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.
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.