The Regal Style Of The New Waldorf Astoria In Washington, DC
Down the street from the White House, the hotel sits in a historic edifice with a fashionable interior
Regal is the word that describes the new Waldorf Astoria Washington, DC hotel that opened in June. Done in Romaneque style, it’s one of interior design high fashion and history. Set in the Old Post Office and Clock Tower, the building has been an icon for 123 years.
It was first the home of the General Post Office and DC post office until 1914, when it then became a federal office building. It was almost torn down but Nancy Hanks fought to keep the building up, and her efforts paid off. It has been a post office, an office building, a food court, and now a hotel.
The hotel’s General Manager Senih Geray opens up about the architectural history of the building. “Designed by Willoughby J. Edbrooke, Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department, the 123-year-old historic and castle-like structure is Romanesque Revival style, which was popularized by renowned architect, H.H. Richardson in the late nineteenth century. Prior to the transition to the Waldorf Astoria brand, architectural details of the original Old Post Office building were thoughtfully preserved including the clock tower, grand archways as well as the metal truss-work that extends across the lobby beneath the nine-story atrium.
The interior of the hotel is inviting. As you enter the main entrance there is a hallway, and as you continue walking there is the lobby. The lobby is set beside Peacock Alley, a Waldorf Astoria fixture with a full menu and a magnificent square-shaped bar with tall blue leather-backed chairs surrounding. The dark marble floor contrasts to the cream color braces that support the 9-story building. The blue and white large rug matches the gray, blue, and cream sofas and chairs.
There’s a color palette theme of cream and blue, with gold accents throughout the hotel, seen heavily in the rooms. The custom made dark blue drapes, though some are in cream are enchanting in every room. They offer a unique touch to each room, changing the mood when opened or closed with the electric sheers.
The King Bed, Deluxe King, Deluxe Two Queen, Premium King Bed, Premium Queen Beds, Grand King Bed, Junior Suite With Two Queen Beds, Junior Suite With 1 King Bed, One Bedroom With Extra Half Bath, and the Bi-Level Loft With Library guest rooms all come with an ornate wood bed frame and matching side tables. The uniquely designed headboard in these rooms exude regal edges with gold accenting around the top. The side tables boast the same style and wood with the gold detailing. The mattresses are custom made by Serta for Waldorf Astoria, tailored to reach a person’s respective comfort zones to bring relief to pressure points.
“The stunning environment of the Old Post Office will always be a core part of the experience, and while we do not anticipate any significant physical changes over the short term, we’re introducing new elements to align with Waldorf Astoria brand standards. The interior design, especially in regards to furnishings and the color palette, has remained the same during the transition to the Waldorf Astoria brand,” says Geray.
The Pennsylvania Avenue Suite is a one-bedroom suite with a contemporary canopy bed. With 1,500 square feet, it has views of DC’s famed Pennsylvania Avenue- the same street at the White House. With its own living room that includes a white sofa and white sitting chairs, with blue accenting in the drapes and pillows, it makes for a quaint and cozy suite. Photos of the city surround the suite, and it includes a large bedroom with walk in closet and small gym area.
The Bi-Level Loft With Library is two levels connected by a wrought iron spiral staircase, and the walls include the dark navy walls. With 860 square feet, there are a myriad of DC photos throughout history with gold frames to look at. A little office nook with a black desk offers a unique touch to the suite.
The Nancy Hanks Suite is named after Nancy Hanks, the former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Art’s, who stood up and fought to keep the Old Post Office from being torn down, and was behind the building being put on the National Historic Registry. With views of the Washington Monument, the sizeable living room with a cream sofa is modern, but the arm chairs have traditional touches. The desk sits in a 3-cornered nook of its own and blue and white pillows and lamps offer a unique touch. Te bedroom includes the most inspiring and relaxing 18th century-esque four-poster bed with curtains. A TV that goes down into its own TV box sits directly in front of the bed, and a window sitting nook, and arm chairs grace the room.
The Capitol One Bedroom Suite boasts views of the US Capitol and FBI Buildings. With a larger living room than other suites, it contains a similar design aesthetic of neutral colored furniture with gold accenting, white paneling, and blue and white pillows and lamps. The bedroom has the same 4-poster bed and set up as the Nancy Hanks Suite.
The Post Office One Bedroom and Franklin One Bedroom Suites include white paneling, and six-seater dining room tables for entertaining. Though the latter suite has a contemporary canopy bed.
The Presidential One Bedroom Suite has wood paneling style. Starting at $17,190, it is located where the US Postmaster General’s office was. With United States Postal Service symbols seen throughout the suite it includes its own living room and dining area- and has its own butler entrance. The four-poster bed is relaxing, and there is a separate office.
All rooms come with their own spa-like glass enclosed showers, and all suites have their own soaking bathtubs. Nespresso machines, house slippers, bathrobes, electric sheers, a clothes steamer, fridge, minibar, and safe are in all rooms.
If there’s time for the Waldorf Astoria Spa on the ground floor, you won’t want to miss it. With 10,000 square feet it’s relaxing and inviting. There’s something feminine yet masculine about the design style. The latte colored walls, curbed archways, and modern furniture- along with the shower rainfall makes it an oasis in the heart of a city buzzing with politics. The six treatment rooms mirror the same ambience as the public areas. The men and women’s shower rooms are modern and come with showers and lockers, as well as hair and beauty amenities for those who may not have a room upstairs.
Meticulously designed meeting spaces
The Franklin Study is filled with various sized photos of DC’s famed Cherry Blossom trees and flowers. Located on the main floor with hardwood floors, it’s an inviting room with cream walls, lush curtains, high ceilings, and intimate space. Its sister room, the Lincoln Library contains woodwork, windows, and carved plaster-crown molding that’s original to the building’s conception. With photos of the sixteenth president around the room, there’s something quite masculine about the room, compared to the Franklin Study, which is more feminine.
There’s over 38,000 square foot of entertaining space in the hotel, including the city’s largest ballroom. With high ceilings, it can be divided into 3 rooms. With 13,200 square feet total, the blue carpet with designs, tall ceilings, and grand chandeliers make it the best spot to host an event. Washington is known for being a social scene with political, social, and diplomatic events happening almost every night of the week, so under the Waldorf Astoria, it’s bound host top events.
Now, if you’re asking if this was the former Trump International Hotel DC, then the answer is yes. The Trump Organization bought the lease of the Old Post Office from the U.S. General Services Administration in 2013. Renovating the building for $200 million dollars, it opened in 2016. But by 2019 the Trump Organization began to speak of selling the hotel. This year CGI Merchant Group obtained the lease for $375 million. It’s the most money a Washington, DC has ever sold for at $1.43 million per room. Eric Trump, Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization commented the sell in May:
But now under new owners, the Waldorf Astoria has brought its hospitality to America’s capital city. “We’re incredibly proud to be in this iconic building with such an enduring legacy,” continues Geray. “Our guestrooms, each with a unique layout, pay tribute to this history, with wainscoting, wood doors, crown moldings and windows of the building’s original décor. In addition, throughout the hotel, a sophisticated art program tells the story of the Old Post Office and the history of the city.”