Closed for seven years, the once legendary Watergate Hotel – part of the equally legendary Watergate complex on the Potomac River, next to Georgetown – marked a ceremonial “topping off” of the hotel’s grand ballroom – part of a $125-million renovation – on March 19.
“Once it was the grandest luxury hotel,” said Jacques Cohen, principal of Euro Capital Properties, which is developing and owns the Watergate Hotel. The group intends to bring back the hotel’s mystique with retro styling and luxe appointments, as well as a 12th-floor rooftop bar. Other amenities at the hotel, which will re-open this summer, include a whisky bar, fine dining and casual restaurants and a fitness center and spa.
The grand ballroom, the “hotel’s crown jewel,” according to Rakel Cohen, the director of design and development of Euro Capital Properties, will be called the Moretti Ballroom after the hotel’s designer Luigi Moretti, the Italian architect who created the complex’s contemporary and ground-breaking style in 1961.
The hotel opened in 1965. Completed in 1971, the mixed-use Watergate complex with three residential buildings, two office buildings and a hotel was constructed by Italy-based SGI and developer Giuseppe Cecchi.
The Cohens were joined by Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans and Foggy Bottom advisory neighborhood commissioner William Kennedy Smith, M.D., “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant and hotel managing director Johnny So.