October 31, 2012
Washington, DC Hotels Primp & Prep for 2013 Inauguration
(Washington, DC) – As the race for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue heats up, hotels in the nation’s capital are preparing to impress visitors with welcoming spaces, chic décor, new amenities and exciting in-house restaurants. Inauguration is big business for Washington, DC’s hospitality community. In 2009, when more than one million people journeyed to the inauguration of President Obama on the National Mall, DC hotel rooms generated more than $100 million in revenue. In 2013, visitors are invited witness American history by booking a room in Washington, DC during the Inauguration weekend (Jan. 18-22).
“Since the 2009 inauguration more than $250 million has been invested to refresh hotels throughout Washington, DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC. “The District has more than $8 billion worth of development currently underway, so visitors coming for the 2013 inauguration will discover a city flush with unique cultural experiences, fine dining, exciting nightlife and top-rated hotel accommodations.”
One new hotel is expected to open its doors in Washington, DC between November’s election and 2013 Inauguration.
The 49-room Capella Washington, D.C. Georgetown (1050 31st St. NW), a $45 million property overlooking the C&O Canal is positioning itself as a luxury property with amenities not limited to a dedicated personal assistant for each guest. The newcomer will boast an in-house restaurant and as the weather allows, a rooftop pool with cabanas.
Another significant addition to the hospitality landscape, the W Washington D.C. (515 15th St. NW) will welcome visitors excited for its fresh swagger and unique location: the 317-room hotel overlooks the U.S. Treasury and White House. Previously the Hotel Washington, the refurbished and reflagged property has hosted VIPs including Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift since its reopening in summer 2009.
Grand dame properties experienced in rolling out the red carpet take pains to enhance the once-in-a-lifetime experience of inauguration attendees. The Willard InterContinental (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW), known locally as “the residence of presidents” is a popular place for power brokers. President Lincoln held his inaugural lunch at the Willard.
Extravagancies offered at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. (1150 22nd St. NW) in 2009 included parade “survival kits” (complete with flasks of hot coffee and hand warmers), twice-daily commemorative gifts delivered to the room (for example: a pashmina emblazoned with the presidential seal) and a hotel-wide Adopt-A-Guest program that asks a staffer to be personally responsible for one guest for the duration of their stay.
Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C. (1330 Maryland Ave. SW) winks at power players with a dedicated “P.O.T.U.S.” package (Presiding Over the Ultimate Suite). It includes four nights in the largest hotel suite in the District, all 3,500-square feet of it.
More than a dozen properties are expected to be refreshed in time to welcome visitors for the presidential inauguration in January, 2013:
Avenue Suites completed nine months of renovations, including its façade, lobby and patio and rebranded from the Washington Suites.
Capital Hilton spent two years completing its $30 million in renovations, including a new spa, lobby and the Statler Lounge, its lobby bar.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Washington, working with architects Core Group PC, finished a design of its lobby, lounge and entrance.
Embassy Suites D.C. Convention Center is in the midst of a 384-room update, as well as changes to its lobby and reception area.
The Fairmont Washington D.C. invested $2.6 million in its function space including its meeting room and ballroom.
The Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC invested $1 million to expand and update Seasons Restaurant, a noted power breakfast spot, this year.
The Hamilton Crowne Plaza Washington, DC was refreshed in the spring-summer of 2012 and shows off its Art Deco form to great advantage.
The transformation of the rooftop deck into an enclosed private events space atop the historic Hay-Adams Hotel was so extensive that the hotel essentially added a ninth floor and a dedicated elevator. The “Top of the Hay” boasts unprecedented views of Lafayette Park, the White House and Washington Monument beyond to the Potomac River.
Several rooms and suites at the J.W. Marriott Washington, DC overlook the inaugural parade route, but the property’s unique inaugural package: a block of 300 guest rooms, a dedicated food and drink budget of $800,000, and heated tents on the terrace to keep revelers warm as they celebrate Jan. 18-22, 2013. In 2009, a charitable organization purchased a similar plan hosting underprivileged Americans. The cost is $2.7 million.
The largest family of boutique hotels in Washington, DC, Kimpton Hotels has nine properties in the District and three more in Old Town Alexandria. New to their flag in 2013 will be Donovan House, formerly a Thompson Hotel property on the 14th Street corridor. Kimpton’s Topaz Hotel and Hotel Rouge properties both were subject to renovations in 2012. The 82-room Hotel Madera is up for grabs, Jan. 18-22, 2013, for $320,000 inclusive of amenities like a cocktail party at Firefly, the ground floor restaurant. Across the river in Old Town, Alexandria, Kimpton’s jewel box of an inn, the Morrison House is also offering itself up as a unique space for a buy-out. Named one of the “Top 50 Hotels in the World” by readers of Travel + Leisure, the property can host up to 90 guests in 45 rooms for $200,000 (Jan. 18-22, 2013). Amenities include breakfast, lunch and dinner daily at The Grille, and car service for the group throughout the stay.
The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel invested $6 million in updating its guest rooms.
The Madison is the final stages of completing a $22 million revamp of its entire property, including its restaurant and guest rooms. The hotel will celebrate its 50th birthday throughout 2013.
In September, the Mayflower Renaissance Washington, D.C. Hotel revealed one of the results of a major refurbishment: the reopening of the Promenade Ballroom, once Café Promenade, and the site of presidential affairs including Calvin Coolidge’s inaugural ball.
The Park Hyatt Washington completed an overhaul of the property’s lower level in 2011. The 10,000 square-foot Gallery offers flexible ballroom and meeting space, and as of 2012, a catering menu courtesy of the hotel’s award-winning American kitchen, Blue Duck Tavern.
The Renaissance Washington Downtown will finish up a multimillion-dollar renovation of its 804 guest rooms by mid-October.
The Washington Hilton, whose $150 million redo wrapped up before this year, added a coffee shop – the first Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the city – this spring.
About Destination DC
Destination DC, the lead destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of more than 800 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. www.washington.org.
Media ContactsFor local, business and meetings/conventions media:
Robin McClain, Director of Communications
For local and domestic consumer media:
Kate Gibbs, Media Relations Manager
For international and travel trade media inquiries:
Alicia Malone, International Media Relations Manager