Fort Lauderdale, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- W Hotels Worldwide, the hotel category buster and leading industry innovator, today marks a milestone in its 10 year history with the opening of the hotel brand's 30th property worldwide, W Fort Lauderdale and The Residences at W Fort Lauderdale. W Fort Lauderdale brings "Oceanfront Wow" to the shores of South Florida, perfectly positioned directly on Fort Lauderdale Beach with two towers soaring 23-stories each high above the crystal blue Atlantic waters. With interior design envisioned by critically acclaimed Clodagh Design, W Fort Lauderdale provides a modern, fully integrated lifestyle experience, including Whiskey Blue, a stylish bar and lounge from famed nightlife entrepreneurs Rande and Scott Gerber; Stephen Starr's Steak 954, a modern interpretation of the traditional steakhouse; and Bliss® spa, New York's hottest spa. Developed by The DYL Development Group, W Fort Lauderdale is the ultimate insider escape sure to become the coolest destination in town.
"We are thrilled to unveil W Fort Lauderdale, our 30th W Hotel worldwide and our first in Florida, a perfect backdrop for W's fully integrated lifestyle experience," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. "With the opening of this magnificent beachfront hotel and residences, we have created a destination within a destination and the ultimate urban escape."
"DYL is proud to open Florida's first W Hotel and Residences in the vibrant city of Fort Lauderdale," said John Yanopoulos, Chief Executive Officer of the owner and developer. "With an incredible location and illustrious group of partners, W Fort Lauderdale is the perfect lifestyle destination."
W Fort Lauderdale's landmark exterior, designed to resemble a sailboat, was inspired by the city's boating culture. The hotel's broad pedestals represent the hull while the two towers form white opposing "sails," which in boating terms means to "come about" or change direction, representative of Fort Lauderdale's recent rebirth as a leading upscale destination.
In designing W Fort Lauderdale's interiors, Clodagh set out to ensure that guests experience something beautiful and unique in each space. Using the wave and the sea as an inspiration and the beach as a directive, she has mixed elements of earth and stone with the sounds of water, the glowing light of fire, the natural feel of wood, and the edge of metal. Mirroring the color palette of the hotel's surrounding oceanfront landscape, Clodagh infused waves of blue with jolts of magenta, while an undercurrent of concrete, resembling brushed sand, resonates throughout the hotel. She designed 230 custom furniture pieces, unique to the property with fabrics and finishes inspired by the shimmering sands, pounding surf and the infinite variation of colors found on nearby seashells. Clodagh brought the outside in and the inside out by using interior colors and textures on the terraces and pool decks, visually punctuating each deck with a fire bowl. With her unrivaled understanding of the use of scale, she defined and grounded the soaring interior volumes by molding intimate areas making the property profoundly comfortable.
"Some say God is in the details, but in hotel spaces it's really about the WOWs," said Clodagh. "When I walk into a hotel space, I want all of the senses to be enlivened."
A main feature of the hotel is a breathtaking oceanfront pool deck with an awe-inspiring design feature – a glass-enclosed stairway allowing guests and residents to literally walk from the signature W living room through the pool's inviting waters and onto the pool deck. Guests in the living room can watch swimmers above through slivers in the ceiling, adding to W Fort Lauderdale's fun and flirty atmosphere.
Whiskey Blue, the Florida debut of nightlife entrepreneurs Rande and Scott Gerber, founders of the Gerber Group, features a stylish atmosphere for guests, residents and local loyalists to mix and mingle. Also designed by Clodagh, Whiskey Blue incorporates natural elements of sun, sea and sand, reflecting Fort Lauderdale's jet set yet relaxed atmosphere. A color palette of blue and amber transports outdoor elements inside, evoking the reflection of an iconic Florida sunset on the Atlantic Ocean, while countless mirrored brass rods filled with twinkling fiber optic lighting hang from the ceiling, creating the aura of a star filled night sky. The Gerber Group also brings its signature nightlife experience to W Fort Lauderdale's living room, located on the hotel's third floor, as well as to the hotel's outdoor WET pool bar.
"We look forward to opening our first location in Fort Lauderdale, a city that continues to develop, with exciting energy and a cosmopolitan social scene," said Rande Gerber. "South Florida exudes a unique sensuality and Whiskey Blue will reflect this distinctive atmosphere of sun, sand and surf."
The arrival of W Fort Lauderdale introduces South Florida to restaurateur Stephen Starr, Bon Appétit's "Restaurateur of the Year" in 2005 and Zagat Survey's "Restaurateur of The Year" in 2007. Starr's Steak 954, a luxury boutique steakhouse, features ample á la carte entrées designed to exude pure and simple flavors with complementary side dishes and sauces. Executed by Chef Jason Smith (Table 8 South Beach), the menu blends classic steakhouse offerings with innovative flavors and techniques, emphasizing dry aged meats, artisanal ingredients and organic produce. Steak 954 has been designed by Paris-based design firm Gilles & Boissier, best known for their work at Hakkasan (Istanbul) and Maison Boulud (Beijing) as well as their collaboration with Christian Liaigre to create Starr's dramatic Buddakan restaurant in New York City. The ocean-front restaurant combines organic materials and clean lines to create a breezy, tropical feel. A palette of vibrant blues and greens glows against dark woods and bold floral wallpaper. French artist Cyprien Chabert was commissioned to create a magnificent mural at the entrance of the restaurant. Inspired by 18th Century frescoes, Chabert hand drew a vivid tropical landscape on the walls and ceiling using only permanent marker, a remarkable introduction to the space.
Bliss Spa boasts more than 4,000-square-feet of tension-fighting facilities at W Fort Lauderdale. With a focus on waxing, skincare services, manicures and pedicures, bliss also provides massage and body treatments. Four treatment rooms and bliss trademark touches such as rhythm & blues tunes, a retail beauty boutique, and the legendary brownie buffet, make bliss fort lauderdale the ultimate destination for stylish jet setters and spa and beauty-loving locals. W Fort Lauderdale guests and residents also receive "BIP" (Bliss Important Person) status for priority reservations and exclusive in-room sampling. Additionally, all guests can enjoy the much craved sink side bliss amenities in all guestrooms and suites.
W Fort Lauderdale features 517 stylish guestrooms and residences, including 16 suites, 38 one-bedroom flats, 102 two-bedroom flats, one WOW suite and the signature Extreme WOW Suite (W Hotels' reinterpretation of the Presidential Suite), all offering dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway or downtown Fort Lauderdale. Envisioning guestrooms and residences as places for reflection and relaxation, Clodagh drew upon her own spa design experience to create a calm and soothing retreat high above the ocean. During the day, ambient light floods the room through floor-to-ceiling windows, while in the evening, Clodagh's signature "love light" is emitted from the back of the headboard, casting a soft glow across the room as guests unwind. All guestrooms and suites at W Fort Lauderdale feature state-of-the-art entertainment options, including flat-screen LCD TV and docking station for MP3 players, and a fully stocked Munchie Box (W Hotels' re-interpretation of the traditional hotel Mini Bar), setting the stage for a night on the town or for winding down after a day at the beach.
W Fort Lauderdale features SWEAT® state-of-the-art fitness facility, W Hotels The Store, WIRED business center and nearly 18,000 square feet of ultra-modern indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, including The Great Room, which can accommodate more than 400 guests, and a magnificent oceanfront pool deck perfect for cocktail parties. The hotel also offers W's signature Whatever/Whenever® service promise, providing guests and residents with whatever they want – from a chartered deep sea fishing excursion to a bottle of vintage wine – whenever they want it, as long as it's legal!
Providing the ultimate in urban living, The Residences at W Fort Lauderdale offer owners a combination of stylish one- and two-bedroom condominiums with all the signature W comforts, services and amenities available to hotel guests. Residences are still available and can be purchased by contacting the Welcome Center at (954) 462-1633.
This year W Hotels will debut two additional hotels in the South Florida/Caribbean region, W South Beach and The Residences at W South Beach as well as W Retreat & Spa-Vieques Island. With 10 years of proven success, W Hotels will more than double its footprint by 2011, expanding its presence in the most sought after markets from Paris to Milan, Barcelona to London, Washington D.C. to Santiago, Hollywood to Vieques Island, and Shanghai to Bali.
W Fort Lauderdale and The Residences at W Fort Lauderdale are located at 401 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard.
W Hotels is an innovative luxury lifestyle brand and the hotel category buster with 30 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, 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.
DYL Development Group, LLC based in South Florida with corporate offices in both Miami and Fort Lauderdale, is one of Florida's most active developers, specializing in hotels, resorts, luxury high-rises, residential condominiums, and retail and mixed-use projects. The company has a strong track record building exceptionally attractive, functional and highly successful projects that are appropriate to their locale and are innovative to the market. DYL Development Group's portfolio includes the luxury ocean front condominium Europa-by-the-Sea in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, the recently completed Infinity at Brickell condominium in the financial center of Miami and the W Fort Lauderdale Hotel and Residences.
DYL Development Group, LLC is dedicated to the development of quality real estate projects which successfully meet the bottom line financial, aesthetic and operational objectives. Consequently, the company prides itself in having a deep understanding of all of the essential elements, which together define the viability of the real estate development business from feasibility analysis through design and construction management and project completion. With multiple projects planned for development both nationally and internationally, and the scope of its operations extending to include arms in project management, real estate sales, acquisitions as well as finance, DYL stands poised as the industry's leader in full-service real estate development.
Rande Gerber and Scott Gerber are the founders and principals of the Gerber Group. With over 35 properties in their portfolio, Rande's vision of opening innovative bars and lounges has evolved since the opening of The Whiskey in New York City over 15 years ago, finding extraordinary success worldwide. Their uncanny ability to find the right mix of glamour and taste in each market has made them the most respected and influential nightlife proprietors in the country. Their nightlife brand and vision continues to expand, developing hotel restaurants and bars with: Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Hard Rock Hotels; Sofitel Hotels; ME by Melia Hotels; and Fairmont Hotels.
The Gerber Group's portfolio of properties includes: Stone Rose Lounge in New York, Los Angeles and Scottsdale; Whiskey Blue in New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Atlanta & Fort Lauderdale; The Whiskey in New York & Mexico City; Whiskey Park in New York, Boston & Atlanta; Whiskey Sky & The Whiskey Bar & Grill in Chicago; Wetbar & Underbar in New York; Rise Lounge at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi; Midnight Rose, a restaurant and lounge and The Penthouse, a roof top bar, in the historic Hotel Reina Victoria, now ME Madrid; and the Beach House and Rose Bar at ME Cancun, a luxury resort in Cancun, Mexico.
Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts