Among the handful of hotels in the area, Pendry Washington DC – The Wharf is the newest. I was excited to check in for a little staycation — and even more excited when I checked into my room just in time to see the sun set over the boats docked in the Potomac River.
The hotel features 131 guestrooms, including 38 suites, each designed in a muted contemporary style with well-placed smart lighting inspiring relaxation. Details in my one-bedroom suite include a king bed topped with Fili D’Oro linens, a spacious marble bathroom with a walk-in glass shower, custom Pendry amenities from MiN New York, a fully stocked minibar and Vittoria espresso machine, and a sitting area with a sofa bed.
Down in the lobby, Bar Pendry was abuzz during Friday happy hour. The intimate space evokes classic hotel bar grandeur, with a black, marbled-topped, six-seat bar and brushed brass-backed stools; cozy booths; and a gilded back bar with glass shelves. The shelves curve throughout the space, lending a Mid-Century vibe, while a back room awash in crimson velvet can be closed off for small groups.
Classic libations like a Manhattan with Russell’s Reserve 6-Year Rye Whiskey and a Plymouth Gin-based French 75 are joined by the bar team’s original concoctions. Turtles All the Way Down shakes Casamigos Blanco with St. Germaine, cucumber juice and mint, topped with ginger beer. The ice rose in the floral, delicate Pomelo Mood — with pomelo-infused vodka, Hendricks Gin, pamplemousse liqueur and grapefruit — was a nice touch. Bar Pendry is a great spot for a pre-dinner nosh, like an order of Kaluga caviar-topped deviled eggs or a mini lobster corn dog dragged through tangy lemon tarragon aioli. More substantial options like a gruyere and caramelized onion burger on a brioche bun make for a casual dinner.
The Pendry has two more dining concepts to explore. After a few sips and appetizers, I rode the elevator to the rooftop to Moonraker, an Asian small plates and sushi lounge whose centerpiece is a handsome round bar with blue velvet-backed stools and dangled metallic-shaded orb lighting. The setting boasts incredible views of D.C.; I looked to my left and saw the Washington Monument, while to my right was the Jefferson Memorial.
A Highball made with Japanese whisky or gin is a good start while you peruse the menu, as is the aptly named Man on the Moon, a mélange of Japanese rice whisky and Bourbon, with salted demerara syrup and plum bitters. Memorable bites include paddles of chewy, crispy fried rice topped with seared A5 Wagyu; tempura cauliflower tossed in a spicy-sweet sauce; and Tokyo fried chicken with kimchi.
Bright and airy, Flora Flora is the hotel’s all-day restaurant. The menu turns from breakfast favorites to Latin American-inspired small plates influenced from Mexico and Peru as the day draws on. Don’t miss the Wharf Benedict, though, where all-lump-meat crab cakes stand in for English muffins and hollandaise gets a regional upgrade with dashes of Old Bay. Ceviches and crudos are made with ahi and local rockfish, and empanadas are stuffed with koginut pumpkin.
The outdoor pool and Jacuzzi are flanked by loungers on three sides and by cabanas on the other; though it’s open most of the year, the terrace will be decidedly more inviting by late spring. Until it gets a little warmer, luxuriate in one of the private treatment rooms and eucalyptus steam rooms at Spa Pendry. I booked a Firm + Lift facial, which uses a gua sha stone to release fluids and blockages. Swiss apple stem cells and peptide-packed treatments are said to boost collagen and blur fine lines; my esthetician also used microcurrent and light therapy for added benefits. I finished my stay with some time in the spa’s inviting relaxation area, stocked with wellness-inspired books, snacks and gourmet teas. Whether you check in to Pendry Washington DC – The Wharf for a staycation or a vacation, you’re sure to find your own moments of urban Zen.
Pendry Washington DC – The Wharf
655 Water St. SW
Washington, D.C. 20024
tel 202 843 1111
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