Hotel Zena, a new Washington, D.C. hotel dedicated to female empowerment, is now open for business.
Provocative art and design are at the design core of the 191-room property, which is in the revitalized 14th Street neighbourhood near Logan Circle.
“We created a safe gathering space that celebrates diversity, respects different points of view and opens the floor to topics worthy of meaningful conversation,” said Jon Bortz, CEO, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust. “We know we’re pushing boundaries and might even make some people uncomfortable—and we’re okay with that.”
The hotel was conceptualized by the award-winning design firm Dawson Design Associates (DDA).
“It’s a simple story, and long overdue,” said Andrea Sheehan, DDA’s founding principle and art director. “I have been working hand-in-hand with Jon Bortz and Pebblebrook Hotels over the past 20 years experimenting in creating powerful and interactive hotels, including Pebblebrook’s Unofficial Z Collection. This is our ‘Female Z,’ and the first Z hotel on the East Coast. We wanted to make it a powerful statement. Given its strategic location and our society’s current state, it just made sense to us to take a public stand central to its creation. We both believe in the power that art can play in bringing people together.”
“Hotel Zena was created primarily by women, for people, both women and men. It is a hotel that offers a haven for all genders, races, and sexualities; where an atmosphere of strength and femininity live in harmony,” said Bill Walshe, CEO, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts. “As our second hotel to open in Washington, D.C. this year, following the debut of Viceroy Washington D.C., we are looking beyond the power and politics of the city to better position our nation’s capital as a hub for culture, unity and empowerment.”
Artworks from around the world were blended with numerous pieces created by regional artists by local curator Jason Bowers. Some highlights are:
- An extraordinary portrait of the late, Honourable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the lobby: Conceived by Andrea Sheehan and produced by Julie Coyle Studios, this “pointillist concept” uses 20,000 hand-painted and repurposed tampons to form the face and necklace of Justice Ginsburg.
- An installation lining a curved wall pays tribute to America’s 100th anniversary of the Women’s Right to Vote. It is made of 8,000 protest buttons representing generations of marches and events promoting the feminist movement.
- A lobby “Portrait Gallery” featuring the stories of female warriors. It displays artwork celebrating ten powerful women, in addition to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who have made significant contributions in the struggle for women’s rights and gender equality. It includes a portrait of Shirley Anita Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress and the first woman Democrat to run for president of the United States. It is one of two pieces of art inspired by Chisholm. The other is a hanging installation constructed of painted folding chairs in celebration of her famous statement: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
- A mural of female warriors standing as sentinels on Hotel Zena’s exterior designed by D.C.-based art director, muralist, designer, and illustrator Cita Sadeli aka Miss Chelove. Her vision for the mural was to create an atmosphere of intrigue composed of a pair of fierce yet curious warrior-sentinel women protecting the space.
Hotel Zena also offers:
- 3,500 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, indoor and outdoor options, and on-site catering.
- Figleaf, a spacious lobby-level bar and restaurant that also serves as a venue for the property’s speaker series and other events.
- Hedy’s Rooftop (coming in Spring 2021), an upscale rooftop lounge serving cocktails, mocktails and select small bits poolside or in one of the hotel’s private cabanas.