More than 500 people gathered last night for the grand opening of Old Town’s latest getaway destination, the Lorien Hotel & Spa, a Kimpton Hotels property. The majority of the hotel was open for tours, including three suites on the terraced sixth floor as well as the in-house resort spa.
Notable names including Kimpton CEO Michael Depatie, designer and architect Vicente Wolfe, Brabo restaurant chef/owner Robert Wiedmaier and wife Polly, plus a collection of who’s who among the restaurant and public-relations communities in Washington.
Small bites and dinner stations were set up in several rooms, with Belgian and creative cuisine from Brabo, including charcuterie, goat-cheese mousse with endive bites, Peking-duck rolls, tempura shrimp, and peppered ahi tuna on cucumber slices. Among the drinks were a white cosmo that appeared to smoke with dry ice at the bottom of the glass.
Outdoors, guests mingled to tour the just-opened Butcher’s Block and Tasting Room, also owned by Wiedmaier, and chat on the interior patio, which featured a large fire pit. A long line formed for tastes of cassoulet and sausage bites being served outside.
Inside the restaurant, guests lingered over coffee and a lavish selection of desserts, including miniature chocolates, bites of bread pudding, a deconstructed carrot cake, and chocolate-covered strawberries.
After eating their fill, guests toured three open suites on the VIP sixth floor, which features exclusive terrace suites with amenities such as telescopes, private winetastings, and even on-demand picnics. Rooms were tastefully decorated in pale blues and whites, with thoughtful extras such as roomy desks and chic modern paintings. Bathrooms had enviably large marble showers.
On the ground level, attendees got tours of the in-house spa, a first for an Old Town hotel and resort. In one corner, a therapist delivered chair massages while guests roamed the five open treatment rooms and spoke to therapists about services available at the spa. A luxurious changing area and waiting room would seem to bode well for the spa’s future popularity.
After guests had eaten and mingled, they retreated to waiting hotel rooms (sold out for the night) or were ushered into their vehicles by a fleet of valet servers. But the journey didn’t end there: Each guest left with a chocolate-covered Belgian waffle courtesy of Brabo—a sweet treat to remember the night by.