A new scandal is taking over the Watergate Hotel, the D.C. building that’s home to one of the greatest presidential scandals in U.S. history. Emmy-winning costume designer of shows Scandal and Shameless Lyn Paolo has collaborated with the hotel following a $200 million renovation to recreate one of the most infamous guest rooms in the world—Watergate Scandal Room 214—that centers on the theme of political scandals.
Here’s a little refresher: on June 17, 1972, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, who helmed The Watergate break-in team, stationed themselves in The Watergate Hotel’s room 214. From there, they remained in contact with everyone involved via radio while the burglary at the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate Complex, adjacent to the hotel, was underway. A Watergate security guard named Frank Wills noticed suspicious activity, which prompted him to call the police and ultimately led to the discovery of the scandal—you can see the Watergate Complex where the scandal took place from the suite now. “Because of the infamous break-in 45 years ago, The Watergate Hotel has been a household name with a scandalous past that can’t be ignored,” said Rakel Cohen, SVP of design and development, and co-owner of The Watergate Hotel. “We pay homage to the past with small details throughout the property, but everyone kept asking us about room 214, so we needed to do something bold with it. The decision to team up with Lyn Paolo, known for her award-winning work on the hit TV series Scandal was an easy choice – we couldn’t have a better partner.”
Among the subtle nods to The Watergate break-in throughout the property, guests will find room keys that read “No Need to Break-In,” the main phone number alluding to the break-in date (844-617-1972), Nixon speeches playing instead of music, in-room pencils engraved with “I Stole This from The Watergate Hotel,” and more. “I am beyond thrilled to work with Rakel Cohen to design our own interpretation of The Watergate Scandal room,” said Paolo on her first hotel collaboration. “I love interior design, politics, and of course I am inspired to help design a room with such a scandalous history. Working with Rakel on this project is an unexpected dream, and it is the perfect fit for my next design adventure.”
The Watergate Hotel is located at 2650 Virginia Ave NW in Washington, D.C.