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“Disappointing and expensive”
Review of Top of the Gate

Top of the Gate
Reserve a Table
2
Tue, 6/25
8:00 PM
Ranked #978 of 3,855 Restaurants in Washington DC
Price range: $20 - $100
Description: The energetic and sophisticated rooftop bar and lounge at The Watergate Hotel boasts commanding 360-degree views of the Kennedy Center, the Potomac River, the Key and Arlington bridges, the Washington Monument and the rest of the DC skyline. It is the perfect place for an after-work cocktail or the season’s most talked-about event. In the Winter months, the rooftop transforms into Top of the Skate. A unique, synthetic ice rink and warming cocktails are featured November - March. Firepit tables and heated lounge areas keep visitors cozy while enjoying the view.
Restaurant details
Description: The energetic and sophisticated rooftop bar and lounge at The Watergate Hotel boasts commanding 360-degree views of the Kennedy Center, the Potomac River, the Key and Arlington bridges, the Washington Monument and the rest of the DC skyline. It is the perfect place for an after-work cocktail or the season’s most talked-about event. In the Winter months, the rooftop transforms into Top of the Skate. A unique, synthetic ice rink and warming cocktails are featured November - March. Firepit tables and heated lounge areas keep visitors cozy while enjoying the view.
Reviewed April 30, 2019

As a Christmas present for my husband, I purchased tickets to a concert at the Kennedy Center this past weekend, and when reservations opened this spring for the Top of the Gate, I made one for post-concert appetizers and drinks. We travel a lot, and go to the Kennedy Center frequently. This seemed like a no brainer. When I called, the reservationist at Top of the Gate was very clear about a $50 per person minimum. I was fine with all of this, figuring the view and the experience would be worth it, and we were looking forward to our first visit to this renovated hotel, especially the rooftop bar with views of the Potomac.

I can't say that I've ever experienced such a disconnect between the expectations created by the venue's promotion and the actual experience. This past Sunday was the date of our event. I called them when the concert was running a little bit long, and they moved me to a new reservation time. We rushed to get there on time, and when we arrived, the hostess greeted us and said "are you aware of our minimum?" What a welcome. I assured her that we were aware of it, and she showed us to a set of sofas and a table with a view of their rooftop AV towers (at least I think that's what they were, I didn't ask) and their cable dishes. It turned out that the entire section of tables with any desirable view at all was roped off for a group that was having a terrific time at the bar. During our entire visit, the tables remained empty.

We had a two-hour drive home ahead of us, so we decided to make the best of it, order some food and drinks, and get on the road. We ordered a few things from their very limited menu. None of it was better than mediocre. A bit flavorless, and kind of typical hotel food. We did not spend the minimum of $50 per person, and perhaps sensing that we were less than happy with the experience, they did not charge us anything extra beyond the food and drinks we ordered. Nevertheless, we spend $100 (including gratuity) on three light appetizers and two glasses of wine.

At this venue, you are definitely paying for the view... it's not the menu, and it's not the quality of the food. When you don't get the view, the value proposition struggles mightily. The staff are not engaged enough to anticipate when the experience they're delivering doesn't speak well for them. Although we began this process excited to see the place, I can't imagine what it would take for us to return, and that's unfortunate. It's so convenient to the Kennedy Center, but such a disappointment. If you're planning a special occasion or prioritize value in your purchases, be wary.

Date of visit: April 2019
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank AimeeAF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management_Team_365, Manager at Top of the Gate, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2019

Dear AimeeAF.

It was a pleasure to welcome you and your husband and we thank you for taking the time to share your thorough and thoughtful review. While it is our goal to provide each guest with a treasured Top of the Gate experience, we regret to learn that this was not accomplished for you and we hope that you can accept our sincerest of apologies. The feedback you have shared will provide tremendous value to our Executive Chef and the culinary team as our menus are seasonal and are often adapted based on guest feedback. We appreciate your added comments and we hope that the gestures provided by our team helped in making up for any disappointment. On behalf of all of us, we would be thrilled to welcome you again and I invite you to be in touch if I can ever assist in planning your return.

Warm Regards,

Sami Katrib
Director of Food & Beverage

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 - 11 of 76 reviews

Reviewed April 29, 2019

Best view EVER!!!! Don't go if you're hungry though...the menu is criminally (lol) minimal ! They need to add something to the menu beside a $30 cheese patter that has 4 small (tiny pieces of toast on it) BUT it was delicious toast & cheese! :)

Date of visit: April 2019
Thank Caroalso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manager-247, Manager at Top of the Gate, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2019

Dear Caroalso,

Thank you for joining us to take in our stunning views of the cityscape, and we hope we can point you to one of our more generous offerings on the menu the next time you're with us. Until then!

Warmly,
Top of the Gate at The Watergate Hotel

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Reviewed April 15, 2019 via mobile

This roof top bar is great. The views are amazing. The only issue was that they stopped serving drinks at 11:15 on a Thursday night. We were close to 20 people and they did not have the foresight to stay open later and make some money.

Date of visit: April 2019
Thank FPAdventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management_Team_365, Manager at Top of the Gate, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2019

Dear FPAdventurer,

Greetings from Top of the Gate! It was a joy to welcome you for cocktails under the stars and we thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughtful review; we are delighted to read that you so enjoyed your time with us. In an effort to be a great neighbor to the Watergate residential buildings that surround us, we do close earlier than some might hope for and we apologize if this was at all a surprise. Once more, it was a pleasure to host your gathering with friends and we hope you can all join us again in the weeks and months ahead.

Best Regards,

Top of the Gate at The Watergate Hotel

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Reviewed March 29, 2019 via mobile

Went with some friends for drinks. The bar has great views and comfy places to sit. They also have a ice skating area for the kids to play. It was a fun place to hang out. Considering it’s part of the Watergate hotel, the prices weren’t too crazy— nothing like the bar inside the hotel.

Date of visit: January 2019
Thank AuntieMRA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management_Team_365, Manager at Top of the Gate, responded to this reviewResponded April 1, 2019

Dear AuntieMRA,

Our skating rink is great fun during the winter months and in the days and weeks ahead, Top of the Gate will be taking on a new form as the rink is removed and the star feature will be the endless springtime views and the delicious seasonal cocktails. We thank you for the wonderful review and we hope that you can join us for drinks under the stars one day soon.

All the best,

Top of the Gate at The Watergate Hotel

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Reviewed January 12, 2019 via mobile

Great idea BUT allll wrong!! They told us it opened at 4 but did not open til 5 - so we waited .....went to Washington Harbor ( much better )! Went back and paid $24 for cold “ hot chocolate”!! Marshmallow didn’t even melt!! Valet would not honor my stamped valet- just a real shame !!! Such potential but very poorly run!!

Date of visit: January 2019
1  Thank Lmd613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management_Team_365, Manager at Top of the Gate, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2019

Dear Lmd613,

Greetings from Top of the Gate. It was a pleasure to host you and yours and we apologize again for any miscommunications regarding our opening time. We appreciate our first impression fell short of expectation though we hope you might one day return so that we can have the chance to win your heart with a more cherished rooftop experience.

Warm Regards,

Top of the Gate at The Watergate Hotel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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