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The Watergate Hotel Georgetown 4.5

Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C., United States

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Review Summary

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  • Adjacent to the Kennedy Center and walking distance to Georgetown and GWU
  • Less than 10-minute walk to Foggy Bottom-GWU Metrorail station
  • Fresh and modern interiors thanks to a 2016 reopening
  • Attractive, mid-century-inspired rooms with Zebrano marble bathrooms
  • Themed Scandal Room with unique retro furniture and memorabilia
  • Superb spa, indoor pool, and gym with a range of modern equipment
  • Spacious rooftop bar and lounge with 360-degree views 
  • Full-service restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Swank whisky bar and weekend afternoon tea service with live piano
  • Free basic business center plus extensive conference space
  • Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel


  • Some rooms can be compact to other D.C. luxury hotels
  • Only valet parking is available
  • No alarm clocks in the rooms

Bottom Line

Made famous for its role in the downfall of President Nixon, The Watergate Hotel was given new life in 2016. The 336-room, four-and-a-half-pearl property now offers a level of luxury rarely found today among hotels in the nation's capital. All of the rooms and suites feature custom furniture, modern amenities, and Zebrano marble bathrooms. Guests also have access to a full-service restaurant, whisky bar, and rooftop bar and lounge. The spa is a stunner, and everything from the indoor pool to the full fitness center add to a stay here. There is also 27,000 square feet of function space including a magnificent grand ballroom. For a luxury hotel of this level that is more conveniently located to the city's core attractions, travelers should look to the Trump Hotel.    

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An iconic structure with a rich -- and scandalous -- history 

Sitting on the banks of the Potomac River, the Watergate Hotel was built in the late 1960s and still looks every bit the mid-century modern icon that it once was. It become known worldwide due to its role in the Watergate scandal, when it was discovered that the men who burglarized the nearby Democratic National Committee's headquarters were operating out of two rooms at the hotel. That deep and infamous history aside, after years of decline and eventual closure, the 14-story property underwent a massive renovation and reopened in 2016. Now, interiors are almost completely modern, with the exception of a few restored original structures such as the lobby staircase and indoor pool. Some mid-century modern nods have been mined for influence in the decor, with custom furniture created by Israeli designer Ron Arad and Italian design firm Moroso. In addition, the staff wear retro-inspired uniforms developed by "Mad Men" costume designer Janie Bryant. Subtle nods to scandal throughout the property include room keys that read "No Need to Break-In," recordings of Nixon speeches instead of on-hold music, and in-room pencils engraved with "I Stole This from The Watergate Hotel" (guests are -- of course -- expected to take them). The hotel draws a balanced mix of fashionable leisure and business travelers who flock to the property to experience its new beginning as well as its historic past. 


On the banks of the Potomac River, directly adjacent to the Kennedy Center

The Watergate Hotel is part of the Watergate Complex, a 10-acre development that also includes offices, residential buildings, and retail outlets. It sits on the banks of the Potomac River in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood on the western edge of the city. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is located across the street from the complex. Other nearby landmarks include George Washington University and historic Georgetown, which are each within a 10-minute walk. The closest metrorail station is at Foggy Bottom-GWU, which services the Orange, Silver, and Blue lines. Each have stops near popular attractions including the White House, Smithsonian museums, and Capitol Hill, and the station is only an eight-minute walk from the property. National Airport is easily accessible in 15 minutes by car. Expect a 60- to 90-minute drive to the city’s other nearby airports, BWI and Dulles, depending on the often torrid traffic. 


 Striking rooms with mid-century style furniture, plus air-conditioning and Zebrano marble bathrooms; many with balconies

The Watergate Hotel's 336 stylish rooms are sharp and sophisticated, and more than half of them include balconies. The standard rooms range in size from below-average 275-square-foot Superior Rooms to large One-Bedroom Suites. With the look and feel of cruise ship cabins, these rooms receive plenty of natural light. This enhances their relaxing gray-and-white palettes as well as the wood-and-chrome furniture and accent pieces. Beds are made with goose down comforters and flanked by bedside lights and climate controls. Other standard amenities include large flat-screen TVs, Nespresso coffeemakers, robes, minibars, umbrellas, laptop safes, irons, and ironing boards. The diffusers that dispense the hotel's signature Red Flower Oakwood scent are a nice touch, though alarm clocks are absent. Bathrooms are tricked out in floor-to-ceiling Zebrano marble, plus solid granite vanities, premium bath products, lighted magnifying mirrors, and hairdryers. Wi-Fi is available for free, as are bottled water, shoe shines, and ice delivery. Turndown service is also provided daily regardless of room category. 

As expected from a hotel of this stature, there are also six Diplomat Suites and two Presidential Suites. The Diplomat Suites are massive and add kitchenettes, separate living rooms, and master bathrooms with separate deep soaking tubs and showers. These suites also come with their own unique decor including dark wood floors and custom leather and velvet upholstered furniture. With similar customized decor, the Presidential Suites are nearly 10 times the size of entry-level rooms. They feature private balconies, kitchens with marble countertops, dining rooms, living rooms with sleeper sofas, and libraries with gas fireplaces. Additional bells and whistles include multiple flat-screen TVs, motion sensor lighting and temperature controls, motorized drapery, and bidets.

Embracing its historic past, The Watergate Hotel also has a Scandal Room. This is the original Room 214 used by E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy during the infamous Watergate break-in. Designed by Lyn Paolo, the costume designer for the hit TV series "Scandal," the room has memorabilia from the late '60s and early '70s including binoculars and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. Framed period newspaper clippings hang on the walls and a collection of books about Nixon and the Watergate scandal complete the decor. 


Spacious rooftop bar and lounge, full-service restaurant, indoor pool, and top-notch spa 

One of the best features of The Watergate Hotel for guests and visitors is its Top of the Gate rooftop bar and lounge. It provides 360-degree views of the nation’s capital that are offered side-by-side with specialty cocktails and seasonal eats. Also popular are Kingbird, a full-service restaurant serving French-American fare, and The Next Whisky Bar, which offers an extensive selection of whiskies from small-batch producers and large distillers. Room service is available around the clock. The Watergate Hotel's indoor saltwater pool is one of the its original features and is now part of a comprehensive spa that was added as part of the 2016 reopening. The 12,000-square-foot facility features eight treatment suites, a unisex steam room and nail salon, male and female changing rooms, sauna and steam rooms, and a relaxation area for guests to unwind pre-and post-treatment. There's also a whirlpool, an aqua aerobic space, barre studio, and a modern gym. The latter is open to private members and has everything needed for a complete workout (not common in big-city hotels). Other key features at the hotel include a 24-hour basic business center, a house car available to reserve for nearby transportation, afternoon tea service with live piano music on weekends, and several meeting and function spaces including an elegant grand ballroom. Wi-Fi is free throughout. For parking, the hotel offers valet-only service.

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2650 Virginia Ave NW, Washington DC, District of Columbia 20037-1906, United States

Also Known As

  • The Watergate Hotel