by Amanda Geronikos
Following extensive renovations, Washington, D.C.’s Watergate Hotel reopened with much fanfare in 2016. The luxurious property, which grandly overlooks the Potomac River, is a short walk from the closest metro station.
The deluxe Washington D.C. hotel offers more than 336 guestrooms and suites with flat-screen TVs, Nespresso machines and complimentary Wi-Fi, plus floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms. Most accommodations have one king or two queen beds. Cribs are available upon request.
Pro Tip: For a real treat, book a stay in the American Girl doll-themed suite, which debuted in 2018.
The Watergate Hotel features an indoor swimming pool, with three lap lanes and an aerobic area. While it’s best for adults, kids are welcome. A fitness center is also available to guests of the hotel, as is an amazing spa.
Our Editor Loves
- Luxury Washington D.C. hotel
- Location on the Potomac River
- Deluxe guestrooms and suites
- Free Wi-Fi
This hotel has a few positives, but it is poorly managed and suffers a lot of misses. First, they aggressively attempted, with multiple efforts, to upgrade our room upon check-in. Then, the room did not match the oversold description. Our deluxe, riverfront room with balcony was very small and unimpressive. Much or the decor was dated and the carpet was soiled. It was virtually impossible to see the river from the room without pushing our faces against the window on one corner. However, the bathroom was very nice.
We went up to the rooftop bar in late afternoon. The view was terrific, but there were a couple of catches. First, there was plenty of room, but very few seats in the main bar area and we were forced to stand. This caused us to leave earlier than we planned. We also were required to permit staff to swipe our credit card for each purchase to "guarantee" the room charge. That made us feel like potential thieves as opposed to valued guests.
We had dinner at the Kingbird restaurant. The staff was very polite and apologetic. The dining room was quite nice, but the chairs were very uncomfortable. The high, angled position of the arm rests required us to hold our arms at a high angle away from our bodies. One of our entrees was not eatable and was returned. The other items and the service was very good. But again, this hotel just seems to be missing on a cylinder or two at every turn.
Upon checkout, our bill was incorrect. They failed to credit a $500.00 gift certificate we presented upon check-in towards our balance and charged the entire amount to our credit card. After a delay for the manager to review and post the credit, they issued a credit to our credit card for the overcharge.
Finally, it is evident this facility has benefited from a significant remodel in recent years. However, the work was not complete. Among other items, the balcony was dirty and rusty, and elevators were very, very slow. We were on the third floor and waited as long as 10 minutes for a car to arrive. The staff was very pleasant in every situation. They were quick to apologize for some of the odd practices and policies as though they find it necessary to do so often. We would strongly suggest skipping this hotel until new management smooths out the rough edges to make this place more welcoming.
I enjoyed my stay at the Watergate so much I wish I didn't have to leave so soon. The staff is super polite from the host to the doorman. The roof top has the most beautiful view of DC. Overall 5 stars !!