Inside The Watergate Hotel's $125 million renovation
PHOTO: View from my 12th floor suite at The Watergate Hotel (c) Sery Kim
D.C.'s iconically infamous institution, The Watergate Complex, is not just a place for residents to live in converted office space. Formerly, back when President Nixon was in office, this stretch of land also included a hotel -- The Watergate Hotel -- which, in June of this year, after a $125 million dollar renovation, re-opened to the public.
PHOTO: View from my balcony at The Watergate Hotel (c) Sery Kim
Last Sunday I had a chance to check out the hotel before my appearance on ABC's Let's Talk Live to round-up the five best new hotels in D.C. Despite some snafus over the course of the night -- my AC went out; I had crazy neighbors having a party; I had crazy neighbors having sex -- all of which resulted in me changing rooms three times, I still thought The Watergate Hotel was the best done out of the five.
PHOTO: My bed at The Watergate Hotel (c) Sery Kim
The beds were supremely comfortable. I've developed this new habit of pulling up the sheets and figuring out who makes the beds at all the luxury hotels I stay at. Some hotels, like Anantara, work with a wholesale distributor. Others, like the Four Seasons, partner with brand names (in their case Simmons) to put together a phenomenally comfortable sleeping experience. At The Watergate Hotel, they have a different Simmons' product, their Beautyrest line, as well as amazing pillows and super plush Frette sheets. Though I tossed-and-turned throughout the night, I could still appreciate the quality of the elements within the bed.
I didn't get a chance to really look around the rest of the hotel because the key elements for me (restaurant, spa, rooftop bar) were not quite done. I arrived after lunch so I missed Sunday brunch and both the spa and rooftop bar won't be opening until September. Guess that means I will be circling back.
However, The Next Whisky Bar was open and it was phenomenal. I will never forget the memory of being cocooned in a wall of 2,500 whiskey bottles while drinking my new favorite cocktail in D.C.: the MacBain.
Made with Angel's Envy, Carpano Antica Vermouth and Angostura Bitters, I could feel the sweet mixture of the darkness of the whiskey with the lightness of the vermouth swirl around with every sip. After one of these MacBain's, I was ready to leisurely enjoy the day but after two of them, I was ready for a party, haha!
PHOTO: Exterior view of The Next Whisky Bar (c) Sery Kim
PHOTO: Inside The Next Whisky Bar (c) Sery Kim
Watch the tv segment to get the rest of my thoughts, but know that despite the pain of not getting any sleep at all, the memories I had of the wonderful cocktails, friendly staff, beautifully decorated room, that sensational view, as well as an overall spirit of happiness at being at this sliver of history made me want to return.
Perhaps I will again soon ...
PHOTO: The Rules of The Watergate Hotel as posted in the elevator (c) Sery Kim