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This Black-owned Luxury Hotel Just Completed a Multimillion-dollar Renovation in One of Washington, D.C.’s Trendiest Neighborhoods

Following a year-long multimillion-dollar renovation project, Salamander Washington, D.C., formerly the Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C., has witnessed a remarkable transformation. The property now features upgraded guest rooms, stunning communal spaces, and a soon-to-be-unveiled luxurious two-story spa and sensational restaurant.

Under the stewardship of Salamander Collection Founder and CEO Sheila Johnson, who took over the property in late 2022, the project will infuse the same level of opulence as her Forbes Five-Star-rated Salamander Middleburg. “My vision is that Salamander DC mirrors the mystique, graceful simplicity, and comfortable luxury as the Middleburg property but in an urban setting,” Johnson told Travel + Leisure.

Courtesy of Salamander Washington DC

Upon entering the property, guests are greeted by an impressive collection of artworks, including a bas-relief installation by Art Space NYC that highlights iconic landmarks such as the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

The revitalized Salamander Spa, debuting this fall, will be a destination in itself, offering a variety of rejuvenating treatments, from hot stone therapies to signature massages like Dream Catcher — perfect for promoting sleep and relaxation. The spa will also house a state-of-the-art fitness center, an indoor lap pool, and a men’s grooming lounge with vintage-style chairs, plaid wall coverings, and specially curated coffees, whiskeys, and bourbons.

Dōgon, the hotel’s new Afro-Caribbean restaurant, set to open in late summer, draws inspiration from historic cartographer, mathematician, and astronomer, Benjamin Banneker, who was a descendant of the Dōgon tribe of Mali. The restaurant will serve creative dishes reflecting the unique Nigerian, Jamaican, Trinidadian, and Creole heritage of its founder, chef Kwame Onwuachi.

Courtesy of Salamander Washington DC

Renowned interior designer Thomas Pheasant was tapped to spearhead the property’s transformation, and his touches are evident in the sophisticated neutral color palette and neoclassical-inspired furnishings. The hotel’s lobby Lounge has also received a lavish update, with a bronze-accented rotunda, a ceiling of soft blue hues, and glass lighting reminiscent of the elegant movements of horses. Throughout the property are artworks curated by Johnson, including some of her own photography, as well as other artistic references.

Courtesy of Salamander Washington DC

With a prime location overlooking the Washington Marina, the hotel offers easy access to downtown D.C.’s notable attractions and events. Guests can explore the city on one of the property’s cruiser bikes, utilize the Salamander Gem Car service to the National Mall area and the District Wharf, or catch the metro at L’Enfant Plaza station, just a five-minute walk from the hotel.

Recently, Johnson introduced a new offering, which she describes as a way to “savor and enjoy the distinct characteristics of both D.C.-area hotels.” For a taste of the city and the countryside, travelers can now reserve the Capital & Country package, which includes stays at both Salamander Washington, D.C., and its sibling property, Salamander Middleburg Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia.

Nightly rates at Salamander Washington, D.C. start at $350. Book your stay at salamanderdc.com.

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