Washington, D.C. dwellers or passersby know that K Street is the place to be. But what does it take to succeed as a hotelier on such a successful and boisterous lane? We chatted with Katherine Lo, founder and president of Eaton Workshop, and Sheldon Scott, director of culture at Eaton DC to get the scoop on the latest hot spot for meetings and events.
Tell me about Eaton DC and the hotel’s unique vibe on K Street.
Scott: Eaton DC is Eaton Workshop’s flagship location and aims to be a hub for journalists, changemakers and activists who seek to change the world and make it a better place. The hotel and its public spaces were all designed to inspire conversation and spark ideas by creating a safe, communal space for communities to come together. With our design, Eaton DC utilizes environmentally friendly materials, both in the physical structure and in the guest amenities, and we’ve designed each guestroom to provide a natural, down-to-earth vibe with midcentury influence. K Street was formerly known for its exclusive, high-end club scene. Eaton DC’s social landscape is calibrated for a much more inclusive vibe, creating spaces for broader communities that historically had no social spaces on K Street.
How does the hotel compete with the mass market of hotels in the DC area?
Lo: There’s nothing like Eaton DC here in the area. With the strong support and positive response from the community, it’s clear that there is a strong desire for intellectual conversations touching on today’s most pressing issues in an environment that’s also fun and lively. Eaton DC is not only a hotel for travelers to rest and recharge, it is also home to a wellness center, radio station, cinema, private working space and delicious F&B offerings from Chef Tim Ma. From travelers passing through, to those who call D.C. home, people are engaging with our wide-ranging calendar of cultural programming, which elevates the traditional hotel experience into a collaborative and inspiring space for changemakers and creatives.
What does your position as director of culture entail?
Scott: As Eaton DC’s director of culture, I work with the team to curate meaningful experiences and create a connection between the hotel and the local community, while weaving social progress seamlessly into the brand experience. I help identify D.C.-based artists and changemakers and give them the opportunity to push their storytelling in ways that inspire change and allow them to express themselves and their narratives through permanent exhibitions and seasonal installations at Eaton DC.
In addition to curating art, books, films and other programming, I also helped curate the founding members of Eaton House, the property’s private workspace and members-only club. We want Eaton House to be a space where socially conscious leaders and entrepreneurs spanning a variety of industries can connect, collaborate and form new relationships and bonds that can deepen their respective work.