Is there anything Sheila Johnson can’t do?
The founder and CEO of Salamander Resorts, recently fulfilled a longtime dream of expanding her resort portfolio to Southwest D.C. with the purchase of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel — making her serious boss woman goals.
“Salamander Washington DC is already a grand luxury hotel and we intend to introduce the warm and inviting feeling that guests enjoy at other Salamander properties,” Johnson said.
Under new ownership and Salamander’s management, along with Henderson Park, a global private equity real estate manager headquartered in London, the hotel will undergo several renovations while still conducting business.
According to a company statement, “the two companies partnered to purchase and re-brand the 373-room property, first opened as a Mandarin Oriental in 2004.” For example, they are currently in the process of updating its lobby and renaming the lobby bar, and adding new artwork to guestrooms, including photography taken by Salamander CEO, Mrs. Johnson herself.
Also undergoing a refresh is the property’s spa, which has been renamed under the Salamander Spa brand. The spa will get additional treatment rooms as well as a new street-level entrance.
The company added: “Complete details of the hotel’s improvement program will be finalized and announced in the coming weeks, and at conclusion, the hotel will employ approximately 100 additional team members.
Johnson co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET), and is currently Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, for which she serves as President and Managing Partner.
“DC is open and so are our beautiful hotels,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We are excited to welcome Salamander Hotels & Resorts to DC – so close to downtown, to our beautiful waterfront, and to all the destinations at The Wharf. Congratulations to Sheila Johnson, her team at Salamander, and the team at Henderson Park.”
The Salamander Washington D.C. joins Virginia’s Salamander Resort & Spa, Jamaica’s Half Moon resort, Colorado’s Aspen Meadows Resort, South Carolina’s Hotel Bennett, the Florida Gulf Coast’s Innisbrook Resort and Anguilla’s Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club in the Salamander portfolio.