Eaton Workshop, a new social justice-minded hotel brand, embraces a stay-work-unite-resist ethos.

By Jennifer Salerno
July 24, 2018
Credit: Adrian Gaut

Eaton Workshop, a new hotel brand focused on social justice and community engagement, just released exclusive photos of its first U.S. property, opening in Washington, D.C. on September 27. Created by the Great Eagle Group, which owns the upscale Langham Hospitality Group, the brand hopes to reimagine the way that hotel properties interact with their communities.

Thirty-six-year-old founder Katherine Lo — who grew up immersed in the hospitality world as the daughter of Langham founder and Hong Kong billionaire Ka-Shui Lo — was inspired to integrate the passion for activism she'd nurtured as a college student into the hotel sphere. She envisioned a brand with programming to “promote dialogue, debate and calls-to-action." Lo has made it clear that Eaton Workshop's D.C. property is a progressive, politically liberal enterprise; several national media outlets have already dubbed it the “anti-Trump” hotel.

Credit: Adrian Gaut

Each location of Eaton Workshop will include the hotel, a membership-based coworking space, a spa and wellness center, and a media hub. The D.C. property's media arm will include a radio station, regular events programming, and a website with original content along the lines of its social mission.

“Eaton Workshop will produce, curate and distribute digital content, creating an honest take on today’s important issues immigration, women’s rights, race in the U.S., climate change, food waste, health care and more,” Lo told Travel + Leisure. Under her guidance, Eaton Media has already produced a documentary on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock, which will be shown on property.

The brand is also specifically committed to local youth, providing mentorship programs, professional training, and work opportunities, as well as to the arts, with residency programs designed for refugee artists and creative activists.

Designed with clean lines, thoughtful details, and retro touches, the D.C. hotel itself does not lack for cool. The design firm Gachot — whose other hospitality work includes the smart Smyth Hotel in Tribeca and Brooklyn's retro Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club — consulted with Lo and a D.C. team to create a space tailored to millennial activists, reporters, progressives, and artists.

Credit: Adrian Gaut

The complex features ample communal space, designed for groups to gather and organize, so that guests have space for “creativity and consciousness-building.” Guestrooms in the LEED Gold certified building have been stocked with artwork from local artists as well as books and albums by today's top thought leaders.

Local artist Hadiya Williams, founder of Black Pepper Paperie, designed the bell and shelf clay decorative pieces, and each room also contains striking neon lamps by Anahita (Ani) Bradberry. Black-and-white photos of D.C. families were sourced from local yard sales to represent and honor the city's history and diversity.

Credit: Adrian Gaut

Wellness offerings go beyond standard yoga classes and acupuncture therapy, incorporating new-age practices like sound baths, infrared saunas, and Himalayan salt-rock lamps in every guestroom. Bathrooms are outfitted with organic, environmentally conscious amenities from Australia-based company Grown Alchemist.

The brand has big plans in the works for its other forthcoming projects, like an indoor redwood forest park planned for a San Francisco property slated to open in 2019. The newly rebranded Eaton Hong Kong property, opening as Eaton HK in the fall, had its soft launch in May with a brand-new two-story food hall.

To book:, doubles from $199

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