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by Sarah JF Braley | June 14, 2016

Returning to a state of elegance, the 336-room Watergate Hotel reopens today following a $125 million renovation. The property has been closed since 2007 for the work.

The hotel, which originally opened in 1967, was designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti to look like a sail on the Potomac. Designers Ron Arad and Moroso took on the task of restoring some of hotel's original structures, such as the staircase and the indoor pool, while adding their own touches to the modernization of the property.

"The Watergate is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous and illustrious hotels in the world," said Rakel Cohen, senior vice president of design and development for the owners, Euro Capital Properties. "We paid meticulous attention to every detail in its renovation and we're excited to bring our vision to life. Its intrigue is driven by evocative design, from the deep-rooted retro feel to the mystique that lies behind every curve of the hotel's architecture."

Half of the guest rooms feature balconies, and there are six Diplomat Suites, 24 premier suites and two Presidential Suites. Zebrano marble decorates the bathrooms. For groups, the hotel has 27,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space, including the new 7,000-square-foot Moretti Grand Ballroom.

Executive chef Michael Santoro has created several distinctive food and beverage outlets. Kingbird, a contemporary dining room and bar, serves American cuisine with a French twist and features riverfront outdoor seating. The Next Whisky Bar, part of the lobby, has an extensive list of whiskys, bourbons and ryes from small-batch producers and large distillers; cigars are on the menu, as well, to be smoked on the terrace or the Top of the Gate rooftop, opening soon, which offers 360-degree views of the Potomac River, the Capitol and the Washington Monument.

Also opening soon is the Argentta Spa, a 12,000-square-foot facility with eight treatment suites, an indoor saltwater pool, a whirlpool, an aqua aerobic space, a barre studio and a state-of-the-art gym.