Just down the street from the White House, the hotel is located in a historic building with a fashionable interior
Regal is the word that describes the new Waldorf Astoria Washington, DC hotel that opened in June. Done in Romanesque style, it is one of interior design, high fashion and history. Housed 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 nearly torn down, but Nancy Hanks fought to keep the building going, and her efforts were rewarded. It used to be a post office, an office building, a food court and now a hotel.
The hotel’s General Manager Senih Geray talks about the building’s architectural history. Designed by Willoughby J. Edbrooke, supervising architect for the United States Department of the Treasury, the 123-year-old historic and castle-like structure is in Romanesque Revival style, popularized in the late 1800s by renowned architect HH Richardson. Transitioning to the Waldorf Astoria brand, architectural details of the original Old Post Office building were carefully preserved, including the clock tower, grand arches, and the metal truss spanning the lobby below the nine-story atrium.
The interior of the hotel is inviting. When you enter the main entrance there is a corridor and as you walk further there is the lobby. The lobby is located next to Peacock Alley, a Waldorf Astoria establishment with a full menu and a beautiful square bar surrounded by high blue leather-backed chairs. The dark marble floor contrasts with the cream colored braces that support the 9-storey building. The blue and white large rug matches the grey, blue and cream sofas and chairs.
A color palette theme of cream and blue, with gold accents throughout the hotel, is strongly reflected in the rooms. The custom dark blue curtains, although some in cream are enchanting in any room. They provide each room with a unique touch and change the atmosphere when opened or closed with the electric display cases.
The King Bed, Deluxe King, Deluxe Two Queen, Premium King Bed, Premium Queen Beds, Grand King Bed, Junior Suite with 2 Queen Beds, Junior Suite with 1 King Bed, 1 Bedroom with Extra Half Bath, and the Bi-Level Loft The rooms of Library all feature an ornate wooden bed frame and matching side tables. The uniquely designed headboard in these rooms exudes royal edges with gold accents around the top. The side tables have the same style and wood with the golden details. The mattresses are custom made by Serta for Waldorf Astoria, tailored to reach a person’s respective comfort zones to relieve pressure points.
“The stunning setting of the old post office will always be a core part of the experience, and while we don’t expect significant physical changes in the near term, we are introducing new elements that align with Waldorf Astoria’s brand standards. The interior design, especially with regard to furniture and 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 four poster bed. At 1,500 square feet, it overlooks DC’s famous Pennsylvania Avenue – the same street in the White House. With its own living room with a white sofa and white armchairs, with blue accents in the curtains and cushions, it makes for a quaint and cozy suite. Pictures of the city surround the suite, and it has a master bedroom with walk-in closet and a small gym.
The two-level loft with library consists of two levels connected by a wrought iron spiral staircase, and the walls feature the dark navy walls. At 860 square feet, there are a myriad of gold-framed DC photos throughout history to look at. A small office corner with a black desk gives the suite a unique touch.
Named after Nancy Hanks, the former president of the National Endowment for the Art’s, who stood up and fought to keep the old post office from being demolished, and sat behind the building that was placed on the National Historic Registry. Overlooking the Washington Monument, the large living room with a cream sofa is modern, but the armchairs have traditional touches. The desk sits in its own three-cornered corner, and blue and white cushions and lamps provide a unique touch. The bedroom contains the most inspiring and relaxing 18e century canopy bed with curtains. A TV that goes down in its own TV box sits directly in front of the bed, and a window sitting area and armchairs adorn the room.
The One Bedroom Capitol Suite offers views of the US Capitol and FBI buildings. With a larger living area than other suites, it incorporates a similar design aesthetic of neutral-colored furniture with gold accents, white panels, and blue and white pillows and lamps. The bedroom has the same four-poster bed and is furnished as the Nancy Hanks Suite.
... Office One Bedroom and Franklin One Bedroom Suites have white paneling and dining tables for six for entertaining. Although the last suite has a contemporary four poster bed.
The one-bedroom presidential suite has wood paneling. It starts at $17,190 and is located where the US Postmaster General’s office used to be. With United States Postal Service symbols seen throughout the suite, it has its own living room and dining room and has its own butler entrance. The four poster bed is relaxing and there is a separate office.
All rooms have their own spa-like glass shower cubicles and all suites have their own bathtub. All rooms are equipped with Nespresso machines, house slippers, bathrobes, electric razors, a clothes steamer, a refrigerator, a minibar and a safe.
If there’s time for the Waldorf Astoria Spa on the ground floor, you don’t want to miss it. At 10,000 square feet, it is relaxing and inviting. The design style has something feminine yet masculine. The latte-colored walls, vaulted arches and modern furnishings – along with the rainfall in the shower, make it an oasis in the heart of a city bustling with politics. The six treatment rooms reflect the same atmosphere as the public areas. The men’s and women’s shower rooms are modern and equipped with showers and lockers, as well as hair and beauty products for those who don’t have an upstairs room.
Meticulously designed meeting rooms
The Franklin Study is full of photos of various sizes of DC’s famous Cherry Blossom trees and flowers. Located on the ground floor with hardwood floors, it is an inviting room with cream walls, opulent curtains, high ceilings and intimate space. The sister room, the Lincoln Library, contains woodwork, windows, and carved plaster cornices original to the building’s conception. With pictures of the sixteenth president in the room, there’s something very masculine about the room, compared to the Franklin Study, which is more feminine.
There is over 38,000 square feet of entertainment space in the hotel, including the city’s largest ballroom. With high ceilings, it can be divided into 3 rooms. With a total of 13,200 square meters, the blue carpet with designs, high ceilings and large chandeliers makes it the best place 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 below the Waldorf Astoria, it’s tied to top events.
Now if you’re asking if this was the former Trump International Hotel DC, the answer is yes. The Trump Organization bought the lease of the Old Post Office from the US General Services Administration in 2013. The building was renovated for $200 million dollars and opened in 2016. But in 2019, the Trump Organization started talking about selling the hotel. This year, CGI Merchant Group secured the lease for $375 million. It’s the most money a Washington, DC has ever sold at $1.43 million per room. Eric Trump, Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, commented on the sale in May:
But now, under new owners, the Waldorf Astoria has brought its hospitality to America’s capital. “We are incredibly proud to be in this iconic building with such a lasting legacy,” continued Geray. “Our rooms, each with a unique layout, pay tribute to this history, with panelling, wooden doors, cornices and windows from the building’s original decor. In addition, a sophisticated art program throughout the hotel tells the story of the Old Post Office and the history of the city.”