Want to be among the first members of the new spa at The Watergate Hotel in Washington. DC?
Charter members will pay $5,000 for the two-year inaugural period, plus monthly fee of $250. Renovation of the iconic property continues, with opening now scheduled for spring 2016.
In an exclusive interview, Allen Hunt, Director of Spa and Membership, confirmed plans. The new spa will introduce an exciting mix of wellness and beauty, catering to both residents of the Watergate complex and celebrity guests.
To be called Argentta Spa, the 12,500 square foot complex will include an indoor swimming pool, exercise facility, and seven treatment rooms. Featured treatments by leading international brands will bring distinctive services to the new spa. Chosen by Hunt: vinotherapie pioneer Caudalie from France; Red Flower organic skin and nail care made in America; and developed in Switzerland for clinical care Cellcosmet (which is the female line) and Cellmen (which is the male line).
Hollywood-style festivities are planned for the hotel’s reopening. Beginning with a month-long tuneup in early 2016, the spa will be a focal point in the hotel’s $125-million makeover. Built 50 years ago, the hotel’s new look will be complete with staff costumed in mid-century modern outfits.
New features include a rooftop lounge providing panoramic views of the river and the nearby Kennedy Center. The newly expanded ballroom will be ready for Presidential inaugural parties, and an intimate dining room overlooking Rock Creek Parkway will be introduced.
The hotel is owned and operated by Euro Capital Properties. Rakel Cohen, the Canadian-bred director of design and development, said “I know that Americans look at the scandal as not something nice. But we’re trying to bring it in a delicate way and in a fun way.”
Janie Bryant, the uniform designer, said she watched “All The President’s Men” regularly, but that she was working to evoke “the elegance and the glamour of the hotel” rather than the politicians who made it infamous.
Developing extended sessions for treatments and personal training, Hunt envisions the spa becoming a vital part of the Watergate experience. Instead of hour-long appointments, guests will be offered enhanced services for two hours and longer, he told me.
A native Australian, Hunt brings almost 30 years of hospitality, leisure and spa experience to The Watergate Hotel. For the past three years he has been senior vice president of business development at WTS International, based in Rockville, MD.
Hunt began his storied career in the hotel industry at Australia’s Hayman Island Resort, and later at The Ritz Carlton Sydney. He then joined the team at The Hilton Sydney, quickly escalated from Front Office Manager to Rooms Division Manager and later Director of Guest Services. Throughout his 18 years with Hilton Worldwide, Inc. he oversaw service culture and development, food and beverage programming, and overall hotel operations and management.
Joining an Australia-based spa management firm introduced Hunt to global concepts. Branded by Spa Chakra in collaboration with Guerlain, Hunt successfully opened over 30 luxury spas over the course of 10 years. Introduced to Washington by The Nusta Spa, Hunt’s professional affiliations include The Washington Spa Alliance.
Photo used with permission from The Watergate Hotel/Euro Capital Properties