WASHINGTON, D.C. — Kemmons Wilson Hospitality Partners recently announced plans to open the 144-room Kimpton Banneker Hotel in the heart of Washington, D.C. in early 2021. Valor Hospitality Partners will manage the development and ongoing hotel operations.
The new hotel will be located on the historic Embassy Row in the former Kimpton Rouge 16th Street Northwest space, which is undergoing a $20 million renovation to become a 10-story boutique hotel. Designed by Mason Studios, The Banneker will have curated artwork throughout, 3,800 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space, an intimate and relaxed French bistro, and a year-round rooftop bar and open-air deck with views of the Washington Monument and White House, which is six blocks away.
The Banneker’s name is a nod to Benjamin Banneker, a significant figure in the history of Washington, D.C. Banneker was one of the country’s major Black innovators who, aside from contributions to astrology, mathematics, and civil rights, played an integral role in surveying the land that would become the nation’s capital. Specifically, Banneker identified the meridian line for D.C., which is today 16th street and where the hotel is located, thus intertwining the hotel with part of Banneker’s legacy. The hotel’s rooftop bar, Lady Bird, also ties back to historical figure Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson, a prior First Lady of the United States.
“The life of Benjamin Banneker is the epitome of what it means to be an American,” said Raeshawna Scott, general manager of The Banneker. “The Banneker is grounded in our neighborhood, a place for locals and travelers to feel at home. We cannot wait to show guests how we are weaving together a unique sense of time, space, and place inspired by the breadth of Banneker’s contribution to our region.”
The Banneker will also be home to a new French bistro, Le Sel, which translates to “salt.” Le Sel will offer an intimate environment with patio seating serving elevated comfort food, prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The Banneker will also provide coffee, espresso, organic teas, and fresh pastries for grab-and go-convenience.
“As our first foray into the D.C. market, we are thrilled to unveil The Banneker in early 2021,” said McLean T. Wilson, CIO of Kemmons Wilson Hospitality Partners and global partner of Valor Hospitality Partners. “With inspiration drawn from Benjamin Banneker, set in our nation’s capital, and a well-crafted design from Mason Studio, we predict The Banneker will attract both locals and travelers who appreciate luxury and experiences with substance.”
Situated near some of the city’s top cultural and historic attractions, including the White House, National Mall, Dupont Circle, and museums and art galleries, The Banneker will also offer guests heritage tour packages from Cultural Tourism D.C. to complement their stay. Additionally, the Banneker’s art collection will display the work of both native Washingtonians as well as international artists.
As a Kimpton and Valor Hospitality hotel, The Banneker plans to partner with additional local brands within the community for activations and safe events upon opening.