Middleburg’s Salamander Takes Over Mandarin Oriental 


Another Washington, D.C., hotel was rebranded this week — as the Mandarin Oriental transformed into Salamander Washington DC.

Salamander Hotels & Resorts, the luxury hotel company founded by business leader Sheila Johnson, along with Henderson Park, a global private equity real estate manager headquartered in London, launched Salamander Washington DC on Sept. 12, bringing Salamander’s Middleburg luxury hospitality to the nation’s capital.

According to a company statement, “the two companies partnered to purchase and re-brand the 373-room property, first opened as a Mandarin Oriental in 2004. The hotel will undergo an all-encompassing enhancement program that will be executed so as not to interrupt business. Program highlights include a renovation of the hotel’s suites, including the three-bedroom Presidential Suite with sweeping views of the Potomac River, the remodeling and reopening of the club lounge, re-concepting and redesign of its signature restaurant and grand lobby lounge, and activation of the hotel’s unique outdoor spaces which overlook D.C.’s waterfront.”

In a celebratory event held Sept. 12 in the hotel’s grand ballroom, a gathering of 300 friends, colleagues and VIPs listened to remarks by Johnson, Salamander Hotels and Resorts’ President Prem Devadas, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Washington Commanders President Jason Wright.

“Salamander Washington DC is already a grand luxury hotel and we intend to introduce the warm and inviting feeling that guests enjoy at other Salamander properties,” Johnson said.

“D.C. is open and so are our beautiful hotels,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We are excited to welcome Salamander Hotels & Resorts to D.C. – so close to downtown, to our beautiful waterfront, and to all the destinations at The Wharf. Congratulations to Sheila Johnson, her team at Salamander and the team at Henderson Park.”

The company added: “Complete details of the hotel’s improvement program will be finalized and announced in the coming weeks, and at conclusion, the hotel will employ approximately 100 additional team members. Some of the signature projects include a transformation of the hotel’s rotunda lobby, and the re-programming and re-naming of the lobby bar as an inviting, community space. The hotel will also activate its Grand Lawn, a space that is unsurpassed among Washington, D.C. hotels, with programming for leisure and corporate groups alike.

“Salamander Washington DC’s signature restaurant (now open only for breakfast) will be revitalized, and the hotel is working with a noted chef to reposition the restaurant with a projected springtime opening. A patisserie will also be added on the main level for grab-and-go items featuring freshly baked items from the property’s pastry shop. The spa, already considered the finest in the city, will become a Salamander Spa – a brand known for its Forbes Five-Star rating in Middleburg.

“Additionally, the spa will undergo an expansion to include more treatment rooms and a street-level entrance. Every guest room will receive new, regionally inspired artwork, including photography personally taken by Johnson, while all suites will receive a complete refurbishment. Additionally, the club lounge, which has been closed since the start of the pandemic, will be renovated and reopened as the Monument Club.”

Rebranded hotel: At the Sept. 12 debut of Salamander Washington DC, formerly the Mandarin Oriental — with Washington Commanders President Jason Wright, Sheila Johnson of Salamander Hotels & Resorts and Mayor Muriel Bowser. Photo by Robert Devaney.

Presidential Suite at the Salamander Washington DC, ready for its makeover.

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