October 28, 2008 // Franchising.com // New York/Hong Kong –– Hot in the pursuit of the world's most intriguing destinations, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the landmark entry of W Hotels into China with the grand opening of W Hong Kong. Located in a glittering, new waterfront skyscraper in the heart of the city's vibrant new commercial, entertainment and cultural district, W Hong Kong features 393 luxuriously appointed guest rooms, including 42 suites. The hotel also introduces Asia's first Bliss® Spa and boasts two signature restaurants, the city's most highly elevated hotel swimming pool, a 73rd floor modern fitness facility, 8,200 square feet of convertible, state-of-the-art meeting and event space, and the quintessential W lounge experience. Owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties, W Hong Kong serves as the centerpiece for the rapidly expanding West Kowloon district nestled among modern splendor, oriental markets and colonial cool. As the most anticipated hotel opening in Hong Kong in years, W Hong Kong marks the W brand's third property in Asia and celebrates W Hotels' ten year tradition of innovative design, signature amenities and warm, whimsical style.
"We are delighted to bring the W brand to China, continuing our global expansion into the world's most exciting and intriguing destinations," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. "Hong Kong's dynamic mix of style, culture and modern design make it the perfect backdrop for the W brand. The abundance of world-class restaurants, art galleries and luxury retailers in the city contribute to Hong Kong's emergence as a vibrant international business and leisure destination."
Offering a sensory multiplex of contemporary design and comfort, W Hong Kong embraces the heritage and mysticism of traditional Chinese culture. The hotel's lead designers, Yasimuchi Morita of Glamorous Corp. and Nic Graham of g+a, have created an environment that offers unique and complementary interpretations of Mother Nature in their respective spaces within the hotel. Elements of wood, stone, water, fire and metal used generously throughout the hotel's colorful spaces and rooms seamlessly blend with the W brand's signature design elements. The hotel also showcases original works by several renowned artists including Lee Bul from Korea as well as Daniel Crooks and James Angus from Australia.
"W Hong Kong is certainly one more great reason to visit this exciting city," said Vice Chairman & Managing Director Thomas Kwok speaking on behalf of Sun Hung Kai Properties, owner of W Hong Kong. "Its positioning and attractions are unique additions to our extensive portfolio of first-class hotels in Hong Kong, and given Starwood's professionalism and passion for the W brand, we have great confidence in W Hong Kong's future. I am sure that the chic, contemporary design, convenient location, personalized service and overall lifestyle approach of the first W Hotel in Hong Kong will impress both our international and local guests."
Offering unobstructed views of Hong Kong's dazzling skyline, W Hong Kong serves as the centerpiece in the new 92-story Cullinan complex, just minutes from the galleries in Soho and Canton Road's luxury retail center. W Hong Kong is uniquely positioned as the closest luxury hotel in Kowloon to Central Hong Kong Island and is within minutes of both the International Commerce Centre and the city's newest exhibition space, AsiaWorld-Expo. The hotel connects directly to the one million square foot Elements luxury shopping mall and offers easy access to the City Golf urban driving range, a host of al-fresco restaurants and bars, some of the city's most prestigious residences and the Pop TV Arena.
"We are thrilled with the opening of W Hong Kong, our first W hotel in China! This hotel is truly an exciting addition to the W brand's growing international footprint in the world's most exciting cities and emerging destinations, including Barcelona, Istanbul, Athens, Guangzhou, Bali, Shanghai, Koh Samui, Santiago, Dubai and Doha," said Miguel Ko, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific. "Hong Kong is one of the world's leading financial capitals and a major business and cultural hub. Its identity as a cosmopolitan centre where east meets west is reflected in its cuisine, music and traditions, truly a great fit with what the W brand has to offer. We are excited about the tremendous opportunities and demand for the W brand in this exciting gateway city of Asia!"
W Hong Kong's 42 luxurious suites all feature dazzling views of the Western Victoria Harbour while offering exclusive amenities that take hotel accommodations to a new level of luxury. In a city known for its posh presidential suites, W Hong Kong's Extreme WOW suites offer guests a dining table for eight, an oversized bathing pool, walk-in closets, Swarovski crystal bath fixtures and an in-room aquarium. All 393 guest rooms and suites at W Hong Kong feature the latest in technology offerings from Sharp, Bang & Olufsen and KEF, while color schemes and design alternate floors, depending on the designer. Guest rooms also feature the W brand's signature bed with feather-top mattress, 350-thread count cotton sheets and goose down comforter, an oversized desk, Tivoli clock radio with CD/DVD player, MP3 docking station, high-speed wireless and wired Internet connection and high-definition 42" inch TVs, creating the ultimate urban escape.
Modern sophistication meets sublime design at W Hong Kong's two signature dining experiences under the culinary supervision of renowned New Zealand Chef, Michael Poutawa. Tempting the taste buds with an array of diverse, Australasian compositions served in an intimate setting, the first of W Hong Kong's two signature restaurants offers a luscious menu featuring prime steak and seafood that's grilled to thrill. Designed by Glamorous Corp., the space features a chic main dining area, two glass-walled, semi-private rooms and a private table for up to 16 guests. W Hong Kong also features a modern bistro, located on the property's g+a-designed 6th floor, offering a stylish, open kitchen experience with views of Victoria Harbour through breathtaking, wall-to-wall bay windows. This sleek restaurant redefines comfort food and features artwork by the celebrated Australian artist Hany Armanious.
The opening of W Hong Kong marks the debut of the first Bliss Spa in Asia. Bliss Hong Kong will boast two floors of tension-fighting facilities, featuring a retail beauty boutique, two movie-while-you-manicure (and pedicure) loungers, nine treatment suites (including two for couples), men's and women's lounges, and relaxation rooms – perfect for a post-treatment catnap. Trademark Bliss touches include a cleverly compiled menu of super effective services, rhythm and blues tunes and the legendary brownie buffet. In addition to superior spa-ing and exclusive in-room sampling, W guests can look forward to 'BIP' (that's Bliss Important Person) perks, including exclusive sinkside Bliss amenities in-room.
Meeting the heightened demand for event, meeting and conference facilities in West Kowloon, W Hong Kong has designed its high-tech function space for medium-sized groups who seek the highest level in audio/video technology. The hotel offers 8,200 square feet of total function and pre-function space, which includes eight meeting rooms and two private dining rooms. W Hong Kong also features the signature W lounge experience where guests can socialize, relax and mingle while sipping cocktails, a full-service, ultra modern fitness facility and the exclusive W Hotels The Store.
Already featured in authoritative travel magazine Destinasian's 2008 Luxe List, W Hong Kong is the ultimate insider's escape, welcoming a variety of leisure guests, celebrities, business executives and those who desire exclusive access to the latest in fashion, art, technology and entertainment. With 26 properties in the world's most vibrant destinations and nearly 20 W Hotels currently in development throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, W Hotels is the fastest growing luxury hotel brand in the world.
W Hotels is a global luxury lifestyle brand with 26 properties in the most vibrant destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access. Each hotel offers a unique mix of sophisticated design, chic comfort, and cultural influences from fashion to music, pop culture to art, and everything in between. W Hotels are unique and individual expressions of modern travel and stylish living, featuring world-class cuisine, destination bars and signature spas. In North America and Latin America, W Hotels have been announced in Austin, Buckhead Atlanta, Downtown Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Hoboken, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Downtown New York, Santiago, South Beach, and Washington, D.C. In Europe, W Hotels have been announced in Athens, Barcelona, London, Manchester, Milan and St. Petersburg. In Asia, W has announced properties in Bangkok, Guangzhou, Macao-Studio City, Shanghai and Yokohama. In Africa and the Middle East, W has announced properties in Amman, Doha, Dubai-Festival City, Dubai-The Palm and Marrakech. W has plans to open W Retreat & Spa properties in Bali, Koh Samui, Vieques Island and Verbier, the latter of which will serve as W Hotels' first ski retreat. For more information, visit www.whotels.com.