What happens in hotel rooms usually stays inside the room. But the 1972 break-in at the Watergate Hotel turned room 214 into the most (in)famous room in the country.
Today, 47 years later, you can stay in the "Scandal Room" where it happened. Plus, there's a Hollywood connection for fans of the ABC television show Scandal starring Kerry Washington.
On June 17, 1972, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy checked into room 214 at the Watergate Hotel. From the room, the pair orchestrated the break-in at Democratic National Convention headquarters, right next to the hotel. Five intruders were caught breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, right next to the hotel, leading President Nixon to resign.
The incident is one of the most notorious events in 20th-century American politics. In honor of the hotel’s 50th anniversary, they transformed room 214 into the “Scandal Room" with the help of Lyn Paolo, the costume designer on “Scandal,” who was tapped to redecorate their most famous room.
Much of the furniture inside the room is reminiscent of what would have adorned a political office in the early 1970s, including a vintage typewriter and desk. Plus, memorabilia from the 1960s/early 1970s and newspaper clippings about the scandal decorate the walls.
But even those who don’t book the famous hotel room will be able to take part in the hotel’s scandalous history. Room key cards read “no need to break in,” and pencils in the rooms read, “I stole this from the Watergate Hotel.” The hotel's main phone number includes the break-in date (844-617-1972.) and instead of hold music, guests will listen to excerpts from Nixon’s speeches. Robes are monogrammed with a cheeky message: “Cover up.”
The Watergate Scandal Room 214 can be booked starting at $800 per night (which is truly scandalous!). Or you can ask the hotel concierge for a free peek and some photos if the room is unoccupied.
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