Hotels  |  Weddings

Salamander Resorts Has Purchased DC’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Here Are 8 Changes to Expect

A new restaurant, expanded spa, renovated Presidential Suite, and more.

Salamander Hotels and Resorts, in partnership with London-based private equity real estate manager Henderson Park, has purchased and rebranded the Mandarin Oriental Hotel as the Salamander Washington DCThe 373-room hotel, according to a Monday press release, “will undergo an exciting enhancement program and embrace Salamander’s famed warm and welcoming style of luxury.” Here’s what to expect. 

  1. A lot of renovations and redesigns. The Presidential Suite will get a total overhaul, and the club lounge—which closed during the pandemic—will be remodeled and reopened as the Monument Club. The rotunda lobby will get a fresh look, too. 
  2. A new restaurant. The current eatery remains open for breakfast, but a different concept, along with the arrival of a new chef, will be announced soon. Updated offerings are slated to be in full swing by spring. Also: the addition of a grab-and-go patisserie. 
  3. The lobby bar will go by a new moniker, and the space will also undergo a makeover. 
  4. All new programming plans for the hotel’s outdoor waterfront spaces. 
  5. Updates to the spa, including an expansion to include more treatment rooms and a street-level entrance.
  6. Lots of new faces. Though Salamander founder and CEO Sheila Johnson notes in the press release that current employees have been welcomed “into the Salamander family,” the release also reports that 100 additional “team members” will be added.
  7. Updated artwork in all the guest rooms, including photos snapped by Johnson and artwork paying homage to the hotel’s setting. 
  8. Business as usual, for the most part, for now. While the property is “enhanced,” reservations will go on.

A celebration of the rebranding was held Monday in the Grand Ballroom, where 300 attendees listened to remarks by Johnson, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Washington Commanders president Jason Wright, and Salamander Hotel and Resorts president Prem Devadas. 


Amy Moeller
Fashion & Weddings Editor

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.