The Watergate Hotel is ECP’s latest hotel management project poised to create an original luxury experience for the world’s most discerning leisure and business travelers. A true American icon situated on the banks of the Potomac River and just steps away from the capital’s chic Georgetown neighborhood, The Watergate Hotel will create an original luxury experience for the world’s most discerning leisure and business travelers.Read More
The Watergate Hotel is ECP’s latest hotel management project poised to create an original luxury experience for the world’s most discerning leisure and business travelers. A true American icon situated on the banks of the Potomac River and just steps away from the capital’s chic Georgetown neighborhood, The Watergate Hotel will create an original luxury experience for the world’s most discerning leisure and business travelers.
The Watergate Hotel is ECP’s latest hotel management project poised to create an original luxury experience for the world’s most discerning leisure and business travelers. A true American icon situated on the banks of the Potomac River and just steps away from the capital’s chic Georgetown neighborhood, The Watergate Hotel will create an original luxury experience for the world’s most discerning leisure and business travelers. Originally designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti in 1961, the hotel made waves with its groundbreaking contemporary style and quickly came to epitomize the fabulous lifestyle and sophistication of its time.
Euro Capital Properties invested $125 million into the visionary renovation, tapping world-renowned designer Ron Arad to complement the flowing, avant-garde architecture with classic elegance and bold mid-century modern design.
Originally from Montreal, Rakel relocated to Washington, DC to study finance and marketing. After moving to New York, where she established Euro Capital Properties along with her husband Jacques, her discerning eye for design was put to great use. When ECP purchased The Watergate Hotel in 2010, Rakel took on the challenging task of preserving the bold design of the original building and enlisted world-renowned talent including Ron Arad and Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant to collaborate on her vision. Heading up the purchasing operation, Rakel’s unwavering attention to detail guides the careful selection of lush fabrics and finishes, unique wall coverings, one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and the creation of the hotel’s signature scent. Rakel leads the marketing team at ECP in crafting brand voice and the creation of its website, sales materials and marketing collateral. Her appreciation for the sophisticated side of mid-century modern aesthetic and her dedication to developing a superior standard of service is unmatched in the luxury sector. Rakel currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and six children and is a devotee of Soul Cycle.
Johnny So, who has an illustrious hospitality management background, oversees the iconic hotel’s ongoing operations, strategic direction and guest services to ensure The Watergate Hotel’s visitors will receive a luxurious and memorable experience when the iconic hotel re-opens in Fall of 2015. Most recently, Johnny was the General Manager at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California, where he resided for the past decade. Prior to his tenure at the St. Regis, Johnny held other impressive positions including Vice President and General Manager at the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui, the La Quinta and PGA West Resorts in La Quinta, California; Vice President, Hotel Operations at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. He began his notable hospitality career in 1978 as an Assistant Food & Beverage Director for Intercontinental Hotel Maui, and then transitioned to Loews Hotels where he held positions as Food & Beverage Manager, Resident Manager and General Manager. Johnny attended the School of Travel Industry Management at the University of Hawaii. Johnny currently resides in Washington, D.C. and is fluent in English and Chinese.
Megan is an accomplished communications and marketing professional with a diverse background and over 15 years of experience. With a deep understanding of strategic media relations, she has a proven track record of national and local placements. Skilled in planning and executing long-term media and consumer marketing campaigns, Megan is also well versed in crisis communications and in-depth media training as well as all facets of social marketing and e-commerce. Prior to joining The Watergate Hotel, she held marketing and communications positions with PMK-BNC, Edelman, Rodale, Condé Nast, and Hyatt, where she planned, produced and hosted monthly Andaz Salon events with various partners including The James Beard Association, The New York Academy of Art and The New York Public Library. A graduate of Indiana University, Megan resides in Manhattan.
Allen Hunt is the Spa & Membership Director at the iconic Watergate Hotel. Hunt brings almost 30 years of hospitality, leisure and spa experience to The Watergate Hotel and has worked with a diverse portfolio of five-star, luxury hotel brands and spa companies. As the Spa & Membership Director of Argentta, The Watergate Hotel’s new luxury spa and wellness facility, Hunt created and developed treatment menus inspired by a unique mix of international skin and body care lines, which will also be enjoyed as part of an exclusive membership offering.
A native Australian, Hunt began his storied career in the hotel industry at the Hayman Island Resort and later at The Ritz Carlton Sydney. He then joined the team at The Hilton Sydney, Australia’s first five-star property. Throughout his 18 years with Hilton Worldwide, Inc. he oversaw service culture and development, food and beverage programming, and overall hotel operations and management.
Hunt was later hired as Vice President of New Ventures for Spa Chakra. While at Spa Chakra, Hunt successfully opened over 30 luxury spas and fitness facilities over the course of 10 years throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Hunt was later hired as Senior Vice President of Business Development at WTS International, one of the leading consulting and management service companies globally, representing over 200 spas, fitness and wellness centers, and lifestyle facilities worldwide.
Michael Santoro is the Executive Chef at the iconic Watergate Hotel. Chef Santoro joins The Watergate Hotel with more than ten years of culinary and hospitality experience, including project managing the opening of two hotels and six restaurants. In his new role with The Watergate Hotel, he oversees the creation and development of cuisine for the hotel’s casual and fine dining establishments, in-room dining, whisky bar, rooftop bar, and meeting and events spaces.
Chef Santoro’s artisan talent derives from experience as a chef in six different countries. He has worked in famed Michelin Star restaurants including The Fat Duck in London as well as Mugaritz in Spain under acclaimed chef Andoni Luis Aduriz. During this time he honed his skills to cook with wild-foraged products and produce cultivated on-site, which can be seen in many of Chef Santoro’s dishes today.
Upon his move back to the United States, Chef Santoro worked with local farmers and purveyors in his role as a Chef de Cuisine under Executive Chef Brian McBride in 2008 at Blue Duck Tavern during the re-opening of Park Hyatt Washington, D.C. After three years of refining his culinary talents, Chef Santoro relocated to Philadelphia to become the Executive Chef at Talula’s Garden and then the proud Owner and Executive Chef of The Mildred Restaurant. Critically acclaimed, The Mildred showcased seasonal stove-to-table cast iron cooking, set in a stunning South Philadelphia location. In September 2014, Chef Santoro moved to New York City where he held his most recent position of Executive Chef at Andaz 5th Avenue.