U.S. President Harry S. Truman once said that The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel was "the second best address" in Washington, D.C. – right after the White House. He would know, because the 33rd president stayed at this historic spot himself.
Over the years, the hotel has hosted a presidential inaugural ball ever since Calvin Coolidge's presidency, and it even served as the backdrop where Franklin D. Roosevelt composed his "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" address.
Located a few short blocks from the White House, the historic hotel is currently in the process of a $20 million renovation for each of its 657 guest rooms. With construction beginning in mid-October 2014, the remodeled rooms will be aimed to appeal to a new generation of travelers.
Mayflower's General Manager John Montano helps with the first room to be renovated — Photo courtesy of The Mayflower Renaissance
The current room renovations are expected to be completed around mid-March. You can expect to see chaise couches with small tables instead of large desks for work stations. With technology increases since the previous renovation 10 years ago, more outlets and USB ports will be installed.
Carpet, vinyl and lighting will all be updated, too. But one aspect that will not be changed in the remodel will be the chandeliers, which are usually a guest favorite.
In 2011, the hotel underwent a redesign when several major changes took place. The lobby was renovated while The Town & Country Lounge – a favorite among Washingtonians – was closed.
In a flip flop, the London-based fashion company Thomas Pink moved out from another space in the hotel and took over the space that faces DeSales Street. Their old retail spot, located on the Connecticut Avenue side, was remodeled to house EDGAR Bar & Kitchen, an upscale, modern dining and drinking spot. Featuring American brasserie cuisine, the eatery was named for former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who ate at the hotel every day for more than two decades.
The much-beloved Mayflower's Cafe Promenade was also reborn as a more than 3,000-square-foot event space.
Don't fret that you will not be able to stay at the hotel because of the construction. The historic site has been and will continue to remain open during the process.
For those planning a visit this year, be sure to look into their "Make History with Us" offer, which includes a $90 hotel credit per stay with a minimum two-night stay, a copy of The Mayflower Hotel book and the historic site's famed banana bread with recipe.