Short Stay: Watergate Hotel, Washington, D.C. – Review

By Jesse Sokolow on 29 September 2016
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Washington, D.C. is a city steeped in political history, and perhaps no other building in the district is as notorious as the Watergate Hotel, made infamous during the 1970s scandal that led to President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation.

The hotel is part of the larger Watergate Complex, which includes apartments and office space, the latter being the site of the actual break-in (although the perpetrators did stay in the Watergate Hotel).

However, although the hotel’s name has become synonymous with political scandal in general (hence Irangate and Dieselgate), instead of trying to distance itself, the property embraces the notoriety. Indeed, there are friendly tongue-in-cheek reminders sprinkled throughout, including pencils embossed with “I stole this from the Watergate Hotel” and a slogan on room keys reading “No need to break in.” For the most part the hotel is simply that, a hotel.

I arrived at the nearby Foggy Bottom Metro station and walked the three blocks to the hotel, where the doorman greeted me in a most formal yet polite manner and directed me to the front desk. . The check-in process took a matter of minutes, and I was in the elevator on the way to my room.

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My Deluxe Room was furnished with a queen size bed and had a sitting area with a sofa and a coffee table with a nice assortment of magazines in front of it. A flat screen TV faced the bed, although the views from a balcony provided a glimpse into a portion of the Watergate Complex and the Potomac River, as well as parts of nearby Georgetown, and competed with the television many a time.

Nightstands flanking the bed had reading lamps and easily accessible power outlets. I retired for a mid-day nap, and awoke feeling refreshed possibly as the consequence of resting on a very comfortable mattress.

The bathroom had a unique layout, with the bathtub located inside a glass-enclosed shower stall, next to a space to stand for showers, an improvement that aids in keeping bathroom floors dry, even for exuberant bathers. Bath amenities including shampoo, body wash, and conditioner were provided and displayed within.

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