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Real-Time Retreats

DC’s Watergate Hotel

Embrace your inner “Scandal”!

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This week we focus on an iconic hotel that has been a part of our political history - and synonymous with ‘scandal’ - since 1972. And though the bones of the structure may be almost sixty years old, wait until you see the elegance and style of The Watergate Hotel in 2021!

Real-Time Retreats - DC’s WaterGate Hotel - Embrace your inner “Scandal”!

We are giving you permission this week to embrace your inner scandal! Want to share a “scandalous” story from your own past? What intrigues are you fascinated by? Trysts and turns, sordid affairs, and ‘falls from grace’... everything is on the table in the “safe space” of our community!

Nixon and the infamous break-in was part of the origin story of the WaterGate complex, and our public figures have given us plenty of salacious stories since then! Channel your best scandalous character, show us your ‘Mad Men’ look from the 70’s, or channel that beguiling scandal “fixer”, Olivia Pope!

You’ll want to go all-in because the stakes are high this week! Jon Chocklett, SVP of Sales and Business Development has promised to curate a unique package of special experiences to be awarded this week to the person who best personifies and embraces our theme.

Our generous friends at The Watergate Hotel are also providing the “First Five at 3:55” (the first five planners to log in at 3:55pm) one of their iconic umbrellas, perfect for a stroll in the rain or to shield you from the prying paparazzi.

And as usual, Kelly McAlister with Maui Jim will be with us to grant another deserving guest with a pair of shades to help you arrive “incognito” to your own next scandalous rendezvous!

Video Replay

Jon Chocklett - SVP of Sales and Business Development - The Watergate Hotel

Jon Chocklett

SVP of Sales and Business Development

The Watergate Hotel
2650 Virginia Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20037
O: 202-838-4479
M: 202-716-3126
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

With 20+ years of industry experience, Jon joins The Watergate Hotel after making his luxury rounds with the likes of Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Montage and The Ritz-Carlton.

When he’s not selling and marketing The Watergate, Jon enjoys road trips and new travel experiences with his two kids - Cole, 10 and Emily, 21.

Favorite family trips to date:
Skiing with my daughter in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Road trip with my son to the Professional Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio.

Favorite work trip:
10 day whirlwind tour of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Macau and Guangzhou.

When I have an extra minute to myself, I’ll pick up my guitar and pick and hum along to classic rock or find a good history book… part of the allure of joining The Watergate!

Lori Holtzman, Director of National Accounts - The Watergate Hotel

Lori Holtzman

Director of National Accounts

The Watergate Hotel
2650 Virginia Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20037
M: 202-340-4324
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I recently joined the team here at the Watergate Hotel in October! Previously I was with The Ritz-Carlton hotels of Washington, D.C. for 24 years.

I married my college sweetheart and we have 3 kids. If anyone knows me they know that I have an absolute love for Penn State as my oldest child, daughter Megan attends PSU. We have a brand new puppy which keeps us very busy but certainly we have the time during COVID to all be home with giving her the attention she needs.

I am thrilled to join the team here and work again with Jon. I have been handling the Mid Atlantic Market for over 25 years and very much look forward to representing this fabulous hotel!

Watergate Hotel


Their name is synonymous with the country’s biggest political scandal. The Watergate, however, was controversial from the start. When it opened in 1965, celebrity architect Luigi Moretti’s curvy, sprawling design sent shockwaves through conservative DC.

Despite criticism, the hotel quickly became a playground for the fabulous. Actors and models hobnobbed with Congressmen and Supreme Court justices, who lived in The Watergate apartments.

Its glamorous reputation was eclipsed with political scandal on June 17, 1972, when five intruders were caught in the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, leading to Richard Nixon’s resignation.

Watergate Hotel entrance


Welcome to the hotel’s newest chapter. The hotel has been restored with a dramatic undulating copper lobby and lush, mid-century modern furniture, by designer Ron Arad, a Moretti disciple. The staff—trained by the former White House Social Secretary—is poised to create a memorable experience for every guest.

Watergate Hotel front desk


The Watergate Hotel’s 337 guest rooms and suites define luxury with lavish finishes, sleek furniture and lush bedding, all artfully chosen with the guest in mind. Custom-made bath amenities, exclusively created by La Bottega, perfectly complement the floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms. Champagne in hand, guests can revel in these extravagant surroundings while taking in striking views of the Potomac River on private balconies.

Watergate Hotel room


The Watergate Rules

  1. Celebrate everyday
  2. Champagne is a food group
  3. Kiss and make up
  4. Dream in couture
  5. Make sure the recorder is off
  6. Waterfront is the only view
  7. Dare to be BOLD
  8. Reach for the moon
  9. It’s all in the tailoring
  10. Good scotch makes good company
Watergate Hotel, Top of the Gate


Our barrel-aged cocktails are all crafted in-house, following a meticulous procedure, as follows!

We start with an un-charred, white oak barrel, which is soaked in water for 24 hours to clean off any remaining sediment or debris. After the barrel has been fully drained, it is then flavored with Ramazotti Amaro, an Italian liquor made of a variety of herbs and spices, which then sits for a minimum of 20-30 days, to deliver that smooth and spiced flavor of our final-and perfect!-cocktail!


  • 2 oz Woodford Reserve
  • ½ oz Carpano Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes of homemade spice bitters
  • ½ oz of Martel VSOP
  • Splash of Nonino Quintessentia
  • Garnish
The Next Manhattan Cocktail


Among other beautiful spaces at TWH, here are a couple that really stand out:

Jim Morrison has been asking someone to show him the way here since the 1960s. Combining refined elegance with a modern twist, there’s no bar like The Next Whisky Bar in Washington, D.C. An undulating copper wall leads guests from the lobby to an illuminated wall of 2,500 whisky bottles awash in a soft amber glow. Your guests can sample from a high-end, curated selection of scotch or whisky.

The Watergate Hotel Whiskey Bar

Take the opportunity to book the Top of the Gate for your opening or closing night reception, after meeting cocktails, or late night soirée. Look no further than the Top of the Gate. The energetic and sophisticated rooftop bar and lounge at The Watergate Hotel boasts commanding 360-degree views of the Kennedy Center, the Potomac River, the Key and Arlington bridges, the Washington Monument and the rest of the DC skyline.

The Watergate Hotel - Top of the Gate


Get into the mood for this week’s visit to The Watergate Hotel by diving into these fun things:

15 of the biggest scandals in the music industry. We’ll start on that note.

Either one of the greatest love stories of all time, or the greatest ‘What was he thinking?’ moment. Why Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson.

And as a follow up to that... what do the British royals actually own?

How to handle a PR scandal. Hey, this is far more likely than abdicating our crown, isn’t it?

The biggest celebrity scandal from the year you were born. Yeah, we checked, and go ahead and skip this one if you’re over 43. (Just head back to the cocktail section and perhaps make it a double).

Etymology of the word ‘scandal.’

10 things you probably didn’t know about Marilyn Monroe.

Nixon cartoon
Marilyn and Jack

Zoom Backgrounds Courtesy Of The Watergate Hotel

Kelly McAlister, Maui Jim Corporate Gifts

Kelly McAlister, Maui Jim

Kelly McAlister of Maui Jim will be with us on the calls each week as judge and jury to see which planner really goes all-in with the theme. So engage, be creative, and have fun... and you may be the winner!

She’ll be doing some gifting that will surely lift your shelter-in-place spirits!

Maui Jim

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