The Watergate is continuing to blanket its iconic D.C. property with a series of outdoor wintertime pop-ups this season, with the latest inviting après-ski fans to pop bon bons by day and sip rare chocolate-infused bourbons and whiskies by night.
The new installation, dubbed Chalet Winter Wonderland, packs in snow-topped picnic tables, a fire pit, a heated indoor igloo, and an actual wooden Chalet on Kingbird’s terrace.
Last fall, the rooftop bar Top of the Gate was rebranded as Top of the Skate — a transformation that included adding a rectangular-shaped synthetic ice rink, hot pretzels and strombolis, and hot booze. And its lobby-level Next Whisky Bar set up a series of heated and furnished “igloos” to rent out, starting at $200 for a group of eight. Both setups are sticking around through at least March, the hotel tells Eater.
The tricked out clear cave that’s starring in its newest Chalet Winter Wonderland pop-up is rent free this time around and doesn’t require a reservation to eat and drink inside.
During the day, the space will function as a grab-and-go chocolate shop (11 a.m to 3 p.m. on weekends and Valentine’s Day), with for-sale splurges like Old Fashioned cake, bon bons, and blonde chocolate bark with banana, shaved coconut and cocoa nibs, all made by The Watergate’s pastry chef, Kieu-Linh Nguyen. Bites range in price from $2 to $10.
A nighttime chocolate bar (daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) will serve spiked (or virgin) hot chocolate, chocolate-dipped giant marshmallows, and shareable s’mores with cookies. And what the hotel is branding as a “chocolate mixologist” curated a lineup of rare chocolate-infused bourbon, vodkas and whiskies that’ll make their way into cocktails.
The Watergate isn’t the only D.C. property cashing in on the luxury “après ski” theme.
This week Shaw’s La Jambe (1550 7th Street NW) transformed into a cozy French Alps getaway, with fondue for groups of three to six, raclette, duck confit, vin chaud, and specialty cocktails available through Sunday, February 26. And Stable (1324 H Street NE) just released a new après ski cocktail menu last month, with authentic (albeit, hard-to-pronounce) Swiss drinks like Glühwein, with winter spiced red wine, and Stroh Jägertee, featuring spiced rum liquor, hot water, and lemon.