Watergate Hotel reopens after nine years, embracing 60s glitz and scandal (Photos)

The newly-renovated Watergate Hotel has reopened, after a $125 million, six-year renovation. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The newly-renovated Watergate Hotel is luxurious and evocative of the 1960s, when visitors and residents included Elizabeth Taylor. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The Next Whisky Bar is carved into the lobby of the new Watergate Hotel. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The Next Whisky Bar is carved into the lobby of the new Watergate Hotel. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The spirit list highlights whisky, bourbon and rye from small batch producers and large distillers. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Cigars are available for sale in the lobby bar, and can be enjoyed on the outdoor terrace or rooftop. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The lobby of the Watergate features custom metal art installations. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The lobby of the recently renovated Watergate Hotel features custom metal art installations. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Walking into the lobby of the Watergate Hotel is like a trip back to the 1960s. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Walking into the lobby of the Watergate Hotel is like taking a trip back to the 1960s. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The “Watergate” chair, designed by Ron Arad, and all of the features of the hotel have rounded edges. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Half the guestrooms in the Watergate have balconies, with gorgeous views. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Half the guestrooms in the Watergate have balconies, with gorgeous views. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The feel is very "Mad Men" in the new Watergate Hotel. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The feel is very “Mad Men” in the newly renovated Watergate Hotel. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Plush bedding and extraordinary views are part of the newly-renovated Watergate experience. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Plush bedding and extraordinary views are part of the newly-renovated Watergate experience. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The key card and pencil pay homage to the Watergate Hotel's 1972 political scandal. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The key card pays homage to the Watergate Hotel’s 1972 political scandal. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Glass showers, fluffy towels, and spaciousness in the spa-inspired bathrooms. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Glass showers, fluffy towels, and spaciousness in the spa-inspired bathrooms. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The hotel’s opening rates begin at $425 per night — bathrobes are extra. The hotel’s signature scent, Red Flower Oakwood is gratis.  (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Most of the 336 guestrooms have breathtaking views of the Potomac River. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The original staircase and indoor pool have been restored. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The original staircase and indoor pool have been restored. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
A brightly-colored elevator is an example of attention to detail throughout the hotel. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
A brightly-colored elevator is an example of attention to detail throughout the hotel. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The menu in Kingbird is ingredient-driven American cuisine with a French twist, overseen by executive chef Michael Santoro. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The chandeliers in Kingbird, designed by Ron Arad, are a derivative of the Watergate logo. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The chandeliers in Kingbird, designed by Ron Arad, are derivative of the Watergate logo. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Two-story windows provide a fabulous view for diners. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Two-story windows provide a fabulous view of the Potomac River and Georgetown for diners. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein) (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
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The newly-renovated Watergate Hotel has reopened, after a $125 million, six-year renovation. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The Next Whisky Bar is carved into the lobby of the new Watergate Hotel. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The spirit list highlights whisky, bourbon and rye from small batch producers and large distillers. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The lobby of the Watergate features custom metal art installations. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Walking into the lobby of the Watergate Hotel is like a trip back to the 1960s. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Half the guestrooms in the Watergate have balconies, with gorgeous views. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The feel is very "Mad Men" in the new Watergate Hotel. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Plush bedding and extraordinary views are part of the newly-renovated Watergate experience. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The key card and pencil pay homage to the Watergate Hotel's 1972 political scandal. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Glass showers, fluffy towels, and spaciousness in the spa-inspired bathrooms. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The original staircase and indoor pool have been restored. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
A brightly-colored elevator is an example of attention to detail throughout the hotel. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The chandeliers in Kingbird, designed by Ron Arad, are a derivative of the Watergate logo. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Two-story windows provide a fabulous view for diners. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

WASHINGTON — The Watergate Hotel knows that one of the main reasons you might be interested in spending $425 per night is because of the political scandal that occurred there in 1972.

While you might come to the Watergate for the burglary scandal at the office building that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, the owners believe you will stay — and return — because of the $125 million renovation that turned the once-dated Watergate into a luxury, 1960s retro hotel.

Guest key cards read “no need to break in,” a nod to the burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, which at the time was located on the sixth floor of the hotel and office building.

Opening for business Tuesday, the hotel now features sculptural, modern furnishings and custom metal art installations in the public spaces, and floor-to-ceiling marble tile and ultra-luxurious bedding and linens in 336 guest rooms, most with views of the Potomac River.

If you’re thinking “Mad Men,” so are the owners of the hotel. The show’s costume designer Janie Bryant created the employee uniforms, after combing through old Conde Nast magazines for inspiration.

Designed in 1961 by Italian architect Luigi Moretti in 1961 to look like a sail on the Potomac, the hotel opened in 1967.

The Watergate Hotel fell into disrepair and has remained vacant since 2007. The other four buildings in the complex, which house cooperative apartments and offices, have remained open.

Over the years, residents of the Watergate have included Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Dole, Placido Domingo, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Monica Lewinsky.

Current owners, Euro Capital Properties, based in New York City, gutted the building, which now features 336 upscale guest rooms, including 24 Premiere suites, six Diplomat suites and two Presidential suites.

Designer Ron Arad and Italian designer Moroso restored some of the hotel’s original structures, including the staircase and indoor pool.

The newly opened hotel includes 27,000 square feet of meeting and function space, including a grand ballroom, with outdoor space overlooking the Potomac.

With the Kingbird restaurant and Next Whisky Bar overseen by Executive Chef Michael Santoro, the Top of the Gate is the hotel’s first-ever rooftop lounge with 360-degree views of the river, Capitol and Washington Monument.

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