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W London Has Gone 'Wyld' With Technology

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  Site Where: 10 Wardour Stree, London, United Kingdom, W1D 6QF
May 26, 2015 at 7:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

W Hotels is already implementing their keyless entry technology which lets guests open the guest room doors using their smartphones, and their watches. But at the W London--Leicester Square technology has now invaded the hotel uniforms.

Staffers at the hotel's nightclub, Wyld, are now wearing these super cool Glofaster uniforms featuring LED technology that pulses to the beat of the club's music. (The hotel also changes its exterior colors on a whim too.)They were designed by Britain's rising fashion designer, Claire Barrow. Here's a bit more on what these uniforms are like:

[Barrow's] creations for Wyld feature reactive strip lighting, made by Glofaster, within a W screen-printed design that was influenced by the club’s glowing red neon lights. Both male and female uniforms also boast Barrow’s signature embroidered motifs, with designs that take inspiration from Wyld’s renowned oversized disco ball and London’s vibrant night scene. The bespoke garments combine Barrow’s chic ‘Do It Yourself’ approach to design with Wyld’s rock and roll aesthetic.

You can see these uniforms in action at Wyld from 10pm on Wednesday-Sunday. Rooms at the W currently start about 340 GBP next weekend.

[Photo: W London]

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Even More Hotels To Look Forward to in Philadelphia

May 26, 2015 at 5:12 PM | by | Comments (0)

Come 2017, this mega-modern tower will be home to W and Element Philadelphia, and we can't help but notice their next door neighbor--The Ritz-Carlton

Philadelphia is on a (redevelopment) roll with more upcoming hotels to choose from than there are cheese steak stands. VisitPhilly, the source of all information for incoming travel, has rounded up 10 new hotels coming to town.

But we too, have been following hotels such as the Starck-designed SLS LUX; Four Seasons' new home; Kimpton'smove into a former court building; and an AC Hotel by Marriott which is set to engulf a funky Deco building.

If that's not enough for the option-oriented traveler, here are four more hotels to add to the mix. And expect even more behind these.

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5 New and Renewed Milan Hotels to Go on Your Radar Right Now

Where: Milan, Italy
May 26, 2015 at 9:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Excelsior Hotel Gallia,now reopened

To say Milan is having a moment right now would an understatement of leviathan proportions. And let’s thank boring trade show Expo for all the lovely hotels it’s showering us in.

We’ve covered plenty of 2015 openings as they happened (scroll through here), but there are still some to come, and a couple that have quietly unlocked those doors since we checked in a few weeks ago. Here are the ones to watch:

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HNB: The Usual Rebrandings, Openings, Delays and Renovations

May 20, 2015 at 12:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world!

· Conrad Chicago, shown above, will cease to be a part of Hilton Hotels later this fall and will instead join Starwood's Luxury Collection group. No word yet on what the new name will be. [Source: Hotel News Resource]

· Fresh off opening their New York property, EDITION Hotels will open next year in Sanya, China; Thailand and Abu Dhabi with Shanghai and Times Square to happen in 2017 and West Hollywood in 2018. Paris has inexplicably dropped off the website although Edition folk say it is still happening. Also happening that's not yet listed? The Reijavkik Edition in Iceland. We cannot wait. [Source: Edition Hotels website]

· The 342-room JW Marriott Minneapolis, which will have direct access to the Mall of America, is set to open in November. However, the website is accepting reservations right now for stays from January 1, 2016 and beyond. [Source: JW Marriott Hotels]

· A tipster wrote into tell us that the W Retreat Kanai in Riviera Maya, Mexico, which last we heard was opening in July 2015, is now opening in January 2018, according to the W Hotels website. Yup, that seems about right for W Hotels. [Source: Tipster and W Hotels]

· After announcing a Hilton Garden Inn for Hawaii, Hilton is now going to install their DoubleTree by Hilton brand in the iconic Hilo Naniloa Hotel and Golf Club on the Big Island. The hotel is currently closed as it goes under a $16 million renovation. It should reopen as DoubleTree later this year. [Source: Pacific Business News]

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W Amsterdam Opens Reservations, W Milan Delays Until 2017

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  Site Where: Spuistraat 175, Amsterdam, Milan, Netherlands, 1012 VN
April 14, 2015 at 8:28 AM | by | Comments (0)

W giveth, W taketh away...

Having ogled renderings of W Amsterdam a month ago, reservations for the 238-room hotel are now are finally live.

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?

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The W Bellevue to Open in 2017, Conveniently Next to The Westin

March 24, 2015 at 7:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

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]

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The Hoxton Amsterdam Is Counting Down Until Reservations Open

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Herengrach 255, Amsterdam, Netherlands
March 17, 2015 at 8:17 AM | by | Comments (2)

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).

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Your First Look Inside W Amsterdam, Opening September

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  Site Where: Spuistraat 175, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1012 VN
March 9, 2015 at 8:39 AM | by | Comments (6)

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.

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Are We the Only Ones Who Visit Hotels for Fun?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom
February 18, 2015 at 9:31 AM | by | Comments (8)

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.

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Confessions of a Hotel Bartender, Vol. 6: W Chicago - City Center

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  Site Where: 172 W Adams Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60603
February 4, 2015 at 2:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

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

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Four Big Name Hotels On Their Way to Marrakech

January 13, 2015 at 10:30 AM | by | Comment (1)

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.

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W Paris Opéra Opens Their New Bar Brûlé Cocktail Bar

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  Site Where: 4 rue Meyerbeer, Paris, France, 75009
January 8, 2015 at 10:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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