November 6, 2020

Hotel Zena Celebrates Influential Women in History in the Heart of Washington, D.C.

This portrait of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is comprised of 20,000 hand-painted tampon applicators. The idea is courtesy of Andrea Sheehan and was produced by Julie Coyle Studios. Photography by Mike Schwartz Photography.

Located on D.C.’s vibrant 14 Street, Hotel Zena, which serves as a multi-use cultural hub, welcomes visitors to the nation’s capital with a celebration of empowered women. From Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Shirley Chisholm, the hotel, with interiors by Dawson Design Associates, offers an interactive exploration of American history through female change-makers. Believing strongly in the power of art to bring people together, Andrea Sheehan, DDA’s founding principle and art director, notes that the hotel tells “a simple story, long overdue.”

Colorful single-sole pumps decorate the reception desk. Photography by Mike Schwartz Photography.

“Hotel Zena was created primarily by women,” says Bill Walshe, CEO of Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, adding that the space, “offers a haven for all genders, races, and sexualities.” To create a harmonious atmosphere, DDA and Hotel Zena’s management meticulously selected each material and art installation throughout the 12-story building. And to offer visitors a constant source of strength, a translucent portrait of Greek goddess Artemis, quiver in hand, appears in all 191 guest rooms, protecting those within. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows provide scenic views of Thomas Circle Park across the street. Photography by Mike Schwartz Photography.

Hotel Zena also boasts over 3,500 square feet of flexible meeting and event spaces, indoors and out. Open to the stars, Hedy’s Rooftop offers breathtaking views of the District and and pays homage to yet another influential woman in American history, actor and inventor Hedy Lamarr. The hotel’s central restaurant and bar, Figleaf, also is designed to inspire creativity and ignite conversation, featuring a 20-foot-long installation of 12,000 protest buttons spanning generations. With a corridor of portraits and a photobooth wall of images from the 2017 Women’s March, guests are bound to leave their stay inspired—and well rested.

The collection of protest buttons displayed in Figleaf commemorates the centennial of the women’s suffrage movement and 19th Amendment. Photography by Mike Schwartz Photography.
A mural of female warriors standing as sentinels draws the eye to Hotel Zena’s exterior and was completed by D.C. based art director, muralist, designer, and illustrator Cita Sadeli. Photography by Mike Schwartz Photography.

A collection of sketches celebrating a variety of historic girls and women by local artists decorate a hallway. Photography by Mike Schwartz Photography.
A boardroom decorated with a mural of female warriors. Photography by Mike Schwartz Photography.

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