Published on : Friday, November 8, 2019
Riggs Washington DC sits on a prominent corner of the city’s Penn Quarter neighbourhood and features a grand café and brasserie, cocktail bar and rooftop event space. This newest hotel brand is set to open in the capital’s thriving Penn Quarter neighbourhood in early 2020.
Riggs, the first U.S. property from the international hospitality company behind renowned hotels Sea Containers London and Pulitzer Amsterdam, is located on the downtown corner of 9th and F Street in a historic building once home to Riggs National Bank, known as the “Bank of Presidents”.
Lore Group Creative Director Jacu Strauss invoked the spirit of the former bank while preserving and restoring much of the property’s original design features to reimagine the storied building for the modern traveller. The181-room property features playful nods to the building’s rich past, drawing on the parallels between the activities that take place in banks and at hotels to offer something personal and serendipitous around every corner.
Billy Skelli-Cohen, CEO of Lore Group said that Lore Group continues to explore ways to deliver inspired and approachable hospitality concepts to interesting places around the world. With Riggs Washington DC, we have created a hotel and F&B concepts that celebrate both the legacy of the building – and the history of the city – through unexpected details and a thoughtful approach to guest experience.
Upon entering Riggs, the guests are welcomed into the building’s original barrel-vaulted lobby where the hotel’s expansive ceilings are adorned with impressive and elaborate coffers. A medallion of Juno Moneta, the Goddess of Money, presides over the room, while original features have been given a new lease of life and the grandeur of the building embraced to create a welcoming and inspired hotel that is deeply rooted in D.C. and its impressive history.
In the rooms and suites, guests will find the minibar and safe hidden within a design aesthetic that mirrors a traditional steel safe, with a brass plaque of Juno Moneta on the front. Terracotta orange painted walls complement a striking headboard and wall covering pattern – a bespoke design by George Venson from NYC-based design studio Voutsa. The bathrooms feature a classic navy palette, Italian Carrara marble, chrome hardware and amenities from fragrance house D.S. & Durga in its signature Debaser scent.
A total of 15 suites are available, including the two-bedroom Riggs Suite within the original bank boardroom and four ‘First Lady’ suites that are inspired by the eccentricities of a select few Presidents’ unsung better halves: Ida McKinley’s green thumb, Angelica Van Buren’s opulence, Louisa Adams’ intense love for music and Caroline Harrison’s extensive collection of porcelain. The colour palette, furniture selection, and layout of each of these suites was designed and curated by Strauss to be completely unique and styled based on these distinct interests.
As Washington D.C. becomes even more revered for its burgeoning food and drink scene, Riggs brings something unexpected to the current offering. The hotel’s restaurant Café Riggs is an all-occasion affair inspired by the grand brasseries of Europe, with a modern and reimagined approach that focuses on sustainable products. The bright and airy space features a variety of custom furniture pieces, artworks, and mirrors nestled amongst the building’s original architectural features, including historic Corinthian columns, expansive ceilings, and classically inspired stonework.
In contrast, Riggs’ lower level is home to Silver Lyan, a subterranean cocktail bar by internationally-acclaimed bartender and Lore Group’s Global Bar Innovator Ryan Chetiyawardana (“Mr Lyan”). In signature Lyan fashion (and as evident with Lyaness at Sea Containers London as well as Super Lyan at Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam), the concept reimagines the traditional hotel bar, delivering something wildly disruptive to the current D.C. landscape – a ground-breaking blend of classical and kitsch styles. The brand’s very first U.S. venture, Silver Lyan focuses on the history of cultural exchange in America, bringing elevated irreverence to the grand space to pay tribute to the past, present and future of the country – and the storied building.