- Associated Press - Saturday, April 25, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - What was once one of the world’s most glamorous hotels soon hopes to reclaim its former reputation. After undergoing a $125 million renovation, The Watergate Hotel will reopen its doors this summer.

The hotel, which opened in 1965 and has been closed for the last seven years, will have 340 guest rooms, a fine dining restaurant, a whiskey bar, a 12,500 square-foot spa and fitness center and a rooftop bar and lounge with panoramic views of the Potomac River and the city - all in a mid-century modern design.

And the hotel’s interior isn’t the only aspect that’s being upgraded. The staff will get a new look, too.

Janie Bryant, the Emmy Award winning costume designer for AMC’s hit show “Mad Men,” was tasked with designing the staff uniforms for the new hotel. She says finding inspiration for the designs wasn’t difficult - she looked to the hotel’s historic glamour and its future plans for prestige.

“Another inspiration for me was to look back at the ‘50s and ‘60s - a period that I know very well - looking at what a lot of the uniforms were at the time,” Bryant says. “I’m here to make the world beautiful with uniforms . I just love that whole concept of bringing glamour back.”

The hotels owners and developers, Jacques and Rakel Cohen, hosted a topping off ceremony for the hotel last month. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Ward 2 council member Jack Evans were among those who attended. Both see the reopening, which will create jobs and attract tourists, as an economic plus for the city.

“The District has changed. We’re a real destination point now,” Evans says “I do believe if they can do what they’re saying they’re going to do and make this a four-star or five-star hotel, given the changes that have occurred in the city, this will become a real destination and people will want to stay here.”

The Watergate Hotel will also have an indoor pool, meeting and event space, a ballroom and 10,000 square feet of outdoor terraces overlooking the Potomac River.


Information from: WTOP-FM, https://www.wtop.com

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