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Watergate Hotel to reopen this summer after $125-million face-lift

Watergate Hotel to return -- with a nod to the past and a refurbished $125-million new look

If you missed out on staying at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., during its heyday, you may get another chance. The company that owns the hotel synonymous with political scandal plans to reopen in the summer as the first piece of a bigger Watergate luxury hotel brand.

The Watergate Hotel is undergoing a $125-million renovation that will remain faithful to the 1961 design by Italian architect Luigi Moretti, according to a statement released Monday by Euro Capital Properties.

The hotel, which opened in 1967, is part of a complex that became infamous 42 years ago when a seemingly innocuous break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters office at the site led to the downfall of then-President Nixon.

The hotel has undergone two renovations that have taken it "away from Moretti's novel design and concept," a spokeswoman said in an email. Architect Ron Arad, a student of Moretti's, was selected to bring the original back to life.

And from the feel of the trailer -- yes, a film trailer for a hotel -- the hotel is playing up its "edgy' retro past. (It's spelled out in case you don't get it.) The trailer's tone feels like Las Vegas' Cosmopolitan goes to Washington.

"We have paid meticulous attention to every detail in its renovation," Rakel Cohen of Euro Capital said in the statement. "Its intrigue is driven by evocative design, from the retro feel that we have infused to the mystique that lies behind every curve of the hotel's architecture."

The redone hotel will have 343 guest rooms, including five Diplomat Suites and two Presidential Suites, as well as space for meetings and events, and a grand ballroom.

No restaurants have been named for the site but there will be a rooftop bar-lounge that offers some great views of the city's landmarks. 

The hotel is on the Potomac River near the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The Washington Post reports that the hotel was supposed to be turned into condominiums and renamed, but it fell into foreclosure. Euro Capital bought it for $45 million in 2010, the paper reports.

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