Case Study - Donovan House Hotel & Rooftop Bar

Case Studies


Kimpton Hotels acquired the Donovan House Hotel from Thompson in 2013. Along with the hotel, they inherited a rooftop bar and lounge with a reputation for late night DJ parties with an unsavory crowd that did not align with the Kimpton brand or the reputation they were hoping to create for the newly acquired property. 

Goal and Tactics

Soon after Kimpton acquired the property, they realized that the rooftop bar and lounge would require a full rebrand and relaunch. Savor PR immediately began working with the operations team at the hotel to come up with the new brand identity for the rooftop at the Donovan House to reposition it as an upscale yet approachable option for drinks and bites with an incredible view. With a view of the city, large pool, and full service bar, the space was ripe to generate revenue for the property, but largely sat empty after Kimpton severed ties with the club promoters who had been running the property from the last management company. Kimpton was fighting an uphill battle to change the perception of the rooftop among the media and the public. Savor PR audited other rooftop hotel space offerings locally and nationally, and analyzed other concepts that worked well in the 14th street corridor. Savor worked hand in hand with the operations team to come up with food, beverage, entertainment and other offerings that would counteract Donovan’s existing image, and convey the new "DNV" rooftop to the press when it relaunched in May. After securing a top mixologist, and a great menu from the hotel restaurant’s new chef, DNV officially debuted over Memorial Day weekend.

Media Results 

  • Article in the Washington Post weekend section by Going Out Guru Fritz Hahn touting the new DNV rooftop offerings in a piece on DC’s most stylish rooftop bars and patios; a later headline by the same author about the summer cocktail offerings read “At Donovan House, Pimm’s on draft and summer’s best brain freeze.”
  • Named one of the “Best Poolside Bars” nationally by USA Today.
  • Named one of the best DC Hotel Rooftop Bars & Lounges by Huffington Post.
  • A slew of press in publications such as Zagat, City Eats, UrbanDaddy, Huffington Post, Daily Candy, Thrillist, Buzzfeed, and more.


Since the re-launch, there have been record sales on the rooftop with regular wait lists.