon political scandal made the Watergate Hotel one of the most notorious hotels in America. The Watergate is in a new era of glory years, now offering luxury in the form of its services, amenities, and accommodations.  In this article, we will get into the details of what the Watergate Hotel has to offer its patrons today. In addition, we have reviewed three other hotels in the Washington D.C. area that are also known for being luxury hotels. We have provided an unbiased review based on price, services, facilities, food and drink, as well as nearby attractions.

Read on to discover everything the Watergate Hotel has to offer, besides the allure of staying in a place with such a notorious reputation in American history, as well as how it compares to similar hotels in the same area.

What Is the Watergate Hotel?

The Watergate Hotel originally opened its doors in 1967. Beautifully designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti, this hotel went down in history for its association with the 1972 burglary that preceded President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation. After years of under-performing, the property was bought by Washington D.C. developer Monument Realty in 2004. Monument intended to convert the notorious hotel into luxury condominiums under the name Belles Rives at the Watergate, but the plan never came to fruition as the property was foreclosed on. The property was purchased in 2010 by Euro Capital Properties, to reopen its doors as a hotel once again. Euro Capital funded many renovations, though the exterior of the building went largely untouched due to its status on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Today, this urban resort on the banks of the Potomac River offers a luxury experience for leisure travelers, businessmen and women, and people celebrating large and important events. The hotel describes its style as a blend of “classic elegance and bold mid-century modern design,” with staffers uniformed in retro-chic attire designed by Janie Bryant, who also designed the costumes for the popular television series Mad Men.

The Watergate Hotel is a mere 10-minute walk from shopping and dining in Georgetown, and near many landmarks and attractions including the following:

  • Renwick Gallery​
  • Smithsonian National Museum
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • National Gallery of Art
  • Newseum​
  • Hirshhorn
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • Library of Congress
  • The Kennedy Center

All the attractions listed above can be found within a 3.5-mile radius of the hotel.

Product Specs

part of Watergate Hotel Complex

The Watergate Hotel offers 336 guest rooms and suites, all designed with luxury in mind, right down to the bedding. Floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms and private balconies with breathtaking views of the Potomac River heavily lend to the luxury atmosphere.

Available room options include the following:

  • The Scandal Room
  • Superior
  • Deluxe or Deluxe with Balcony
  • Premier or Premier with Balcony
  • One, two, and three-bedroom suites
  • Family rooms
  • The Diplomat Suite
  • The Ambassador Suite
  • The Presidential Suite
  • The Ambassador Wing
  • The Rose Suite

The hotel spa, Argenta, offers a variety of services including body treatments, facials, manicures, pedicures, and massages. Services range in price anywhere from $50 to over $500. Patrons looking to maintain their fitness routine can visit Argenta’s fitness center where they will enjoy high-quality fitness equipment and have access to personal training sessions. Hotel patrons can take a dip in the hotel pool which includes three lap lanes and an aerobic area located at the hotel’s original indoor pool.

The Watergate Hotel also lends itself to special events such as conferences and weddings. Special packages are available for both. Multiple ballrooms, boardrooms, and conference rooms are available to facilitate any event.

The Watergate’s restaurant, The Kingbird, is a large restaurant running almost half the length of the building and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, served in a contemporary dining room. The food is American cuisine with a French twist. Bar options include the Bar at Kingbird, Top of the Gate found on the roof of the hotel with beautiful views, and The Next Whiskey decorated with 2,500 whiskey bottles illuminated and covering the walls.  Afternoon Tea is open on the weekends for a high-end afternoon tea experience.

Pricing

The price of a room at the Watergate Hotel varies greatly depending on the room type, time of the year, and availability. Currently, the lower end of the price range is about $170, but luxury accommodations are near $1,000 per night.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • Four Seasons Hotel
  • Phoenix Park Hotel
  • Trump International Hotel

Watergate Hotel

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Services include complimentary bike rental, spa services, car service within two miles of the hotel, overnight shoe shine service, concierge service, morning coffee in the lobby, daily newspapers, free Wi-Fi, and room service.

Facilities include multiple ballrooms and conference rooms, spa, fitness center, 24-hour business center, and pool.

The highly praised and beautifully decorated Kingbird restaurant, the two specialty bars (one of which is rooftop), and the Afternoon Tea provide patrons with high-end dining and drinking experiences.

As mentioned above, the Watergate Hotel has several attractions and landmarks all within a 3.5-mile radius, and some only a few steps away. The hotel is also located near shopping and dining in Georgetown.

PROS

  • Great location
  • Beautiful and luxury decor
  • Several room options
  • Tesla charging station
  • Multiple rooms for special events
  • Many guestroom options

CONS

  • Pool area lacks seating

Four Seasons Hotel

Located in the heart of the historic Georgetown neighborhood, the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington offers a luxury experience to its customers. Boasting the title of Washington D.C.’s first five-star, five-diamond hotel, the design is one of elegance and luxury with references to the history of the Washington D.C. area.

Rooms begin at about $685 per night and go up from there depending on room type, availability, and time of year.

The Four Seasons offers a variety of services including 24-hour room service, concierge, high-speed Wi-Fi, valet parking, babysitting, shoe-care service, dog-walking and sitting, laundry and dry-cleaning, and travel and personal shopping services. The Four Seasons will also provide anything you need for meetings, conferences, or special events such as weddings.

Facilities include a spa; 24-hour business center; steam rooms; saunas; aerobics studio; two-lane indoor lap pool; facilities for business meetings, conferences, and weddings; and a 24-hour fitness center.

Enjoy American cuisine at Bourbon Steak, dine in your room, or enjoy international delights at Seasons. You can also visit Eno Wine Bar from their extensive wine list with specialty cheeses, charcuterie, and chocolate from Virginia and Pennsylvania farms.

Nearby attractions include Washington Harbor, Old Stone House, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, and all the shopping and dining available in Georgetown.

PROS

  • An impressive list of services
  • 5-Star and 5-Diamond Hotel
  • Good location

CONS

  • Expensive

Phoenix Park Hotel

The sophisticated Phoenix Park Hotel is in the heart of Washington D.C. and boasts 149 individually decorated guestrooms equipped with refrigerators, flat-screen televisions, pillowtop beds with down comforters, and Egyptian cotton sheets. The style retains its original 1920s architecture with just the right amount of modernization.

Rooms can be found for as low as $150, but price increases with different room choices, availability, and time of year.

Services include concierge, free Wi-Fi, room service, valet service, event planning and execution, and private car service for a fee.

Facilities include event spaces, 24-hour fitness center, and a 24-hour business center.

The hotel restaurant is The Dubliner, an Irish pub and restaurant. The Fish and Chips and Irish Beef Stew put this Irish restaurant on the map, and you will find a variety of options for Irish beer. Be prepared to listen to Irish ballads and watch Irish jigs as you enjoy your meal. You will also find a cocktail lounge on the premises.

Nearby you will find the National Guard Memorial Museum, the US Botanic Garden, the Supreme Court, the National Gallery of Art, the Library of Congress, Capitol Hill, US Capitol, and the Washington Monument. All these attractions are within a 1.5-mile radius.

PROS

  • Great location
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Minimal services offered
  • Minimal facilities
  • Only one dining option

Trump International Hotel

The Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. is named one of 2018’s Most Luxurious Hotels worldwide. The hotel is in Washington’s historic Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue. This 5-star hotel offers guestrooms that are each unique, and all luxurious.

Rooms can be found for as low as $385, and go up from there depending on room type, availability, and time of year.

Services include 24-hour concierge, complimentary Wi-Fi, shoeshine, digital access to newspapers and magazines, valet parking, complimentary car service, wedding and event services, and luggage forwarding service.

Facilities include a spa, fitness center, and wedding and event spaces.

You can dine at the Benjamin Bar and Lounge, which is especially famous for its dessert selections and BLT prime, a contemporary steakhouse offering steaks, seafood, and salads.

At this hotel, you will be within a quarter of a mile of Ford’s Theatre, the National Museum of American History, and Old Post Office Pavilion.

PROS

  • Great location
  • Unique guest rooms
  • Historic building

CONS

  • Lacking in facilities
  • Expensive

Conclusion

After comparing all of these luxury hotels in the Washington D.C. area, we have concluded that the Watergate Hotel beats the competition with an overall score of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The Watergate Hotel offers an impressive list of services and amenities. Everything from the decor to the service upholds the luxury standards of this famous hotel.

Other things we love about the Watergate is its rooftop bar with sweeping 360-degree views of the Washington D.C. area and its location on the Potomac River. It also has so many elements of fame including being designed by a famous Italian architect, the staff uniforms being designed by the costume designer for Mad Men, and the biggest one of all: the hotel’s place in the infamous Watergate scandal.

The location is excellent with many landmarks and attractions within walking distance, and many more landmarks and attractions only a short car ride away. In addition, shopping and dining of Georgetown are right around the corner, though you may not want to leave the hotel for dining as its excellent restaurants can provide you with anything you could hope for.

The Watergate can also be the location of your business meeting, conference, wedding, or any other special event. Several spaces are available to suit your event needs and services for planning and executing your event are also available.

While the Four Seasons is a strong contender with everything it has to offer in terms of luxury, services, dining, amenities, and facilities, it also comes at a much higher cost. The Watergate Hotel offers a luxury experience starting at the very reasonable price of around $170 per night. A large variety of room choices allow this hotel to be an option for most budgets. Regardless of your budget, even the most inexpensive rooms will provide a luxury experience.

All the hotels we reviewed in this article are luxury hotels that would be enjoyed by most, but if you are looking for a hotel that provides luxury, value, a great location, and the joy of knowing you are staying at an iconic American landmark—choose the Watergate. You will not regret it!

Featured Image: Public Domain, Indutiomarus, via Wikimedia Commons

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