By Mark Chesnut
W Hotels, the trendy brand that belongs to Starwood Hotels & Resorts, is in growth mode, with new hotels in the works in a variety of far-flung destinations, as well as upgrades at several existing properties.
Slated to open in December 2013 is the W Verbier, the first W ski retreat, located in the Swiss ski town called Verbier. Another “first” in the works for W Hotels is the W Guangzhou, which will be the first W in mainland China when it debuts in late February (Starwood plans to open W hotels in Beijing and Shanghai in 2014, as well as the W Changsha, in the Hunan province, in 2016).
These upcoming international openings complement a trio of new properties that debuted last year: the W Bangkok, located on the city’s prestigious Embassy Row, the W Paris – Opera, which sits near the Garnier Opera House, and the W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, where urban chic blends with the natural beauty of Sentosa Island.
The brand is also working on a bunch of renovations. At the W Dallas, a company called Mars Culture is redecorating guest rooms with traditional Texan accents like lasso sculptures and rhinestone hardware. The W Los Angeles – Westwood is getting a “re-imagined” signature restaurant, as well as an expanded Living Room, bar and public area.
On the east coast, the W New York – Times Square is doing a major overhaul on its WOW and EWOW suites, which are something like a contemporary interpretation of the traditional presidential suite. And north of the border, the W Montreal is renovating all of its guest rooms this year with a new style and color palette that reflects the destination’s historical architecture.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on travel to Latin America. His last stay at a W Hotel was in Santiago de Chile.