Starwood Opening Two New W Hotels

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The W Hotels are Starwood’s “hip” brand of hotels and the hotel chain has been expanding the W brand in recent months. In the latter half of 2015 Starwood opened the doors of the W Hotel Amsterdam and announced a further 4 W Hotels for Los Angeles, Belgrade, Sharm El Sheikh and Punta De Mita. But that, apparently, isn’t the end of the W Hotels expansion.

This week W Hotels has announced that it will debut one of its properties in Aspen as well as bringing the brand to Madrid, Spain.

W Aspen

The W Aspen and The Sky Residences at W Aspen are scheduled to open in time for the 2017 winter season and will be housed within what was once the Sky Hotel (a Kimpton Hotel).

w-hotel-aspen-location-mapLocation of the new W Hotel Aspen (click to enlarge)

From a look at google maps, the location of the W Aspen looks ideal for the main ski lifts/chairs/gondolas that Aspen offers and it will be a short, 5 minute walk to the St Regis.

The W Aspen will provide a full-service ski shop which will provide guests with rental equipment and somewhere to store their skis as well as a 1,100 sq ft gym just in case the skiing isn’t tiring enough!

Further details from W Hotels:

Locally-inspired, this modern day mountain chalet will celebrate the spirit of Aspen, offering 88 guestrooms (including six suites) and 11 W-branded fractional residences. An oversized split level Living Room (the brand’s alternative to the staid hotel lobby) reimagines the traditional hotel dining scene with a modern approach to dynamic cocktails and cuisine. To complete the experience of this incomparable location, the hotel will feature a 1,600 square foot outdoor patio and a 12,000 square foot rooftop bar and pool, overlooking Aspen Mountain and creating the ultimate experience for après-ski and warm-weather events.

The only image currently available is an artist’s rendering (courtesy of W Hotels):


W Madrid

The W Madrid will be the W brand’s second hotel in Spain (W Hotel Barcelona opened in 2009) and will be located very centrally at on Plaza de Canalejas.

w-madrid-location-mapLocation of the new W Hotel Madrid (click to enlarge)

Scheduled to open in 2018 (nothing more concrete than that has been released), the W Madrid will feature 141 guestrooms which will include 20 suites and one “Extreme Wow Suite”. In typical W style the property will have a rooftop bar with a signature WET outdoor pool deck.

Interestingly, Starwood will be attempting to fuse a very modern hotel concept with a 19th century building that currently stands on the site of the W Madrid – I’m looking forward to seeing how they make that work.

Bottom Line

I’ve confessed a number of times to not being a fan of Starwood’s W brand as I find it to be too brash, trying to hard to be cool and, put simply, “all show and little substance”. The W Hotels in New York are tremendous disappointment and the W Hollywood seldom fails to under-deliver on expectations…so I find it hard to get too excited about new openings.

The only W Hotels I regularly hear anything good about are the properties in Asia, and specifically the W Hong Kong (which I haven’t visited). The success of these properties is probably down to the service culture that those countries have rather than anything the brand is doing.

Europe is seriously lacking in a true service culture if you compare it to what you can expect in Asia and, despite Europeans holding US standards of service in high regard, the W Hotels in the US just don’t deliver…at least not regularly.

Of the two newly announced W Hotels, I suspect the W Aspen may be the one to look out for and would be the one I’d be most likely to try out (if only to get a review out of it). Aspen is a pretty small place and has a high density of top-end hotels so the W Aspen will have to be on its game if it is to compete successfully with its neighbors – that may keep service standards up.