When the W Washington DC opened in 2009, the capital was abuzz with the excitement of a thrilling new President, one who endlessly extolled, “Yes, we can.” Ten years on, and DC is awash in dreadful ideological divisiveness, the likes of which have never surely been seen.
But the W has nothing but love to give. And a $50 million makeover has left her looking as shiny and new as the day she first threw open her doors.
Fittingly, with the American press now under perpetual attack, guests are greeted at the new welcome desk by artist Amit Greenberg’s ‘freedom of speech’ referencing cartoons, an immediate reminder of what all those surrounding monuments really do stand for. For added gravitas, there’s a replica of the Capital Dome’s ceiling fresco – an impressive show of grandiosity.
That carries on upstairs, with neo-classical design elements in the rooms, which contrast smartly with sexy, mod red, white and grey color schemes. But there’s also plenty of fun to be had, with Greenberg’s presidential pillow caricatures presenting the perfect irreverent selfie opportunity. In the Extreme Wow Suite (which easily lives up to its name), mirrored ceilings dramatically capture reflected views of the National Mall below.
For mealtime power schmoozing, the new Cherry restaurant does epicurean woodfire grilling in elegantly stylish, candlelit surrounds – including dramatic archways framing majestic views of the capital just outside. And after the those epoch-shaping treaties have been signed, there’s gourmet pizza, craft beers and bocce ball to celebrate with at yet another new eatery, the cheekily named Corner Office.
But up on the rooftop, POV is where the gossip-worthy rendezvous will surely be taking place. Or you can simply take a moment to glance solemnly down upon 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, while sipping cocktails named for once great presidents, and recall those times when hope actually did prevail.