Watermark Hotel Tysons Review
Part of the Capital One Center outside of DC, the luxuriously cool and romantic boutique Watermark Hotel Tysons VA, one of the hottest things to hit Fairfax County in years, is a self-contained pleasure palace – especially if you’re fond of Japanese Street Food, semi-private Omakase dinners, mini-golf, rum drinks, craft beer garden, food trucks, and green roof decks.
Oh, and it’s a two minute walk to see a live performance at the brand new Capital One Hall, and an elevator ride to the top floor Fitness Center.
Even though it was built for corporate use, The Watermark Tysons Virginia is so distinctively romantic, we’ve included it on our 25 Most Romantic Hotels in Virginia post.
And now that you’re here, there’s a whole bunch of couples things to do in Fairfax County.
How to Get to the Watermark Hotel Tysons
The McLean Metro Train Station is right across the street and can bring you to or from DC in 30 minutes.
If you drive, however, getting to this hotel is a bit bewildering, and takes some explaining. The first part is easy – as The Watermark is half a mile off I-495 (the loop around Washington DC).
However, your GPS might guide you to the parking garage for Wegmans Food Market (with big, can’t miss it “Wegmans” signs). Don’t drive in (unless you want to pick up some food).
Head around the corner to the “Event-Hotel” Garage, and then up one ramp to the 4th floor, with exclusive parking for the Watermark Hotel. From there, enter the initial “lobby” where you’ll find elevators to the 11th floor – which is the actual lobby.
Buttonless Elevators – A Nice, Security Feature
If you’ve never encountered these types of elevators, it can be confusing. However, getting to your room is actually pretty simple and very safe. A touch panel, near elevators marked A-E, displays each hotel room floor. Use your room key to choose your floor, and the display will indicate the letter’d elevator you must use.
Your elevator does not have any floor number buttons to push, which might be disorienting, sure, when you first enter it. But your personal lift brings you straight to your floor without stopping to pick anyone else up, which, honestly, in these days and times, is one of the best security features a hotel can install.
First Impressions of the Watermark Hotel Tysons
There’s a lot going on in Watermark’s expansive 11th floor lobby, which serves as check-in; a meeting place for groups; a grab-and-go market; the in-house Japanese restaurant, Wren; a billiards room; and egress to The Perch – an all encompassing community Skypark (more on that below).
Seating areas, separated by slatted walls along a row of windows overlooking The Perch, can be reserved for private groups or corporate events.
Rooms at The Watermark Hotel Tysons
All 300 “residential” rooms, each with small kitchenette, feature floor to ceiling windows, modern furniture, and the kind of color palette du jour that incorporates both the warm hues of wood, and cool tones of stone.
The sitting room, with desk and flat screen TV envelopes you in mid-century modern luxury. Bedding, as befits an upscale hotel, gently lulls you to sleep. Bathrooms sport glass enclosed rain showers, backlit mirrors, and ROAM toiletries.
Ask for a room with a balcony overlooking the Capital One skyscrapers and The Perch. You can sip a glass of wine, while watching the sunset as it reflects on neighboring office towers, and get a wonderful birds-eye view of the human interactions below. It’s surprisingly peaceful in this urban enclave.
Dining at The Watermark
Every Monday – Sushi Chef Hobin Kim creates an 18-course Omakase dinner for six lucky people ($175pp) at Wren – The Watermark’s in-house restaurant. However, the regular menu is much more casual (and less expensive) – and has risen to obsession status with a good number of locals and repeat hotel guests.
Fans call Wren’s cuisine, “Japanese street food meets gastrofare,” as each dish is shareable. And who can resist expertly crafted (and beautiful) cocktails, or the recommendations of resident “Sake Sommelier?”
Chef Yo Matsuzaki wins accolades for sourcing locally; and for his sophisticated yet approachable cuisine. My personal obsessions – a bit of Waygu Beef, and the Tokyo Chicken – Japanese style crispy chicken thighs lacquered with deep umami flavor.
Aviary, downstairs from Wren, is The Watermark’s breakfast space. More like a European buffet – with cold-cuts, excellent croissants and pastries, fresh fruit, and your typical bacon and eggs – it will keep you full till dinner.
In the shadow of (and part of) the Capital One Center, The Perch, a 2 ½-acre lawn off the Watermark’s 11th floor lobby (sitting atop Capital One Performance Hall), is a public space that can be enjoyed by all (not only hotel guests).
There are fire pits, a “puppy park,” the Starr Hill Brewery Biergarten, Corn Hole, Giant Chess and Jenga, a massive sports TV screen, two food trucks (Los Dos Carlos Street Tacos, and Grandpa Hank’s Jamaican Kitchen: the latter inside a vintage London double-decker bus).
But the highlight is the 18-hole Perch Putt Putt, which sprawls across a corner of the park, and is modeled after expertly designed golf courses. Read: not a windmill or gyrating clown in sight.
Pick up your ball and club in the Airstream “Club House,” and enjoy. Afterwards, reward your achievement (or soothe your burst ego) with a craft rum cocktail at Rhum Roost – the only “Tiki Bar” in Northern Virginia.
Capital One Hall
Even if you don’t intend to see a concert or show, plan to walk around the corner from the Watermark to at least get a gander at the stunning, soaring Capital One Hall, opened in 2021. Stride up the seemingly endless marble staircase, a magnet for wedding photographers and their clients. Take in the massive atrium, which also serves as a community event venue.
The 1,500-seat theater acoustics are so good, the Center’s first performer, Josh Groban, sang a cappella with nary a flaw. Although the stage sees Broadway shows, comedy acts, ballets, and concerts, it’s also used for corporate keynote speakers and product launches – a multi-faceted space.
Just the Facts
Rooms start at $220 per night, one-bedrooms from $420, includes tax and fees, and a ample buffet breakfast.
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