“No need to break in”, says The Watergate Hotel, in the 50th anniversary year of the most notorious political scandal

“No need to break in”, says The Watergate Hotel, in the 50th anniversary year of notorious political scandal

The luxury property is coming off an especially high-profile year, marking Watergate’s 50th anniversary with a promotion that included packaged stays in the ‘Scandal Suite’ where, 50 years ago, a lookout team including E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy used two-way radios and binoculars to keep watch as five burglars broke into the Democratic National Convention office next door, in the Watergate complex office building.

While this year’s ‘Scandal Suite’ packages coincided with the June 2022 anniversary of that famous – or infamous – night, guests at The Watergate Hotel can book what was once room 214, now known as the Scandal Suite, year-round based on availability. It’s an in-demand room, especially for politics and history buffs.

Decked out in black and white decor, with high-impact hits of red, the Scandal Suite has all sorts of vintage accoutrements in keeping with the Watergate vibe. There’s a reel-to-reel tape recorder – no doubt Nixon would have been impressed – and an Olivetti Lettera typewriter. Guests can relax in modern comfort, meanwhile, in a queen size bed. And the luxe bathroom is all black marble and silver (with complimentary bathrobes marked, naturally, as ‘Cover Up’).

The real standout in the room is the gallery wall, featuring newspaper front pages from the turbulent times. ‘Nixon Resigns’ blares the inches-tall headline in the Daily News. ‘Nixon Quits’ was the choice of the London Herald. Amidst all the headlines, there are choice quotes from Nixon himself: “When the President does it, that means it’s not illegal.”

And of course, there’s Nixon’s very brief and to-the-point resignation letter, dated Aug. 9, 1974. With all the focus on the June 1972 night at the Watergate, it’s easy to forget that Nixon did win re-election in 1972, cruising to a decisive victory. But his second term in office didn’t last long.

The Watergate Hotel makes the most of its famous history, and rightly so. But the property also has a lot to offer anyone visiting Washington, D.C. for business or leisure. A great location in Foggy Bottom, at the western edge of Georgetown, puts guests in close proximity to all the shops, restaurants, pubs and more that have made the neighbourhood’s M St. NW such a draw for visitors and locals. A 10-minute walk to the Foggy Bottom-GWU metro station puts guests on track to all of Washington, D.C.’s historic sites.

The Watergate Hotel is also home to its own restaurant, Kingbird, and The Next Whiskey Bar, plus the stunning Top of the Gate, a rooftop lounge with 360-degree views of the Kennedy Center, the Potomac, Washington Monument and the city skyline.

Operating as a hotel since 1967 (when it created a scandal of its own, long before Nixon, because of its ground-breaking architectural style), the property saw various owners from the 1980s through the early 2000s. On June 1, 2016 it reopened under its current ownership with a brand new stylish look.

For more details see https://www.thewatergatehotel.com/.

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