My POV of the W


It has finally happened- the long awaited arrival of Washington’s very own W Hotel. However, more importantly for the residents of DC, the reopening of this hotel means only one thing: the terrace bar, which hosts unrivaled views of the city. You can scope out the Washington Monument and the White House in all its glory, including those pesky snipers that adorn its roof. What could be more pleasant than sipping summer cocktails whilst gawking at the Obamas from afar?

One of my friends managed to secure a spot on the guest list for the opening night of the W Washington’s POV Roof Terrace this past Wednesday. The hotel was abuzz—a true velvet rope event which is not a familiar sight in DC.

I am happy to report that the views from the terrace are exactly how I remembered them to be (back when the spot was Hotel Washington), and then some. The terrace has expanded onto the Pennsylvania Ave side, with an enclosed floor-to-ceiling window bar—great for those cooler evenings. The sophisticated reds and subtle lighting create an atmosphere that is familiar, so not to intimidate, but yet chic, to remind you that you are in a place that is special.

Before you read further I should provide a disclaimer, this was opening night and the place was packed, lines forming at all entrances of the hotel. My experience wasn’t the best but I believe that the service will improve as will the product. Continue reading with view of the White House after the jump.


The first words uttered from our server were along the lines of, its opening night, the place is packed, the wait for food and cocktails is going to be a long one.

My friends and I came for the drinks, the introduction of famed Sasha Petraske of NYC’s White Star and Milk and Honey meant for a sure fire win.

The POV bio promises no more pre-mixed mixers or glub ice; all mixers are fresh and the ice cubes customized for each drink. Impressive, perhaps, for some.

I tried the mojito and the strawberry lemonade, both were indeed fresh and unique and each did play host to a different ice cube, but this is by no means new to any of us. I wasn’t blown away by any account, I don’t claim to be an expert but my friends will attest that I do try my hand at creating my own and tasting the more adventurous cocktails available.

The mojito is a regular of mine, it can be magical at the best of times and simple at its worst, this was somewhere in between. I visited Milk & Honey a year or so ago and it was a more memorable experience than the cocktails at POV. However, I’m sure over time I will come to appreciate the drinks for what they are, simple: thoughtful and somewhat unique. Unfortunately for Petraske, the view will be the draw to POV and not the cocktails, but it certainly will help the evening pass by more blissfully.

POV Roof Terrace
515 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004

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  • Tucker July 10, 2009  

    I agree. They had made three other drinks that were more creative at the W pre-opening parties in Georgetown, but these cocktails were surprisingly absent from both the inside and outside POV menus. One was Pear Grey Goose with a pear-infused soda water and another was akin to a flaming cosmo. With POV’s mediocre concoctions priced at $15 per drink, tourists and Washingtonians alike will pay a hefty price to get a new Point Of View on the Obama’s and Washington DC. Still worthwhile for the view and fun for a small festive gathering in a see and be-seen atmosphere, but fans of better mixologists might be happier elsewhere. Perhaps the drinks at the W’s J&G Steakhouse or in the Living Room have other options to rival the smattering of fun libations at other DC establishments. Nevertheless, the velvet ropes at the W will likely be a mainstay for the foreseeable future.

  • Mariah Carey July 10, 2009  

    This bar SCREAMS us! I need to get up there ASAP! It may be the only thing that makes the DC summer bearable! Although, I can also see many a happy hour in the future….

  • CF75 July 10, 2009  

    Thanks for the review of opening night (your friend was wise to get reservations – for the record, there was no grand opening party, merely POV’s reservation line for the keen and swift) With each passing day, the rooftop will meet the balance of those wanting something authentic and famous in their glass while satisfying the mass of guests simply drunk with anticipation of the view. Its a fine balance. Last night was much less hectic.
    I suggest Sasha’s mint julep and the Dark and Stormy – the housemade ginger soda is out of this world. Its about being simple and fresh. Enjoy,

  • Britannia July 10, 2009  

    @CF75 thanks for your comments and recommendations. Rest assured I’ll be back to sample your other cocktails, I can’t get through them all in one night and continue to have sound judgment- so next time I will be sure to try the Dark and Stormy and whatever else the bartender throws my way…

  • Duwayne August 3, 2009  

    I was there Aug 1, 2009 and quote from the bartender “We only serve basic spirits.” Um, excuse me, your the W hotel the word basic should never be uttered. I was not impressed by POV.

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