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Weekly briefing: Hyatt milestones, a D.C. check-in & HD Live returns

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Hyatt milestones, a D.C. check-in & HD Live returns

Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly briefing, a safe place where you can catch up on all the hottest hotel design and hospitality stories from the last couple of days. This week’s round-up includes our latest hotel review and your chance to join us for free at Hotel Designs LIVE in May…

Gif of top stories of the week

As we accelerate past the anniversary when the UK was placed under its first national lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak, I am reminded of how unpredictable events can impact the way in which hospitality and hotel design is perceived.

This week, when hosting our latest roundtable (to be published next month) the conversation turned towards how, despite the hospitality industry being inherently hygienic and clean, the perception around cleanliness is the new challenge designers and hospitality professionals are managing.

Although we don’t have all the answers just yet, one way to reassure the post-corona consumer is by highlighting exceptional design and examples of innovative hospitality – something that the editorial team at Hotel Designs feels strongly about. In addition to shining the spotlight on leading hotel design examples, we also need to amplify the raw conversations the industry is having right now in order to reopen for the post-pandemic world. Cue the return of Hotel Designs LIVE in May, which will welcome world-renowned designers, architects, hoteliers and developers to speak about the real challenges our industry is facing in 2021.

Until May, the editorial team is here to serve you the latest news and features in international hotel design and hospitality – starting with this round-up of the top stories published this week.

Hyatt opens 1,000th hotel worldwide

Image caption: Rendering of Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai | Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Image caption: Rendering of Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai | Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

We love a milestone at Hotel Designs! For any brand to claim that they have opened 1,000 hotels is an enormous feat, but considering we are in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis – and the hospitality industry is climbing its most challenging mountain to date in order to thrive once more – the news that Hyatt has opened its 1,000th hotel worldwide is nothing short of extra ordinary.

Read more.

Hotel review: Checking in to Riggs Washington D.C.

Sheltered in a former bank in the capital city, Riggs Washington D.C.is emerging from the pandemic as a statement hotel that offers a new kind of luxury on the east coast. Writer and cine​matic storyteller Ollie Wiggins checks in to the Caroline Harrison suite and interviews interior design legend Jacu Strauss in order to understand the hotel design narrative that is not what it first seems.

Read more.

Registration now open for Hotel Designs LIVE in May

Hot off the heels of the success of Hotel Designs LIVE in February – and following being shortlisted in the ‘Best Webinar Series’ category at the Digital Event Awards – Hotel Designs’ one-day online conference will return on May 11, with world-renowned designers, architects and hospitality specialists confirmed in the speakership line-up.

Read more. | Participate.

In Conversation With: Atlas Concorde on surface design

Atlas Concorde interview image

In the wake of Hotel Designs’ spotlight on surfaces throughout the month of February, Hotel Designs gets a behind-the-scenes perspective of one of the leading ceramic surface brands in the industry. Matteo Martini, UK & Northern Europe Sales Director at Atlas Concordejoins us to explore surface trends, creative materials and sustainability.

Read more.

What’s in the spotlight this April on Hotel Designs?

This April, Hotel Designs is serving up a multiple stories that will be dedicated to public areas and architecture & construction; two areas in hotel design that go hand-in-hand when looking at meaningful solutions for tomorrow’s hotel design scene.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

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Image of Riggs Wet bar

Hotel review: Checking in to Riggs Washington D.C.

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel review: Checking in to Riggs Washington D.C.

Sheltered in a former bank in the capital city, Riggs Washington D.C. is emerging from the pandemic as a statement hotel that offers a new kind of luxury on the east coast. Writer and cine​matic storyteller Ollie Wiggins checks in to the Caroline Harrison suite and interviews interior design legend Jacu Strauss in order to understand the hotel design narrative that is not what it first seems…

Image of Riggs Wet bar

The highly anticipated Riggs Washington D.C. opened its doors in early 2020, but considering the unforeseen circumstances around the pandemic that shortly followed, the hotel’s grand opening period was cut short as hospitality worldwide hunkered down for a turbulent year. So, for the sake of this review, I am prepared to erase 2020 from our memories in order to instead celebrate the arrival of what has already become one of Washington’s most exciting hotel openings of the decade. This 181-key hotel aims to offer unparalleled luxury and a breath of fresh air to the thriving and modern metropolis. 

Sitting down with Jacu Strauss, the Creative Director of Lore Group and the brainchild behind Sea Containers London and Pulitzer Amsterdam, it becomes immediately apparent how important the setting was and is to him – he is clearly passionate about DC. “It’s just a really beautiful city,” he says. “Great architecture, and noticeably lacking skyscrapers, it has a certain rhythm to it.” With Jacu’s projects across the world, he’s famous for putting time, energy and resources in to research an area and its needs. Keen to avoid what he describes as a “cookie cutter approach”, it is about the neighbourhoods, the greater contexts of the city and its people. With D.C., he felt he’d found a real gap in the hospitality market. “You have lifestyle brands as well as more traditional, institutional luxury hotels that are really established here and do what they do perfectly,” Strauss explains. “But we wanted to bridge that gap between lifestyle and luxury and become an institution that sits alone.”

It would have been all too easy to make this imposing gothic building into another institutional hotel. And there is no escaping the fact that it is sheltered in what used to be a bank – the ceilings are enormous for starters. The name of the hotel is synonymous with banking throughout DC; many presidents banked with the brand and it even provided the bank loan the US government needed to buy Alaska. Strauss freely admits that he is not the first to turn a bank into a luxury hotel, citing The Ned in London as a prime example. It is perhaps for this reason that he is keen to make sure the building is not tied to its former use. “We really wanted to depart from banking and make it about other things as well,” Strauss explains. “We wanted to celebrate both the legacy of the building and history of the city through unexpected details and a thoughtful approach to guest experience.” So it is perhaps no surprise then that he says he wants to evoke the spirit of the bank, preserving and restoring much of the beautiful old building with playful nod’s to it’s rich and storied past. It is in this way he hopes that the building will reflect a sense of timelessness, which he hopes will give the hotel longevity. 

Upon entering the hotel on F street, I am immediately struck by how authentically period the building feels. Whilst Strauss said he was keen to avoid the sense that the building was stuck in the past, it is hard to imagine the entrance hall has changed at all in the 130 years since it was built. The original marble floors and columns, for example, have not lost their shine or luster. The intricate recessed carvings on the arches of the barrelled ceiling have been meticulously restored and the gold trim on the American eagle that presides over the entryway is as bright and splendid as one would hope.

Image caption: The lobby/reception area has been designed to give a sensitive nod to the building's past. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image caption: The lobby/reception area has been designed to give a sensitive nod to the building’s past. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

To the right, the commanding entrance hall is replaced with a warm and welcoming check-in area. There is still the impressive sense of space and grandeur from the high-vaulted ceilings and federalist columns, but the marble floor has been replaced by a luxurious blue carpet. Comfortable arm chairs and soft furnishings help temper the building’s stark gothic feel without taking away from the majestic first impression. On the wall hangs an enormous medallion of Juno Moneta, the Roman goddess of money, modelled on an insignia Strauss discovered when first exploring the building. It gives the impression of inventing without betraying that the designer was keen to create; whilst a new addition to the building, the medallion feels timeless and totally in keeping with the property’s past. Behind a desk and a gold trimmed screen are the friendly reception staff. Whilst a new safety feature for the current pandemic, the gilt edged dividers feel true to the former use of the building and one can imagine the bank’s customers standing in front of them as they discussed the handling of their finances.

“The wooden parquet flooring gives the air of a stately home, where marble would have felt too austere and carpet too subaltern.”

Upon checking in, I am taken first to the Riggs suite, once the boardroom of the bank, now an impressive function room with enviable views of the city. Here, a room that could have felt stark with its hard lines and gothic arches has been made to feel luxurious and comfortable. The wooden parquet flooring gives the air of a stately home, where marble would have felt too austere and carpet too subaltern. Upholstered chairs around a long dining table reinforce this feeling of luxury and recall the room’s former use. On the walls of this room, no doubt once occupied exclusively by men, now hang the portraits of inspirational looking women in a variety of styles and from different cultures. In fact, the room is full of feminine touches including the soft green carpet, delicate oak furniture, copious plants and plush velvety sofas and cushions. It is part of Strauss’ efforts to neutralise what he sees as the overly masculine world of banking with feminine touches.

“Riggs is the only hotel in the area that has chosen to name its suites them after first ladies.”

I am fortunate enough to be staying in the Caroline Harrison Suite. The general manager proudly explains that whilst many hotels in the city have suites named after presidents, Riggs is the only hotel in the area that has chosen to name its suites them after first ladies – yet another example of the way Strauss has injected elements of femininity into all aspects of the hotel’s design. The room is a rich blue with sumptuous, heavy-velvet curtains, a sofa and pillows with a design that calls to mind the ornate patterns of the dividers that separated customers from tellers. The carpet, whilst pristine, has been made to look distressed as though it is itself part of the building’s history.

Image caption: The living room inside the Caroline Harrison Suite. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image caption: The living room inside the Caroline Harrison Suite. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Throughout the room are an eclectic collection of objets; lampshades in the form of dogs, contemporary takes on classical urns, a porcelain lantern with an Asian feel. Strangely, they help anchor the building in its Washington location by creating the sense that these pieces may have been gifted to the first lady by visiting dignitaries on some state visit from long ago. This feeling is complemented by the Jasperware plates and medallions hanging on the wall that celebrate significant events in the nation’s history; the signing of the declaration of independence and the start of JFK’s ill-fated presidency. Behind the luxurious four-poster bed is a feature wall with fun and quirky wallpaper that calls to mind the illustrations in a children’s book or the work of Ken Done. It contrasts aptly with the block colours and bold design choices in the rest of the space. 

The other three first lady suites, named after Ida McKinley, Louisa Adams and Angelica Van Buren have their own distinct styles and decor. The Van Buren is particularly striking with its rich red walls and velvet curtains complimented by ornate gold furniture. Of particular interest, too, are the classical busts that adorn the shelves, all of classical female deities, as well as contemporary artwork inspired once again by the profile of Juno Moneta. 

Each of the hotel’s other rooms are designed to offer something personal and unexpected. Whether it’s the colour of the wall or the shape of the space, each one feels different and offers something unique to the guest so that no two stays are ever quite the same. 

Image caption: Jacu Strauss collaborated with longtime friend George Benson to create the unique headboards in the guestrooms. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image caption: Jacu Strauss collaborated with longtime friend George Benson to create the unique headboards in the guestrooms. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Perhaps most striking in each room are the custom made headboards, the shape suggestive of the ripples of theatrical curtains. To achieve this unique style, Strauss collaborated with longtime friend George Benson to create these stunning pieces. The abstract swirling pattern used on both the headboards and wallpaper is inspired by a detail on a painting Jacu saw whilst at the Met Gallery in New York and was created by Benson’s company Voutsa specifically for the hotel. It adds a fun and cheeky dimension as well as a sense of movement to what were once the bank’s offices. Eagle eyed guests may spot that the pattern is also used on the inside of the bespoke umbrellas that are provided in each room. 

Next to the bed are small oak bedside tables with green leather inlay designed to feel like the writing desks that would once have been used in this building. To achieve a strong and timeless lighting scheme, Strauss collaborated with bespoke lighting brand Chelsom in order to ensure that each space was effortlessly lit in order to radiate the hotel’s luxe style and distinct personality. For example, gilt desk lamps sit on top of the bedside tables to reinforce the writing desk association and invite you to imagine the bank clerks hunched over their work in the previous century. Each room also contains a replica bank safe complete with the insignia of Juno on the outside and housing the minibar and room’s safe inside. It is the most overt reminder of the building’s former life as well as a fun talking point for guests. 

Since you’re here, why not read about Chelsom’s Edition 27 lighting collection

“I can’t help wondering if the powerful rain shower head is a nod to Obama’s request that one be added to The White House for the duration of his incumbency.”

Inside the bathrooms, the Italian Carrara marble tiles on the floor and walls create a sense of grandeur and security. Even the shape of the shiny metallic taps is reminiscent of the handle of a safe and reinforces the idea that one has walked into the bank’s impregnable strong room. The deep free-standing bath makes for a luxurious bathing experience and I can’t help wondering if the powerful rain shower head is a nod to Obama’s request that one be added to The White House for the duration of his incumbency. 

Image credit: Luxurious bathrooms inside the hotel. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image credit: Luxurious bathrooms inside the hotel. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Strauss said that he wanted each of the rooms to feel like a safety deposit box, with the contents of each being unique and valuable. This certainly comes across and is particularly evident from the door to each room. Every door features the front of a safety deposit box, complete with a non-working keyhole and golden circular medallion bearing the likeness of Juno Moneta. On the walls and floor, the sumptuous, rich, red carpets evoke a feeling of warmth. They contrast directly with the imposing lobby of the building and give the sense that you are exploring a more intimate and sequestered part of the hotel. On the walls of the corridors are a collection of paintings, some depicting classical figures and others in a more contemporary style as if these pieces have been placed here by customers trusting the bank to protect their artistic investments. The lifts too are worthy of note, featuring marble floors and mirrors covered in silver leaf, which gives them an opulent antiquarian aspect. 

In the bar and restaurant it is clear that Strauss has attempted to bring something new to the city. “There may have been a certain standard of food and beverage outlets here that became quite institutionalised, and not necessarily in a good way,” he admits to me.  “So, it didn’t have much diversity, and going against that convention – especially in an area of the hotel that is typically most criticised – was really changing. DC is becoming a real foodie city.” Strauss’ aim was to provide something “bright and elegant, inspired by the grand cafes of Europe,” and that is certainly case here at Riggs. The high-vaulted ceilings provide a massive sense of space and the circular marble tables together with the trendy wooden and velvet chairs would not feel out of place in a continental eatery. It is no coincidence that the chairs themselves are the colour of money, in America at least. It would have been easy to use an overabundance of green throughout the hotel for its pecuniary associations and the decision not to do this in the rest of the development feels remarkably restrained. 

The luxury of space in the bar area has provided one of the largest  challenges in converting this part of the building. With the huge height of the room, Strauss and his team were keen to make sure the scope of the space was being fully utilised. To that end, Strauss installed massive velvet curtains, so weighty that their use necessitated reinforcing the wall. He also commissioned a bouquet of oversized fabric flowers from Ukraine – its bright colours and whimsical design are suggestive of the works of Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear. Yet despite their sheer scale (they come in at an eye-watering two storeys high) everything in the room feels perfectly in proportion. Even the six foot four inch gilt chandeliers that Strauss designed himself help to make the space feel intimate without taking away from the sense of grandeur. 

Image caption: Jacu Strauss commissioned a bouquet of oversized fabric flowers from Ukraine, which has become a statement piece in the public area of the hotel. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image caption: Jacu Strauss commissioned a bouquet of oversized fabric flowers from Ukraine, which has become a statement piece in the public area of the hotel. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

I journey downwards to the subterranean Silver Lyan bar, described by the hotel manager as an adult playground. It’s not hard to see why, the theming is fun without being gimmicky and the low ceilings, dark lighting and deep red chairs give the air of that most uniquely American thing: a speakeasy. There are also an array of fun little touches around the bar; secret messages hidden as optical illusions in the wall panelling, lighting inspired by classical Asian designs and hundreds of sporting trophies in cases across the walls, which Strauss is quick to tell me were all won by female athletes. 

Across the hall is the gym and fitness area, which perhaps rather tauntingly has an oversized gumball machine outside, which feels uniquely American and once again helps to play with the sense of scale and disrupt the sense of solemnity in the building. Despite the restrictions currently in place due to Covid-19, I can’t resist sampling one or two. The gym itself has enough equipment to ensure that even the most ardent of fitness fanatics can ensure they get a good workout and the marble pillars hardwood floors provide a sense of decadence as you sweat your way towards your fitness goals. There are also fun touches around the room, like the leather punching bag, that invites one to imagine a circus strongman with a handlebar moustache hard in training. There is also the door to what once would have been the bank’s strongroom, with its intricate mechanism, bolts and rivets on display.

As I check out, I am reminded of something Strauss said to me, that a hotel should provide an elevated experience rather than simply being “a home away from home” and Riggs Washington D.C. is certainly not that. It is a building that has always been about showmanship that has left lasting impression of strength and security.

Strauss’ next project, the Lyle in D.C., will be much more about calm and comfort – think mattresses like marshmallows that he describes as the “most comfortable” he has ever slept on. Yet here, the way The Lore Group has managed to turn what could have been a stark and austere building into something welcoming without losing any of the sense of grandeur is impressive. To summarise, Riggs DC embraces its past whilst remaining pitch perfect for its current use, ensuring its future place in the city for years to come. 

Main image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Thompson Washington D.C. opens in quirky Navy Yard neighborhood

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Thompson Washington D.C. opens in quirky Navy Yard neighborhood

Thompson Hotels’ lifestyle brand expands to America’s capital, Washington D.C., in the heart of bustling and emerging Navy Yard neighbourhood…

Hyatt Hotels has announced the opening of Thompson Washington D.C., the Thompson Hotels brand’s first property in the nation’s capital.

With architecture by New York-based Studios Architecture and interiors by award-winning firm Parts and Labor Design, the new hotel features 225 sleek and modern guestrooms and suites. It also features restaurant and bar concepts by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, positioning Thompson Washington D.C. to serve as a modern hub for locals and visitors against the backdrop of the city’s dynamic waterfront neighbourhood.

The hotel’s deeply textured façade and large industrial-inspired windows are a visual standout that embody the historic industrial language of the neighborhood, The Yards, a 42-acre waterfront development at the center of Capitol Riverfront’s Navy Yard neighborhood. As the first lifestyle hotel in the growing mixed-used development, Thompson Washington D.C. is designed to be a social anchor in The Yards community, joining dozens of specialty retailers, restaurants, high-end residences, and cultural attractions. Situated on D.C.’s scenic riverfront, outdoor parks such as the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and The Yards Park are all mere steps from the hotel, inviting visitors to walk around and explore.

“Thompson Hotels is a brand that has always boldly pushed the norms of a traditional hotel experience.” – General Manager, Sherry Abedi

“We are proud to introduce the sophisticated and evocative Thompson Washington D.C. to the nation’s capital,” said General Manager Sherry Abedi. “Thompson Hotels is a brand that has always boldly pushed the norms of a traditional hotel experience, and we look forward to super-serving our global visitors, World of Hyatt members, and the Washington, D.C. community with a stylish destination to eat, drink, connect and relax. We have already felt a warm welcome from the neighborhood’s residents and local businesses.”

Junior Suite with views over the city

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

The hotel’s interiors were inspired by the Thompson brand’s signature mid-century modern aesthetic and the area’s notable Navy Yard, incorporating industrial patterns and textures found in the neighborhood’s historic naval structures. The hotel’s 225 guestrooms, including 17 suites, boast floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views of the Anacostia River and Nationals Park. Two expansive Thompson Suites also feature stunning outdoor terraces with views of the Washington Navy Yard. Each guestroom features custom headboards upholstered in a mélange wool boucle from Holland complemented by sherry and plume-colored leather framed in a dark oak. Additional room elements include bathroom vanity tops made of green onyx and Brazilian white avalanche marble, 400-thread-count SFERRA linens, Tivoli radios, 55″ flat screen HD TVs, D.S. & Durga custom bath products, and kimono-style robes. The hotel’s mini bars are stocked with locally sourced items, including guilt-free snacks and candles from Frères Branchiaux Candle Co., where 10 per cent of proceeds benefit Washington, D.C.’s homeless shelters.

Among Thompson Washington D.C.’s many standout features is its signature restaurant, Maialino Mare, from famed Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). The restaurant – a coastal sister to the original Maialino in New York City – focuses on seafood-forward pastas and other seasonally-inspired dishes sourced from local farmers and fishmongers, complemented by a robust Italian wine list and rustic desserts. Maialino Mare’s interior reflects a nod to Italian tradition but is rooted in the local metropolitan, modern setting and community.

Anchovy Social, the hotel’s rooftop bar, boasts an airy atmosphere accented with nautical elements and sweeping views of the city. Parts and Labor Design sought to create a contrasting but unified experience seen through the dark-to-light palette, allowing the space and its unprecedented 360-degree views of the city and waterfront to become a destination in itself. Anchovy Social will open in the weeks to come.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Park Hyatt Washington DC

Park Hyatt Washington DC unveils renovation by Tony Chi

1000 573 Daniel Fountain

World-renowned and New York-based interior designer Tony Chi returned to Park Hyatt Washington DC to make design enhancements to the hotel’s guestrooms and lobby, in time for the return of spring in the nation’s capital and the city’s famed cherry blossoms.

Tony Chi last completed a full redesign of the entire luxury hotel in 2006. The new update includes 216 guestrooms, which include deluxe king and deluxe double rooms, as well as junior suites. All rooms have been updated with a fresh look by Chi that reflects the hotel’s modern, refined elegance. Throughout his 30-year career, Tony Chi has been highly lauded worldwide with industry awards for creating warm, modern spaces at elite international hotels and restaurants.

Park Hyatt Washington DC“My concept for Park Hyatt Washington DC was to bring together a dynamic and attractive modernism with classic American style,” said Tony Chi, Principal and Founder of tonychi. “Modern for today’s sophisticated traveler, classic American in deference to the fashionable and historic area in which it is located. Park Hyatt Washington intimately connects guests and visitors with Washington DC’s legacy of culture and style, a journey of timelessness that is expressed both from its past and today.”

Inspired by DC’s bright, blooming spring colors, the hotel’s new guestroom design features rich woods, dazzling gold accents, and custom glasswork by photographic glass artist Amanda Weil. Guests will enjoy a soothing, yet vibrant color palate of denim blue, cracked caramel, and blue-grey hues. The new design also now features 100 percent natural vegetable fibre (grass cloth) wall coverings, custom-designed plaid wool rugs, and rich walnut wood platform beds complete with leather headboards and reading lights.

Park Hyatt Washington DCCustom-designed daybeds, complete with walnut wood platform bases, upholstered benches, and leather-wrapped arms and back can be found in deluxe rooms and junior suites. The deluxe rooms feature large social tables, with inlaid cherry blossom glass art by Weil, that are perfect for the needs of every guest. The junior suites also offer new walnut wood flooring and cherry blossom glass-topped desks also by Weil. Room accents in the junior suites include antique gameboards and a selection of hardcover books highlighting American crafts and heritage.

Deluxe rooms feature spa-inspired, basalt-tiled bathrooms. King bathrooms feature a spacious walk-in rainfall shower, and the double bathrooms feature large bathtubs. Junior Suites, some of the largest in the city at 544-square feet, also feature oversized spa-inspired bathrooms with limestone-tiled rain showers and deep soaking tubs. The style of the refreshed guestrooms is a natural extension of the hotel’s approach to understated luxury.

Park Hyatt Washington DC“We are very happy to work with Tony Chi again on a new guestroom and lobby design that has transformed the hotel into a Park Hyatt in bloom,” said Jon Benson, general manager, Park Hyatt Washington DC. “His unmistakable style and creative approach make a unique statement about the city that is perfect for our guests – savvy global connoisseurs. The fresh design expands upon the hotel’s approach to refined all-American luxury and celebrates Park Hyatt hotels’ commitment to thoughtfully curated design.”

This new “in-bloom” feeling is not limited to the hotel’s new design at Park Hyatt Washington; the hotel carries out the spring-inspired concept throughout to its Michelin-starred restaurant Blue Duck Tavern. The restaurant will soon introduce new culinary events including a Seasonal Garden Table, which is an outdoor, communal Chef’s Table experience; rooftop garden; and a garden-inspired cocktail series, which will feature fresh elements from local farms. In late April, the hotel will feature an exclusive collection of spring-like art from The Phillips Collection, the country’s first museum of modern art, on the hotel’s mezzanine level.

washingtondc.park.hyatt.com

www.tonychi.com

Homewood Suites - Washington DC

Homewood Suites expands presence in Washington DC

850 536 Daniel Fountain

Homewood Suites by Hilton has announced its newest property, Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC – Capitol Navy Yard. Offering 195 new suites, the hotel strengthens the brand’s growing presence in urban markets after reaching its 400th property milestone.

“Over the past five years, our nation’s capital has seen a steady increase in both domestic and international tourism*, creating the ideal scenario to not only expand Homewood Suites’ footprint in urban markets, but also strengthen its presence in Washington D.C.,” said Adrian Kurre, global head, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites by Hilton. “The Homewood Suites flexible brand model drives its success in these areas while also delivering tremendous value and comfort to both business and leisure guests.”

Developed by KCG 50 M, an affiliate of Englewood and CG Investments, designed by Cooper Carry and operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capitol-Navy Yard complements the city’s growing tourism which hit a record-breaking year in 2015.

The new hotel offers a combination of studio and one bedroom suites, featuring fully-equipped kitchens, and separate living and sleeping areas. Guests are also provided all the essentials needed for a comfortable and convenient stay such as complimentary daily full-hot breakfast, evening social Monday-Thursday, Wi-Fi and grocery shopping service. Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capitol-Navy Yard also makes it easy for travelers to unwind with a rooftop terrace, fitness centre, and indoor pool.

MGM National Harbor

MGM National Harbor to open in December

998 536 Daniel Fountain

Bringing the first luxury gaming resort experience to Washington, the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor will make its highly anticipated debut on December 8, just minutes from Washington DC on the banks of the Potomac River.

The resort is accepting room reservations for stays beginning December 10.

“After years of planning, designing and developing, we are thrilled that the moment is almost upon us to share this very special resort with the community and visitors from around the world,” said Lorenzo Creighton, president of MGM National Harbor.

MGM National Harbor

“We are grateful to Prince George’s County, the state of Maryland and all of the local designers, artisans and businesses that have collaborated with us to deliver this international resort with very local roots.”

Clean lines, modern functionality, signature wood millwork accents and floor-to-ceiling windows boasting stunning views define the 308 rooms and suites, ranging in size from 400 to 3,210 square feet. Complementing the resort’s modern elegance, room and suite designs draw inspiration from forest and water elements native to Maryland while incorporating vistas of the surrounding landscape.

Furthering the rich local flavor of MGM National Harbor through art, the thoughtfully curated Heritage Collection will be woven throughout the resort’s public spaces, featuring commissioned and procured artwork by renowned local and international sculptors, photographers and mixed-media artists including Bob Dylan, Margaret Boozer, Alice Aycock, Ron Beverly, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Sam Gilliam, John Dreyfuss, John Safer, Liao Yibai and Chul Hyun Ahn, among others.

Conrad Washington

Construction begins on Conrad Washington D.C.

750 421 Daniel Fountain

Construction has begun on the Conrad Washington D.C. – a 360-room luxury hotel in the centre of the city – and is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2019.

The Conrad Washington, D.C. marks the seventh building developed by Hines and Qatari Diar at CityCenterDC. Not only does this represent an additional investment by Hines and Qatari Diar in the CityCenter project, it demonstrates the continued commitment to long-term investment in the nation’s capital.

The Conrad Washington, D.C. will further enhance the architectural excellence at CityCenterDC. The lead designers for the Conrad Washington, D.C. are Herzog & de Meuron, led by five senior partners including Pritzker Prize Laureates Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, with HKS Architects, Inc. as architect of record. The elegant hotel interiors are being designed by Rottet Studio, whilst Turner Construction Company is the project’s general contractor.

“We are excited to break ground on the Conrad Washington, D.C. because it means more jobs and opportunities for District residents and businesses,” said Mayor Bowser. “This development is another positive signal of our growing economy and our emergence as a national leader in hospitality and tourism.”

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to continue our successful partnership with Qatari Diar on our additional investment in the Conrad Washington, D.C.,” said Hines Managing Director Michael Allen, project officer for the Hines/Qatari Diar master developer team.

The hotel will add an additional 30,000 square feet of retail space that will complement the already successful luxury retail component of the first phase of CityCenterDC. CityCenterDC features a unique mix of local, national and international retail brands, cafes and restaurants with extensive street frontage. Several retail tenants have already entered into negotiations for space in the Conrad Washington, D.C. project.

Watergate Hotel reopens following 9 year, $125m renovation

Legendary Watergate Hotel reopens after $125m overhaul

924 570 Daniel Fountain

International New York-based real estate developer, Euro Capital Properties, has announced the opening of The Watergate Hotel, which has undergone an extensive $125 million renovation to restore the property to its ‘historic exuberance’. The hotel has been closed for renovations since 2007.

An American icon situated on the banks of the Potomac River, The Watergate Hotel offers a luxurious urban resort experience for the world’s most discerning leisure and business travelers. Originally designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti in 1961 to look like a sail on the Potomac, the hotel made waves with its groundbreaking contemporary style and came to epitomise the fabulous lifestyle and sophistication of its time when it opened in March 1967.

Watergate Hotel

The hotel’s current owners, Euro Capital Properties, tapped world-renowned designer Ron Arad and Italian designer Moroso to complement the avant-garde architecture with bold curves and mid-century modern design while restoring some of hotel’s original structures such as the staircase and indoor pool. Acclaimed architectural and interior design firm BBGM was the architect for the project.

Watergate Hotel

“The Watergate is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous and illustrious hotels in the world,” said Rakel Cohen, Senior Vice President of Design and Development, Euro Capital Properties. “We paid meticulous attention to every detail in its renovation and we’re excited to bring our vision to life. Its intrigue is driven by evocative design, from the deep-rooted retro feel to the mystique that lies behind every curve of the hotel’s architecture.”

The hotel consists of 336 stylish guestrooms designed for comfort and sophistication, half of which include lavish balconies. Six exquisite Diplomat Suites, 24 premier suites and two stately Presidential Suites offer the highest standard of luxury accommodations. Each guestroom features natural light that brings out the soothing color palettes along with plush bedding, floor-to-ceiling Zebrano marble bathrooms with solid granite vanities, superior in-room amenities, 24-hour in-room dining, cutting edge technology, diffusers featuring the hotel’s signature Red Flower Oakwood scent, and more.

thewatergatehotel.com

Kimpton Hotels - Mason Rook Hotel, Washington

Kimpton Hotels reveals newest additions to US portfolio

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Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the leading boutique hotel and restaurant company with over 60 properties spread across the USA, has recently added some new hotels to its portfolio.

The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel in Winston-Salem and Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel in Washington D.C. showcase Kimpton’s signature style of embracing the local history and culture of the cities that surround them. Additionally, two new boutique hotels are scheduled to open in Charlotte in 2017.

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RELATED LINK: Virginia’s ‘top hotel’ – Kimpton Morrison House – reopens after refurb
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The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, Winston-Salem – NOW OPEN
The recent opening of The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel in Winston-Salem celebrates Kimpton’s first venture into the Carolinas. The new hotel occupies the first six floors of the iconic former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Headquarters, which served as the prototype for the Empire State Building. The decor highlights the building’s Art Deco architecture and historic past with original gold leaf, rich marble, burnished brass furnishings and portraits of luminaries R.J. Reynolds and Colonel Winston woven into the detailed boardroom carpets.

The perfect blend of tradition, modern furnishings and playful, Carolina-inspired artwork is apparent throughout the 174 guestrooms, 15 suites and the Recreation Room, which boasts nearly 2,000-square-feet of space, including a basketball court, bowling alley and adult-sized twisty slide. The room is perfect for corporate team-building, after-hours networking events, creative functions, or any unique occasion that requires an equally distinctive space.

The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, Winston-Salem

The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, Winston-Salem

The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel’s adjacent restaurant, The Katharine, brings traditional French brasserie style cuisine with a Southern twist. Seasonal menus feature traditional favourites and an extensive beverage programme which includes creative cocktails, and craft beer and wine selections.

Paying further homage to the city’s heritage, an Art-o-Mat®, a traditional cigarette machine, distributes small pieces of artwork in the hotel’s Recreation Room. www.thecardinalhotel.com

Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel, Washington D.C. – NOW OPEN – (pictured in main picture)
The comfortable-yet-stylish Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel has opened in the heart of the always-buzzing 14th Street neighbourhood, near Washington D.C.’s coolest culinary and nightlife hotspots. The property’s decor embodies the essence of a modern D.C. lifestyle and blends the familiarly comfortable with the distinctly stylish, as it takes inspiration from a vibrant social scene whilst engaging with the building’s former life as an apartment block.

Kimpton Hotels - Washington D.C.

Kimpton’s new hotel features 4,000-square-feet of beautifully creative spaces for meetings and events, 178 guest rooms and 18 luxuriously sophisticated suites. Guest rooms offer plush beds, spacious work desks, large marble bathrooms and 65-inch smart TVs which inspire a home-from-home feeling. The hotel’s Premier Spa Suites feel like small apartments unto themselves with living rooms and spacious bedrooms, and each are outfitted with free-standing soaking bathtubs.

The hotel’s adjacent bar Radiator is a culinary-focused cocktail bar that offers an eclectic menu of rustic yet contemporary American small plates and timeless cocktails with original twists. Radiator features an outdoor 50-seat patio where guests can enjoy snacks and sip cocktails in front of the large fire pit or play games such as backgammon and life-sized Connect Four in front of the breathtaking views of the iconic D.C. skyline. The chic penthouse deck also boasts a rooftop swimming pool to ensure a completely relaxing urban oasis. www.masonandrookhotel.com

Downtown Charlotte, N.C

Kimpton Hotels – Downtown Charlotte, N.C

Charlotte, North Carolina – TWO NEW BOUTIQUE PROPERTIES COMING SOON
Kimpton has also proudly announced the addition of Charlotte to the Kimpton map. Charlotte is a city that’s on the move, with new skyscrapers continuously heightening the skyline, but the element of the quaint, down-home South is still apparent. Kimpton’s new builds will reflect this, with one as a luxury high rise, located in the heart of downtown, and the other as an intimate boutique in the historic Dilworth neighbourhood.

As with all Kimpton properties, the two new hotels in Charlotte will embrace the history and culture of the city and will include all of Kimpton’s unique services such as the Forgot It? We’ve Got It! menu of travel and vacation essentials, a thoughtful mini bar with organic options and a hint of local flair, the daily complimentary morning coffee and tea service, a hosted nightly wine hour, an in-room yoga mat and complimentary rental of their custom PUBLIC Bikes. The new builds will both host their own destination restaurants and rooftop bars / lounges.

www.KimptonHotels.com

MGM National Harbor

MGM National Harbor unveils range of suite offerings

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MGM National Harbor has revealed the designs for its premier suite offerings at the $1.3 billion resort, set to open in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Complementing the modern elegance of the resort, the suite designs – developed by Studio GAIA – draw inspiration from the forest and water elements native to the Maryland area and feature stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

MGM National Harbor by night

“We spent a great deal of time conceptualizing our suite experience to ensure guests not only enjoy the level of luxury MGM Resorts offers at our properties worldwide, but also creates a seamless connection to our beautiful surroundings,” said MGM National Harbor General Manager Bill Boasberg. “I’m confident our guests will appreciate the thoughtful detail in every suite, including towering windows with amazing views of the Capital Region,” he added.

MGM National Harbor Suite offerings

The collection of 74 suites at MGM National Harbor will provide guests with an elevated experience at the luxury 308-room resort. Each suite, ranging in size from 588 to 3,210 square feet, will feature distinct location, size, layout and amenities, resulting in a unique guest experience specific to each suite type.

Upon arriving to their suite, guests will be greeted by a refreshing environment and dazzled by the natural light glistening through floor-to-ceiling windows. Functionality and clean lines are paired expertly with light-coloured wood elements and warm earth tones to create a sophisticated, soothing feeling that embodies the overall architectural vision of MGM National Harbor.

MGM National Harbor Suite offerings

Blending contemporary designs with natural materials, the resort’s stylish spaces will encourage guests to relax and connect with nature. Thoughtful artistic touches will be featured throughout the resort including its suites, showcasing distinctive pieces of artwork inspired by the historic Maryland and Washington, D.C. area, adding to the overall ambiance of the resort.

Canopy by Hilton Washington D.C.

Canopy by Hilton to arrive in Washington D.C. neighbourhood

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Canopy – Hilton’s new ‘neighbourhood hotel’ brand – is set to open a new property in Washington D.C. as Bethesda North breaks ground and is slated to welcome guests in late 2017.

The 177-room hotel, which includes 23 suites and two spectacular three-bay Presidential suites, is located at the centre of Pike & Rose, a new mixed-use development featuring a sophisticated blend of restaurants, retailers, and live performance venues.

As with all Canopy by Hilton hotels, Canopy by Hilton Washington, D.C. Bethesda North is inspired and influenced by its local surroundings.

The Canopy by Hilton concept as rendered at its Reykjavik property

With 4,350 square feet of meeting space and a 3,100 square foot ballroom, the hotel is an attractive destination for meetings and groups. The flexibility and versatility of the meeting and event space will allow it to be one of the D.C. area’s most innovative venues, a distinctive departure from traditional hotel ballroom spaces.

“Bethesda is an ideal neighbourhood for our Canopy by Hilton brand,” said Gary Steffen, global head, Canopy by Hilton. “The community is both a business hub and recreational destination with attractive shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities. We’re confident that our hotel will reflect the best of the neighbourhood through locally inspired design, and food and drink. Canopy by Hilton Bethesda North will add to the vibrant local scene.”

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RELATED: Hilton to open Canopy hotel in London’s east end
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Guest Room Image - Trump International Hotel Washington D.C.

Trump International Washington D.C. to open two years ahead of schedule

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Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C. will open in September 2016 – dramatically ahead of schedule. With its opening, the Nation’s Capital will now be home to an iconic and historic super-luxury hotel rivaling the best of other international capital cities.

“For decades people have looked in wonderment at the magnificence of the Old Post Office building and structure. There is nothing like it and we are so proud to have not only brought this incredible building back to life, but also to a position far greater than it ever was at its previous zenith. It was an honour to have dealt with the professionals at the General Services Administration. It was their total passion and hard work that helped bring this unrivaled project to fruition,” says US presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump.

With its prestigious location right on Pennsylvania Avenue, the US Government has entrusted the Trump Organisation with the complex challenge of transforming this 19th century one-of-a-kind building into one of the greatest luxury hotels in the world.

Cortile Rendering - Trump International Washington D.C.

Painstakingly restoring the intricate stonework, original wood milling and panelling while installing the latest in technology and luxurious comforts expected by today’s sophisticated and discerning travelers, the hotel will introduce to the market 263 exquisitely detailed and spacious guest rooms and suites. The thirty-five suites include the Trump Townhouse with its private entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue. At 6,300-square-feet of interior space, it will be the largest and most luxurious suite in Washington, D.C. and among the largest in the country.

Trump International Washington D.C.

Recognising the need for a luxury ballroom spacious enough to host larger International meetings and opulent enough for prominent city galas, the Trump Organisation designed a complementing addition to the main building. With a private entrance, the 13,200 square foot, column-free Presidential Ballroom will be the largest luxury ballroom in Washington, D.C. and has already been enthusiastically received by wedding and event planners, major associations, and corporations.

“This is my fifth hotel opening and I can say with conviction that I have never seen so much interest and so many early bookings as I have at Trump D.C.; we already have a significant number of events confirmed for 2016 and beyond with many more inquiries being considered,” said Mickael Damelincourt, Managing Director of Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C. “We are preparing for what is a highly anticipated opening, and one that is unique to Washington, D.C. and the country as a whole.”