In Washington, D.C., a city where the government operates slowly and the Metro even slower, delays come with the territory. So it comes as little surprise that the anticipated debut of the revamped Watergate Hotel was pushed back from summer 2015 to May 2016—fitting for a property that will forever be entangled with political drama. The setbacks may simply add to the excitement surrounding the unveiling of a $125 million makeover at the 336-room Watergate, shuttered for more than seven years.
“It’s the return of a legend,” says Managing Director Johnny So, who moved east from St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point, California. Indeed, The Watergate is hardly running from its history, as infamous as it may be. Tongue-in-cheek references include marketing taglines like “You don’t need to break in” and pencils that read “I stole this from The Watergate.”
Watergate: Part 2 has already drawn interest from many of D.C.’s staples, says So: Embassies, associations and law firms are eager to take advantage of its outdoor terraces overlooking the Potomac. The addition of new ballrooms has increased total meeting space to 27,000 square feet, including a whiskey bar in the lobby and a rooftop bar for up to 400 people.