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by Sarah J.F. Braley | May 01, 2016
Why here?
Rapid development is bringing more choices to the nation's capital. The revamped Watergate Hotel opens this month, a new Kimpton property just debuted and a Trump hotel is set to open in September. Plus, the convention center has added new food and shopping outlets.


VENUE NEWS FLASH
 Working with technology-services provider Smart City, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is expanding and boosting its free WiFi services across all 2.3 million square feet.

 Events DC, the district's convention and sports authority, now  manages Gateway DC, a covered open-air pavilion adjacent to the R.I.S.E. Center. The sustainable facility features an inviting park for outdoor events.


BIG PLANS
Under consideration is an effort to redevelop the old RFK Stadium area, where the NFL's D.C. team once played. Possibilities include a new stadium or arena, plus a science center, shops, restaurants and parks.


BELTWAY BAUBLES
Gifts that are themed to the destination can be more meaningful when they come from the capital city of the USA. IconsDC is a one-stop shop for items such as this White House humidor or a Wedgwood bicentennial tankard.
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WASHINGTON, D.C.

Local Update

 The first phase of a $27 million renovation at the 415-room Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown, is complete. The work included updating all guest rooms; adding two specialty suites, for a total of seven; and refurbishing the meeting space, including a new 2,900-square-foot junior ballroom. A second phase will begin in July and will encompass the hotel's lobby, courtyard and on-site restaurant, Juniper.

The luxury 336-room Watergate Hotel reopens this month after a $125 million revamp. The property, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, will have 27,000 square feet of function space, along with the Next Whisky Bar in the lobby, the Kingbird signature restaurant and Top of the Gate, offering lounging on the rooftop.

 A propertywide renovation has been completed at the 335-room Kimpton Hotel Palomar DC. All rooms were redone, as well as all public and meeting spaces. A new bridal suite can be used as a hospitality suite. The property's 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space was redesigned in early 2015. The restaurant, Urbana Dining & Drinks, features fresh Italian dishes accented with herbs gathered from the rooftop garden.

 Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants' newest D.C. property, the Mason & Rook Hotel, is now open, offering 178 guest rooms and 4,000 square feet of meeting space. The "culinary-focused" bar, Radiator, features seasonal dishes; guests also can enjoy the rooftop pool and bar.

 The area around the convention center is being redeveloped, bringing retail, restaurants and local services to the neighborhood. Among the establishments coming soon are local chef Michelle Richard's Unconventional Diner (set to open this year), an Urban Athletic Club, a Union Kitchen Grocery, the Smoked & Stacked sandwich shop, and the Morris craft cocktail bar.

 Following a $200 million renovation, the Old Post Office reopens as the 262-room Trump International Hotel on Sept. 12, featuring restaurants, a café, a library, a fitness center and a 4,000-square-foot spa. The 38,000 square feet of meeting space will include a 13,000-square-foot grand ballroom. Oliver Beckert has been named as executive chef, joining the Trump brand after 20 years with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.