W Hotels Worldwide Unveils Renovation of Iconic W New York-Times Square

Inspired by the Bustling Atmosphere of Times Square, Renowned Design Firm Yabu Pushelberg Creates a Contemporary Cool Urban Escape in the Heart of New York City

March 23, 2009 // Franchising.com // New York, NY –– W Hotels Worldwide, the hotel category buster and industry innovator, today announced the completion of a full guestroom renovation of the iconic W New York-Times Square. Developed in collaboration with the property's initial designer, award-winning interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg, the renovation of W New York-Times Square combines form, function and style with cutting-edge design to create a cool urban escape in the heart of New York City. The renovation of W New York-Times Square represents a key milestone as the brand continues to update its initial portfolio while expanding into vibrant, primary destinations throughout North America and internationally. A New York-born brand, W Hotels Worldwide currently has five hotels in Manhattan and will open two new hotels in the area in the next year with the debuts of W Hoboken this spring and W New York-Downtown in early 2010.

"Innovation and transformation have been central to the W brand since its inception," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. "As we begin to evolve the brand from a New York-centric phenomenon to a global powerhouse by tripling our portfolio in the next three years, the renovation of the iconic W New York-Times Square hotel is a key milestone in developing a consistent brand portfolio."

One of the first W Hotels in the brand's growing portfolio, W New York-Times Square debuted in December 2001 as an alluring and sophisticated escape, quickly establishing itself as the coolest place to see and be seen in New York. Seven years later, Yabu Pulshelberg was engaged to renovate the hotel's 509 guestrooms and suites, which have been re-imagined to capture the energy of Times Square while providing a sleek and glossy refuge from the bustling city.

To create an urban escape perched high above the city streets, each room glows with dramatic highs and lows of light and color bringing an element of techno-glam cool. All rooms feature an innovative, modern, and highly functional work area, topped with a sleek metal and glass surface that supports the many needs of W travelers – where drinks can be shaken and stirred or emails can be scribed and sent under the focused glow of a sculptural lamp. At the window, a shapely, undulating lounger encourages chilling out before going out. In addition, each room offers guests a variety of entertainment options, from W Hotels' signature "Munchie" Box (W Hotels' re-invention of the traditional Mini Bar), retro-designed Tivoli radios, iPod docking stations, and large flat-screen televisions mounted for rotation to ensure comfortable viewing from anywhere in the room.

New design features in the bathrooms echo the aesthetic of guestrooms, making the space feel more expansive with sultry frosted glass doors and walls. The closet, washed in a bold flash of color, has been designed to fully organize guests' wardrobes.

Fantastic Suites (W Hotels' approach to a Junior Suite) take the techno-glam energy from guestrooms and enliven the space with expansive city skyline views set against a bold color palette that is magnified with a cool dose of electrifying blue. Featuring an abundance of comfortable living and lounging space, a sleek plane adorned with a flat screen television seems to float between the bedroom and living room, separating work from play with style and innovation.

Completely transformed, Sweat Fitness Center has been redesigned to provide health conscious guests with state-of-the art Techno Gym equipment including treadmills, elliptical and weight machines to provide a muscle-toning and pulse pounding workout. Attached to the fitness center, a separate stretching room provides an area for relaxation, stretching or private instruction by a trainer which can be arranged through the hotel's Whatever/Whenever® concierge service. Additionally, six techno-glam guestrooms are now located on the same floor allowing fitness fanatics the ease of being only steps away from Sweat Fitness.

"New York is the epicenter of fashion, design, music and entertainment, all passions of the W brand" said Vera Manoukian, Area Managing Director, W Hotels of New York. "As the category buster and leading innovator, W Hotels will continue to refuel our cool in New York City with upcoming revitalization projects, including the renovations of W New York–Times Square and W New York–Union Square in 2009."

With 10 years of proven success, W Hotels will triple its global footprint by 2011, with expansion into vibrant primary destinations around the world, from Paris to Milan, Barcelona to London, Santiago to Vieques Island, Dubai to Doha, Hollywood to South Beach, and Shanghai to Bali. W Hotels has forever changed the hospitality landscape with a series of industry firsts in the past 10 years, including: transformation of the hotel lobby into the W Living Room experience; introduction of the W brand's signature Whatever/Whenever concierge service as a vehicle to fulfill every guest's dreams; extension of the lifestyle experience into retail through W Hotels the Store; a sensorial multiplex experience with branded W CD compilations released each year; reinterpretation of the hotel mini-bar into the W "Munchie Box" to present the brand's lifestyle point of view; and reinvention of the presidential suite into W's "Extreme Wow" and "Wow" suites.

About W Hotels Worldwide®

W Hotels is an innovative luxury lifestyle brand and the hotel category buster with 28 properties in the most vibrant destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access to a world of "Wow." Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design and passions around fashion, music, entertainment, design, architecture, pop culture, and everything in between. W Hotels are unique and individual expressions of modern living, reflected in the brand's sensibility to a holistic lifestyle experience with cutting-edge design, contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous nightlife experiences, and signature spas. With 10 years of proven success, W Hotels will triple its footprint by 2011. In North America and Latin America, W Hotels have been announced in Austin, 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, Paris 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 Marrakech, Amman, and Dubai. W has plans to open W Retreats in Bali, Koh Samui, Vieques Island and Verbier, the latter of which will serve as W Hotels' first ski retreat.

About Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg

George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, one of the most exciting design duos in the luxury interior design arena, create signature environments for a diverse and often high-profile international clientele within the specialized retail, hospitality, and restaurant sectors. With offices in New York City and Toronto, Yabu Pushelberg has collaborated with some of the world's leading entrepreneurs and innovators, including W Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Thompson Hotels, Hyatt, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and Peninsula Hotels; Prada, Louis Vuitton, Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany & Co. and Lane Crawford. George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg were named "Designer of the Year" by Contract magazine and have also been inducted into the Interior Design magazine "Hall of Fame." Most recently, the firm received Interior Design 'Best of Year Awards' for their work on the Hazelton Hotel in Toronto and on the Lane Crawford department store in Beijing.

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