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D.C.’s W Hotel Has a Brand New Lobby But No Restaurant Yet

The first phase of the downtown hotel’s renovation has arrived

W Hotel’s new check-in area. Guests can pour free hot apple cider nearby.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

D.C.’s W Hotel unveiled its lobby-level renovation this month, but ongoing construction to the former Pinea space means there’s still no restaurant at the luxe venue near the White House. A temporary bar, however, is slinging drinks in the lobby.

The new lobby boasts satirical cartoons on the check-in desks, a free photo booth, and a sleek streamlined look as part of a $50 million months-long overhaul that’s expected to be completed by the time cherry blossoms reach full bloom.

The historic Beaux Arts building, erected in 1917, emerged as the 317-room W Hotel a decade ago (515 15th Street NW). The refurbished lobby celebrates its home turf, with mirrors mimicking the The Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool and fresco art reminiscent of the Capitol dome.

A political cartoon is part of a desk at the redesigned W.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

New York City’s Studio GAIA (the architecture and interior design firm behind Jay Z’s 40/40 nightclub, D.C.’s Donovan House, and W hotels in Mexico City and Seoul) is working with W’s in-house design team on the top-to-bottom renovation.

DGS alum Barry Koslow’s Italian restaurant, Pinea, will be replaced by a small plates venture with an open kitchen by late spring, according to posted signage in the lobby. Its companion bar, Root Cellar, is transforming into “an intimate new speakeasy,” per a release.

The glitzy rooftop bar POV is expected to reopen in the spring, sporting a new Brutalist-style architecture with floor-to-ceiling glass leading to the terrace with the same spectacular views of the National Mall.

A staff member tells Eater an incoming sky box will provide a bird’s eye view of the lobby action below, which will also feature a DJ booth. The lobby, dubbed the Living Room, is expected to “expand its offerings and offer more live music and DJs every night of the week,” adds a release.

The lobby level’s new lounge area, complete with a complimentary photo booth.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC
The temporary corner drinking station at the W Hotel.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC


515 15th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004 (202) 661-2440 Visit Website