Mariam Kariam, catering director for Starwood Hotels, was showing off the new rooftop at the W Hotel recently, pointing out the panoramic views of the Mall, Washington Monument and White House when suddenly Marine One lifted off from the South Lawn of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
"Cue the president!" she joked to her client, as President Barack Obama and his family headed off for a weekend at Camp David. "We've got pretty good neighbors.
When the new W Hotel opens next week at the corner of 15th & E streets N.W., it will replace The Hotel Washington, which was completed in 1924 during the second administration of Calvin Coolidge.
When the hotel finally closed in 2007, one woman had been working there for 72 years. During that time, the hotel served guests like John Wayne and Tom Cruise. Elvis stayed in room 506 for a week in 1970.
"We get to keep the best of the historical elements of an old hotel and combine it with today's modern design," said General Manager Edward Baten.
The new W leaves little doubt that the Congress of Cool is in session, from its rooftop bar to its luxurious Bliss spa.
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