by Sarah J.F. Braley | May 01, 2015
Why here?
There's a special vibe that brings groups to the nation's capital, and a lot of hotel developments to entice planners. With the famous Watergate Hotel coming back online, and renovations completed at the Palomar, the Mayflower and Embassy Row properties, refreshed options abound.

Nearby News
 Marriott's third AC Hotel in the United States opened in April. The 192-room AC Hotel Washington, D.C., at National Harbor in Maryland offers 3,700 square feet of meeting space.

 The 10,000 square feet of event space at the 338-room Westin Arlington (Va.) Gateway has been redone. The hotel also features the Pinzimini Restaurant & Lounge, a Westin Workout gym and a Starbucks.

On a Roll
Take groups for a unique excursion on wheels -- no pedaling required. Among the scenic routes offered by City Segway Tours are day or night trips around the National Mall.

Grab Bag
DC Destinations, the District's destination marketing organization, has a gallery of gift items at planners' disposal. Choose the item and design, and add your own company logo.
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Local Update

 A $125 million renovation will finish up this summer with the reopening of the iconic Watergate Hotel. The site of the Watergate burglaries in 1972 and originally designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti in 1961, the hotel is being turned into a luxury property by designer Ron Arad. Most of the 343 guest rooms will have views of the Potomac River; food options will include a casual restaurant, a whiskey bar and a fine-dining outlet. Also on property will be a spa, an indoor pool, a 10,000-square-foot outdoor patio and 17,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 7,000-square-foot grand ballroom.

 A new 275-room InterContinental hotel will be built as part of The Wharf, a mixed-use waterfront development on the Washington Channel. To open toward the end of 2017, the property will feature a signature restaurant, a spa, a rooftop pool and a bar, plus 17,000 square feet of meeting space with water views. The developers will seek LEED Silver certification.

 The Trump Organization is redeveloping the Old Post Office, turning it into the Trump International Hotel, set to open in mid-2016. The property will have 270 guest rooms, 36,000 square feet of meeting space, a 5,000-square-foot luxury spa, a fitness center, restaurants and retail outlets.

 A $20 million renovation of all 583 guest rooms has been completed at the Mayflower Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel, the final phase of a propertywide project. The hotel has approximately 43,000 square feet of event space, and meals are offered at the Edgar Bar & Kitchen.

 The Embassy Row Hotel on Dupont Circle has finished a $15 million renovation. The property's 231 guest rooms and fitness center were redesigned, and the lobby now is anchored by the new Station Kitchen & Cocktails. The hotel includes a rooftop bar and a heated saltwater pool overlooking the city, along with 8,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space.

 Last December, JetBlue added nonstop flights from Fort Myers, Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Fla., to Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport, bringing the carrier's total of daily flights there to 30.

 The 10,000 square feet of meeting space at Kimpton's 335-room Hotel Palomar Washington DC has been redone in "preppy chic," played out in geometric patterns. The property offers in-room spa services, inspired Italian fare at Urbana Dining & Drinks and a private dining room for 12.