W Hotel deftly mixes whimsy with a darker, more urban sensibility - a yin-yang approach to design that’s true to the brand’s fixation on appearances. On the fanciful side: the “Please Make Up My Room” and “Do Not Disturb” signs flash from the pages of a mock book outside each room. And on the side of cosmopolitan chic: the steel-and-glass façade by famed architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fix Associates glows from the thousands of tiny lights within, slate slabs line the wall of the double-story lobby and a subdued palette of blues, grays and browns is used in the rooms and public areas.
While taking a chance by opening in a new neighborhood - the reclaimed land of West Kowloon - the hotel is betting that the maverick location should appeal to hipsters. There are perks to the site, including having enough space for an al fresco dining area and the adjoining Elements mall.
Two interior design firms were hired to create the hotel’s 393 rooms, giving a slightly different feel to alternating floors. The rooms by Australian outfit Nicholas Graham + Associates feature a more sober look: darker greens and grays, with a swirling, wood-grain pattern etched in steel on the walls behind the bed. There’s a low-slung beige sofa if you want to relax next to the window. Japanese firm Glamorous, headed by sought-after young designer Yasumichi Morita, displays a lighter, more playful touch: silhouettes of butterflies on the translucent white walls behind the bed and bathroom mirrors with vine-and-paisley patterns on their white frames.
The rooms start at 40 square meters, relatively generous in this space-deprived town; in fact, the bathroom is separated by two rolling screens that you can slide back for a more spacious feel. All rooms are equipped with 400-threadcount sheets, 42-inch, high-definition Sharp flat-screen TV’s, KEF speakers, DVD players, iPod docks, high-speed wireless Internet and bathroom amenities from the hotel’s Bliss spa.
Need to relax after a day navigating through one of Asia’s most hectic cities? Stop by the 836-square-meter Bliss spa or take a dip in the pool on the 76th floor (which makes it the city’s highest pool). The hotel’s main restaurant, Fire, offers sophisticated takes on classic European fare as well as edgier fusion dishes from New Zealander executive chef, Michael Poutawa; near the front desk is the more casual Kitchen eatery.
In the rooms, the well-stocked mini-bar includes Veuve Cliquot and full bottles of Chivas Regal and Gordon’s Gin. W also prides itself in giving its guests an inside track on cultural happenings around town, so be sure to use the services of the concierge (known in W lingo as the W Insider), who can score tickets to everything from jazz shows to horse races. Also keep an eye out for “W Happenings” - the hotel’s in-house events program that includes concerts, book readings, fashion shows and the like.
1 Austin Rd. West
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 3717 2222