Although best remembered for the political scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, The Watergate Hotel stirred up controversy from the very start when it debuted in 1967 with its curvy and unconventional design from celebrity Italian architect Luigi Moretti. Despite its bold and sprawling layout, the hotel soon won favor among D.C.’s elite. Although it underwent numerous renovations throughout the years, it wasn’t until recently that the hotel was restored to its former glory as part of a $200 million renovation. The update also included the introduction of Argentta, a 12,500 square-foot spa and wellness center.
According to spa director Stephanie Rest, the $3.5 million space is meant to pay homage to Moretti. “Argentta, meaning silver in Italian, is a modern spa where indulgence and efficacy come together to lavish guests with the most innovative treatments and wildly glamorous service,” says Rest. “With extended sessions for treatments and personal training, Argentta has become a vital part of the Watergate experience. Instead of hour-long appointments, guests are offered enhanced services for two hours and longer.” The spa’s name, which honors Moretti’s Italian roots, was chosen because it is considered to be a powerful healing agent. Its logo, Ag, is silver’s abbreviation on the periodic table. In sync with its name, the spa’s reception area and treatment rooms feature silver hues with grey and white undertones. Mosaic tiles with genuine silver flecks are found in the indoor pool. In addition to the pool, spa-goers can take advantage of the whirlpool, sauna, steam rooms, and vitamin C-infused showers.
Providing a transformational experience, the spa offers a host of luxe treatments. “We have scoured the world searching out the most effective treatments and products,” says Rest. “From Caudalie skincare that grows on the vine to Cellcosmet, which features the latest molecular chemistry by using active stabilized bio-integral cells, we believe we are creating results that leave our guests feeling wholly transformed.” One treatment that is proving to be especially popular among guests is the Black Tie Facial (starting at $240, 90 minutes), a customized treatment designed to revitalize men’s skin with a variety of anti-aging ingredients. According to Rest, guests are also drawn to the Argentta Seven Elements Ritual (starting at $240, 90 minutes), which is a seven-part treatment using fresh organic ingredients to create a toxin-free solution to rejuvenate and restore aging skin to optimal health.
With four full-time and four part-time employees, the spa is able to accommodate approximately 140 guests each day with additional help from some independent contractors. Although the spa debuted last September, its grand opening launch is slated for this spring. In the meantime, politicos and other Capital City travelers are already getting pampered and polished at this D.C. gem. “The Watergate Hotel is designed to transport our guests to a place where travel is an occasion worth celebrating, gracious and genuine are the standards, and intrigue can be found just beyond every curve,” says Rest. “Our design and treatments are cutting-edge. We embrace the latest in wellness technology and continually seek out the new ways to define and deliver a transformative experience.”
Argentta (Washington, D.C.)
Jacques and Rakel Cohen
12,500 square feet; 7 treatment rooms
Caudalie, Cellcosmet, Londontown, Red Flower
Booker, Gharieni, Technogym
BBGM (Washington, D.C.)
Rakel Cohen, Euro Capital
Properties (New York City)