In the midst of this year’s tumultuous US presidential elections, a hotel linked to one of the biggest political scandals in American history is re-opening its doors. The Watergate hotel has been closed since 2007 for renovations and restorations by designer Ron Arad and the Italian design brand Moroso. Now, after a $125 million facelift, it is ready to accept guests again.
The Watergate saga seems like a quaint affair compared with current controversies regarding surveillance and personal privacy – but it was a massive shock at the time, leading to a total collapse of trust in President Richard Nixon. Nowadays, it has entered the popular culture as a fixture, with the suffix ‘-gate’ deployed for scandals small and large involving a public figure. Despite being synonymous with political cynicism and trickery though, the hotel intends to rehabilitate its image to the ‘glory days’ when it was a luxury resort that attracted actors, models, and top politicians alike.
Not only are the new stylings modern with bold curves and a variety of new fittings but they’ve also restored original structures like the staircase and indoor pool. It will have 336 guestrooms that feature marble bathrooms, granite vanities, and La Bottega amenities. The staff are fitted in retro uniforms made by Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant. Other features include a whisky bar, rooftop lounge and spa. Rest assured, there won’t be any wire-tapping involved this time!
The lobby of the Trump International Hotel, Washington DC
Of course, the Watergate hotel isn’t the only hotel trying to gain from political association with regards to this year’s elections. The infamous nominee Donald Trump is also set to open his $200 million Trump International Hotel Washington DC in September, months before Americans head to the polls to vote. It seems quite interesting that one of the hotels represents a legacy of political trickery, while the other might yet represent unrealized nightmares. In any case, both hotels will be open for business if you care to watch the fireworks come November.