The Arlington Doubletree Crystal City Hotel‘s Skydome Lounge opened in 1972 and today remains DC’s only rotating restaurant/lounge. A 1998 Washington Post review panned the place as having little “worth mentioning” beyond the view, quipping, “Picture a small town where the hotel bar is the only place to go. A DJ station sits in the middle of the room, surrounded by a small parquet dance floor. Four televisions hang from the ceiling, and a row of disco lights completes the picture. Tourists in rugby shirts groove to hits of the ’70s.” A 2004 Arlington County proclamation congratulating the hotel on their lounge’s 100,000th revolution indicates the scene could have improved slightly: “The renovations, once completed, will only enhance the Skydome Lounge’s reputation as a prime destination in Arlington County.” According to Google Maps the hotel is less than 1/2 a mile from the Crystal City metro stop, although it looks of dubious walkability.
Just what does the lounge look like today? Its it a swanky undiscovered nightlife gem, or a relic of the 1970s? I hope to find out this week — watch this space for a full report.