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Hotel Happenings

Noteworthy New Properties and Refreshed Accommodations


Not one but two DC hotels have introduced temporary ice rinks for the holiday season. The Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown opened a rink wrapped by seats and firepits inside its interior courtyard on Nov. 24; the Watergate Hotel opened its rooftop rink Nov. 16, complete with skate-up bar. Downstairs on the patio of the Next Whisky Bar, the storied hotel has installed 12-foot high “igloo” lounges for private parties.


The Line DC: Anchored by the conversion of a 110-year-old neoclassical church and a new multi-story build, this art-filled hotel from the Sydell Group (The NoMad Hotel) will add 220 rooms to the eclectic Adams Morgan neighborhood. In-house dining options from James Beard Award-recognized chef include Spoken English from Erik Bruner-Yang (DC’s Maketto) and A Rake’s Progress by Spike Gjerde (Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen). Full Service Radio will broadcast from the lobby. The rooftop offers sweeping views of the historic neighborhood as well as the Washington Monument and Washington National Cathedral.


The Wharf: The new $2.5 billion, mile-long waterfront neighborhood in Southwest DC adds 3.2 million square feet of residential, hospitality, retail and cultural inventory. Phase 1 opened Oct. 12, 2017 adding 690 rooms to the city’s hotel inventory: a 278-room Wharf InterContinental and a duel-branded 175-room Canopy by Hilton and 237-room Hyatt House on a 300,000-square-foot campus that offers 2,500-square-feet of meeting space as well as a 10,000-square-foot lounge and 1,100-square-foot fitness center.

Canopy by Hilton Washington DC The Wharf: The 120,000-square-foot new build connected to Hyatt House offers a mix of 175 rooms and suites in a young, stylish spirit. Amenities at this lifestyle property include a bike share program for exploring the riverfront and nearby National Mall; free Wi-Fi; in-room mini-fridge and Nespresso machine as well as Canopy’s signature fuzzy robe and slipper-socks. On-site dining options include a complimentary morning breakfast (buffet or “Break Fast” bag delivered to one’s door) from Canopy Central where options move from coffee to beer and wine in the afternoon. Cocktails and snacks are available for purchase at the second-floor bar and bistro where firepits enliven riverfront views each evening. On the tenth floor, the 2,200-square-foot rooftop Whiskey Charlie, named for the call signal used by captains boating into the Washington Channel, is expected to open this winter.

Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf: Connected to Canopy by Hilton, the new build is an extended stay property with 237 rooms and suites, the latter furnished with kitchenettes and a sleeper sofa. Hyatt House amenities include a free “Morning Spread” breakfast, free Wi-Fi and 1,650-square-feet of riverfront meeting space.

InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf: Boasting Potomac River views, the luxurious new build is the largest of the three new hotels at the Wharf: 278 guestrooms including 33 suites; a 5,000-square-foot rooftop bar and patio and a 4,250-square-foot spa. The property boasts 17,000-square-feet of event space including 10 meeting rooms. The property has been designed to embrace its prime location: the heart of The Wharf development in southwest DC six blocks from the National Mall. The two-story Presidential Suite, for example, boasts views of the Washington Yacht Club, the historic fish market and East Potomac Park. Some rooms and suites have Juliet balconies. Among the multiple dining spaces is Kith and Kin, a 96-seat upscale-casual dining room by chef Kwame Onwuachi who celebrates the flavors of his upbringing at the table and the bar: the Bronx by way of Nigeria, New Orleans and the Caribbean.

The Darcy Washington, DC, Curio Collection by Hilton: Opened in May, DC’s first Curio boasts 226 contemporary guest rooms including 37 studios and one-bedroom suites near Scott Circle, a 10-minute walk to the White House and Dupont Circle. The art-filled property is two blocks from 14th Street’s restaurants and nightlife but there’s little reason to roam: the hotel is home to a luxurious seafood spot, Siren by Robert Wiedmaier (Marcel’s), a strolling cocktail cart and local pop-ups from partners like homegrown men’s clothier Reed Wall. A grab-and-go New Orleans-style coffee shop, Lil’ B by David Guas (Bayou Bakery) opened Sept. 5.

The Pod DC: Emphasizing amenities like free high-speed Wi-Fi over room-size, this chic 245-room micro-hotel in Chinatown opened in May. This is the first Pod outside of New York City. Like the new Hotel Hive in Foggy Bottom and forthcoming Moxy in downtown DC, the new build is primed to attract next-gen travelers with compact rooms and expansive social spaces with flexible, delightful menus. Working with Eric and Ian Hilton, DC nightlife titans, the property houses the Southern-inspired all-day Crimson Diner; Crimson View, a rooftop lounge with views of the neighborhood and as of mid-September, Crimson Whiskey, a 9,000-square-foot subterranean bar specializing in whiskey and moonshine.

Residence Inn Washington Capitol Hill/Navy Yard: Located near Nationals Park, Bluejacket Brewery and many new restaurants and outdoor activity stations along Capitol Riverfront, this new all-suite hotel brings amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi and hot breakfast daily as well as grocery delivery service, on-site guest laundry and a fitness center. Each of the 170 suites is furnished with a pull-out sofa bed and separate bathroom.


CityCenterDC: The 10-acre luxury mixed-use development adjacent to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in northwest DC is home to high-end shops and eateries. Phase 2 of CityCenterDC will see the $250 million, 360-room Herzog & de Meuron-designed Conrad Hotel open in 2019. In addition to retail, the property is expected to house a restaurant from Bryan and Michael Voltaggio.

Downtown: The former Four Points Sheraton is being transformed into a 209-room lifestyle property called Eaton Workshop. In addition to a bar and restaurant from Derek Brown (The Columbia Room) and Tim Ma (Kyirisan), respectively, the flagship property will sport unusual amenities designed to charm millennial travelers: a radio/podcasting studio; a 50-person movie theater; a co-working space for 370 members; a juice bar and wellness center offering alternative treatments. Future Eaton Workshops are planned for San Francisco and Seattle.

At 11th and K streets, DC’s first Moxy Hotel, a budget-minded, millennial-forward property with small rooms and grand public spaces is under development with no confirmed delivery date.

Mount Vernon Triangle: The SLS Hotel, DC’s first SLS-branded property, is expected to open at 5th and Eye Street NW in the first half of 2020 in Mount Vernon Triangle. The design-focused 12-story building will house a 198-room property on floors 2-8.  Fifty-nine SLS-branded condominiums will occupy floors 9-12. The mezzanine and cellar will house additional building amenities and a 5,500-square-foot ballroom.

A new 190-room AC Hotel by Marriott has been proposed for the corner of 11th and K streets NW.

Southwest Waterfront: Billing itself as “affordable luxury,” Citizen M, a Dutch hospitality brand, is expected to open a 252-room hotel at 5th and E streets SW featuring an open workspace with iMacs, a fitness and yoga studio and a rooftop lounge. A construction date has yet to be announced. 

Storey Park: The donut-shaped development coming to the site of the former Greyhound Bus station in NoMa (1005 First St. NE) will boast retail, a rooftop restaurant, office space, residential apartments and a 235-room hotel to open by summer 2019.

Union Market: DC’s first Virgin Hotel is expected to open near Union Market topped with a rooftop bar in the fall of 2019. The 178-room art-focused property will have, true to brand, an artist-in-residence program, neither fees for Wi-Fi nor early/late check-out and a Commons Club dining room. Also under development near the buzzing millennial-forward market, Mob Hotel, a Paris-based chain that expects to open its first of five planned North American hotels in DC. The Washington Business Journal estimated groundbreaking to take place in late 2018. The brand embraces neighborhood culture and programs arts talks and regular concerts in its lobbies.


Not one but two DC hotels have introduced temporary ice rinks for the holiday season. The Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown opens a rink wrapped by seats and firepits inside its interior courtyard on Nov. 24; the Watergate Hotel opens its rooftop rink Nov. 16, complete with skate-up bar. Downstairs on the patio of the Next Whisky Bar, the storied hotel has installed 12-foot high “igloo” lounges for private parties.

The Graham Hotel: In October, the Georgetown property joined the Hilton brand under its new Tapestry Collection, the first Tapestry hotel in Greater Washington and one of very few in the U.S.

Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked The Hay Adams Hotel 5th and The Melrose Georgetown Hotel 8th in their annual “10 Best Hotels in the United States” poll. 

Hotel Hive: Less than a year after opening in January 2017, the 83-room Foggy Bottom property claimed top spot on Trip Advisor’s list of “best value hotels” in the U.S. The independent hotel was DC’s first micro-hotel and has no major brand affiliation. Room rates hover around $100/night. There’s no room service but the onsite &pizza makes pies to order. Cocktails at the rooftop bar cost less than $10 a pop. 

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