“During the inauguration, you’ve got the eyes of the world looking at Washington,” says Wardman Park’s general manager Ed Rudzinski. He doesn’t take that responsibility lightly.
That’s why Rudzinski’s Woodley Park hotel recently completed a $100 million renovation. The upgrades and additions were taken on in anticipation of the thousands of people who will come through the hotel during the four days of inauguration madness.
Guest-centered upgrades include the addition of 32-inch plasma-screen televisions to guestrooms and a plug-in panel for laptops, game systems, and more. The panel allows guests to, for instance, plug their laptops into the television and split the screen so they can check e-mail while watching sports, or pipe music from an MP3 through the TV’s high-def speakers. Guests can also enjoy the hotel’s new 3,000-square-foot fitness center with state-of the-art equipment and his-and-her saunas and steam rooms.
The hotel’s biggest addition is the 10,000-square-foot Thurgood Marshall ballroom. The modern space incorporates a color palette of yellows, oranges, reds, and blues, and has a sleek modern design. The new ballroom allows the hotel to accommodate an extra 1,200 people and offers greater flexibility and more options for clients. With the fierce competition among hotels to book high-end events during the inaugural season, the new ballroom is a big plus for Wardman Park.
People visiting the hotel during the inauguration will also notice a new lobby with marble floors and a sleek lounge with a 40-foot bar and flat-screen televisions. The hotel’s Stone’s Throw restaurant, an American steakhouse, is also new. It can accommodate 281 people and has four private dining rooms, good for VIP diners.