W Hotels Worldwide has announced plans to reinvigorate more than 10 of its hotel properties across North America within the next 18 months. The renovations, which vary by hotel, are slated to include cutting-edge updates to public spaces, new signature bar and restaurant concepts, and stylish revamps to guestrooms, enhancing the W portfolio overall for both its jet set travelers and locals alike. The ambitious renovation schedule is focused on many of the W brand's early hotels in key markets such as New York City, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, among others.
Charged with further connecting hotel design to local contextual insights, W Hotels has engaged some of the industry's brightest rising visionaries to collaborate with the W brand's award-winning design team to transform various spaces within each of the hotels. In particular, many of the renovations focus on the Living Room (W's take on the traditional hotel lobby), which is a key element to the W experience, offering a place for guests to mix and mingle over cocktails and pulsating music. Upgrades to these public areas, as well as the debut of new bar and restaurant concepts, allow for W to enhance the overall guest experience while also drawing in locals.
Starwood and its ownership groups have committed more than $100 million to the renovations, which include the improvements listed for the following W Hotels:
W New York - Union Square - Downtown meets uptown in the sharp new design aesthetic created by d-ash and Wilson Associates for W Union Square, which just underwent a renovation of all 270 guestrooms and corridors. Olives, the hotel's popular Todd English restaurant, as well as its famed nightlife venue, Lilium (formerly Underbar), have also been revamped. The hotel's Living Room is set to be updated by Krause + Sawyer early next year.
W Seattle - Inspired by the feeling of a wharf, intermixed with a central "point of impact" that radiates outward, W Seattle recently unveiled a completely redesigned Living Room and bar area. Designed by Skylab Architecture, the hotel has also debuted the W brand's signature restaurant concept, Trace, which focuses on conscious cuisine. The hotel has engaged Therese Virserius Design to renovate all of its meeting rooms later this year.
W Chicago - Lakeshore - Envisioned by Josh Held Design, the renovations are a nod to the ingenuity of Chicago and the tension between city and nature. Each of the 520 guestrooms will be renovated and characterized by faceted patterns, a bridge of light and energetic colors. The hotel's public spaces, including the Living Room, Wave restaurant, Whiskey Sky (rooftop bar), the Welcome Desk and the hotel's prime meeting space, Altitude (with 360 degree views of the city), will also be transformed to recall the strength, invention and industrialism of Chicago, for a final reveal in 2013.
W New Orleans - French Quarter - The award-winning, intimate hotel is currently undergoing complete renovations of all guestrooms by nemaworkshop, who incorporated both jazz and tarot motifs in the design. Renovations on the first floor were revealed this past month, with the project due to be complete by mid-Summer. Led by Ti Martin of the Commander's Palace Family of Restaurants, SoBou, the hotel's new destination restaurant, will present an artful cocktail program paired with a next generation Creole dining experience.
W San Diego - W San Diego has re-energized its Rooftop Bar with a bright, bold bonfire theme - including a playful sculpture of stacked beach chairs - as envisioned by Mr. Important Design of Oakland, California. Inspiration ignites in the newly imagined Living Room where vibrant colors collide and heat up the lounge atmosphere. In addition, the hotel's meeting rooms have been expanded and renovated as the hotel debuts its new restaurant, kelvin - which features touches of Latin soul - this month.
For more information on W’s sweeping upgrades, please visit www.whotels.com.