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W giveth, W taketh away...
Opening date will be Monday, September 21, with a “Cozy Exchange” room (from 22 sq m / 237 sq ft) setting you back a clean €450 ($478) a night. Prepaying shaves just €10 ($12) off a night, which doesn’t really seem worth it for the flexibility you sacrifice. The “Exchange” reference we presume means the room is located in the 1903 Telephone Exchange building, as opposed to the former bank just across the street (go here for exterior shots of both).
From Cozy, the order is up to Wonderful and then Fabulous rooms, with Cool Corner, Studio, and Marvelous Suites before you get to Wow and Extreme Wow Suites – which we saw those renderings of. The Extreme Wow Suite gives 112 sq m (1,206 sq ft) of space and runs at €2,162 ($2,292) a night.
Actual photography of the rooms and suites is still to come, but we’re kind of surprised to read the intro text on the homepage of the hotel refer to the ability to “recharge with our W signature bed and a peek-a-boo shower”. Is that becoming an actual industry term now?
Last year we gave you three top hotels to consider in Bellevue, Washington for "luxury, location and design", one of which was the Westin Bellevue. But in a couple of years, you'll be able to check out the Westin and the upcoming W Hotel in one stop.
The W Bellevue Hotel, which was announced this morning will be built on Bellevue Way between NE 4th and NE 8th Streets, and adjacent to The Westin Bellevue.
“W Bellevue is being designed with a unique narrative that represents our Eastside community,” says Kemper Freeman, Chairman and CEO, KDC, the developer behind the project. “The hotel’s cutting-edge design brings our community’s heritage into modern times with a contemporary interpretation of the joy and wonder that we all feel in a welcoming lakeside summer house. This hotel will truly represent all that we celebrate about our community and will bring an amped up W energy to Bellevue.”
Right now, the hotel is planned to have 245 guest rooms, including 25 suites and one Extreme Wow suite; FIT, a state-of-the-art workout facility; three restaurants and bars, one of which will be outside on a terrace with modern porch swings and a pool table; a library stocked with pulp fiction novels; and an oversized fireplace commonly found in traditional lodges, but with a W twist.
We can't wait to see what that twist may be. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until 2017. Still, this is exciting news because it's the irst new W Hotel for the United States in a while. The W Philadelphia which was announced a few years ago won't open until 2018.
[Rendering: W Hotels]
We said last week that Amsterdam was having a hotel moment, and the race between two of its biggest arrivals this year, only a few minutes’ walk between them, is officially on. The Hoxton was first with a select few photos of some its very handsome rooms projected for “summer” this year. The W countered with a slew of renderings and a “September” opening.
Both have been withholding reservations so far, but The Hoxton has gone out and put the countdown right on its website, with now less than 50 days until bookings open. In fact, unless our math is way off, reservations should open on April 1. We’ll assume that’s not a joke, and further assume that The Hoxton will open first and at cheaper rates, unless the W pulls a rabbit out of a hat (on the rates front, we don’t think that will ever happen).
It’s rendering time! Having semi-stalked W Amsterdam for well over a year now, with our latest look at the hotel just behind Dam Square showing discreet signage in place, the moment is here: an impression of what will be inside the 238-room hotel.
Take a gander at what is labelled as a Wow Suite above. There’s a lot to look at, but we're digging the 70s Amsterdam vibe, with the corner fireplace, the carpet, the dual-faced sofa, and the yellow / white / grey / black in the modular bookcase. Then there is the circular bed, with what looks like a sheer curtain that can be drawn around it. We’re not sure if that’s actually a balcony or just a ledge for the plants, but given what we’ve seen of the two buildings, we doubt there would be the kind of rooftop views the rendering would suggest. Keep reading for so. Much. More.
The W London Lounge
Last week, I found myself in central London with a colleague, with an hour to spare between meetings. It was lunchtime. We both had work to do. We’d been out and about all morning.
We were near Covent Garden. My colleague suggested a restaurant. I mooted the Lounge at the W London. I won.
But when we got there, he was shocked. It was so fancy! All the staff were so beautiful! Everyone around us was so… rich looking! “Do you have to be Scandinavian to work here?” he asked me. He called his wife to marvel at the “eurotrash” and the “too beautiful” people surrounding us. He brought it up in the meeting we went to afterwards. The other meetingees were equally baffled and entranced by the idea of going to this insane, snazzy, eurotrashy hotel, when we could have gone to Starbucks.
While Chicago temps are going down and the streets are piling up with snow, we can always rely on the folks over the W Chicago City Center to keep us warm and toasty with delicious libations. We scored a chance to catch up with the hotel's head bartender and resident mixologist, Lauren Parton, to get her thoughts on industry trends and what we can see for the spring thaw when it comes to drinking.
(Coincidentally, Parton was tasked with creating the cocktail menu for the renovation relaunch party for their sister property, W Chicago Lakeshore, and whipped up some edible cocktails that were passed around like hors d'oeuvres. We can't argue with this concept.)
The genius mind behind a specialty cocktail menu in the W's Living Room, Parton has more than just cocktails in her repertoire. Her industry career began creating some culinary masterpieces in a few of Chicago's greatest eateries. When she made the move to hotel bartending--at Raffaello's Drumbar--Parton was shipped off to Bourbon Camp and the rest is libation history!
Keep reading for our Q&A with Lauren Parton
Marrakech Hotels / Hotel News / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Park Hyatt Hotels / W Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Much like Bali, the hotel openings keep coming for Marrakech, no matter how crowded it is already. A year after we looked at that long list of options, here are four big name hotels that will open in the next few years: Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, W Hotels, and Ritz-Carlton.
First up: the second attempt of Mandarin Oriental, which should arrive this year after missing a planned 2014 opening. Like Milan, the hotel now has a dedicated website, with a first few interior images. The hotel will have 54 villas, 7 suites, and 2 spa suites – all with their own pool. The seven suites have rooftop plunge pools and are part of the main hotel building, with the spa suites giving over 4,000 square feet and infinity lap pools.
W Paris – Opéra, the W brand’s one and only property in France, has opened their new cocktail bar focused on American whiskeys, Bar Brûlé. This Thursday-Saturday soon-to-be hotspot is tucked away on the first floor of the hotel and overlooks the grand Garnier Opera house.
Bar Brûlé, which the hotel is dubbing the “embassy of American whiskeys,” takes its name from the French word for burnt, which was sparked by the entire hotel’s creative concept of "a spark triggered by the fusion of the energy of New York and the city of light."
Headed up by chief barman Emeric Aguilar, the bar menu features over forty rare American whiskeys from micro-distilleries and cocktails that are divided into three categories: Old-Fashioned, Modern Classics and Originals.
Nearly a year has passed since we last walked by the upcoming W Amsterdam, right behind the city’s Dam Square, due to open sometime in the Fall of 2015. We’re glad to report that aside from news about expansion into an additional building (more on that in a second) W Hotels is making lots of progress.
On the left the 1903 Telephone Exchange Building as it was twelve months ago, on the right what it looks like today: a series of windows has been removed (you can just about make out the brick inserted on the right), the all-glass rooftop floor that will house Living Room, restaurant, and bar is clearly visible (go here for a rendering), and of course, the W is proudly displayed on the corner. More photos, including of the KAS Bank Building next door the hotel will spread out to, below.
The W London always brings a bit of color to its Leicester Square location, whether frosty white during the day, or something more vibrant at night, but the bright red you see above was for a specific occasion: World AIDS Day on December 1.
Now W Hotels have taken things a step further, with a collaboration with (RED), the organization founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage businesses and people in the fight against AIDS. At the Ws in London, Paris, Barcelona, Istanbul, or Verbier, there have been and continue to be a number of things to see and do, and a number of ways to add your support, from film screenings and art installations to drinking a (RED) cocktail, the proceeds of which will to the Global Fund.
If you upgrade your room at the W London, 15% of the difference in price will go to the Global Fund, and you’ll get two cocktails to boot. At the W Paris, a (RED) suite package comes with a whole range of perks and goodies, with 20% of all proceeds going to the Global Fund. Check out the W Facebook page for more.
Rooms at the W London start at a hefty £400 ($623) a night this coming Friday. That is super steep but just try to remember it's for a good cause.
[Photo: W Hotels]
Hotel News / Amsterdam Hotels / Starwood Hotels / W Hotels / Element Hotels / Hotel Hype / → All Tags
The uber-eco friendly Element Amsterdam is wonderfully--or dangerously--close to a shopping mall, but you can still feel good about "going green" while spending some green.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is bringing two of its design-driven brands to one of Europe’s hippest cities, with Element Amsterdam and W Amsterdam both opening next year. Here’s the latest on these upcoming hotels. Just two more reasons to love Amsterdam.
Hotel Development / Hollywood Hotels / Hotel Hype / Millennium Hotels / Hotel Woes / W Hotels / → All Tags
One of the most talked about mixed-use developments in the history of Hollywood is having a hard time getting off the ground, mostly because of what is going on below the ground. Millennium Hollywood, aka "MillHoll," is an ambitious live-work-stay destination that aims to add about a million square feet, and a 200-room luxury hotel, onto a couple of vacant parking lots. MillHoll is located next door to the iconic Capital Records Tower, which is to be a highlighted feature of the mega-urban project.
The hottest issue that may be keeping MillHoll from advancing past renderings form is whether or not the land is sitting on top of an active earthquake fault. If it's true, that's one hell of a "no-no."