W Hotels Worldwide Unveils Major Renovation of Iconic W Chicago-City Center Hotel

W Hotels Continues to Upgrade Its Current Portfolio as It Transforms from U.S. Phenomenon to Global Powerhouse

June 26, 2009 // Franchising.com // Chicago, IL - W Hotels Worldwide, the hotel category buster and industry innovator, today unveils the renovation of the iconic W Chicago-City Center. As the first W Hotel in Chicago, having opened in mid-2001, and as part of W Hotels' original portfolio, the completion of this renovation is another milestone for W in its pursuit to renovate and upgrade its existing hotel portfolio while more than doubling its footprint by the end of 2011. Mixing the Beaux-Arts architecture of W Chicago-City Center's historic building with cutting-edge design and stylish elements for which the W Brand is known, the redesign of this hotel extends to the hotel's 235 guestrooms and suites, signature W Living Room, and more than 14,000 square feet of ultra-modern meeting and event space.

"As we continue to grow globally, it is essential that we upgrade our original hotels in order to create a consistent lifestyle experience for W guests worldwide," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. "The renovation of W Chicago-City Center follows the renovations of W New York, W New York-Times Square, and W San Francisco."

The renovation of W Chicago-City Center takes the magnificent scale of the hotel's historic architecture and layers in contemporary cool design elements, which lead to surprising and innovative solutions in a playful and lighthearted way. In the W Living Room (W Hotels' take on the traditional hotel lobby), soaring columns, oversized lamps and a long, winding sofa mix with smaller furniture pieces covered in serpentine fabrics or luminescent metallics, creating the perfect environment for conducting business by day or mingling with friends by night. A warm neutral color palette punctuated with vibrant blue accents serves as a backdrop for innovative design elements such as modern carpeting that incorporates thousands of LED pin lights resembling a night sky and side tables with liquid sealed in between their tabletops, creating elements of "Wow" as the table's design changes and moves when pressed.

The hotel's guestrooms and suites create the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city while providing a space for socializing. Rooms have been updated with a modern yet functional design, incorporating modular furniture that transitions with the guest from day to night. A bar is available for shaking and mixing cocktails while flat screen TVs are mounted on adjustable arms for entertaining anywhere in the room. Guestrooms have a neutral palette accented with deep navy and purple colors and minimal yet oversized furniture, creating a larger, more open feel to the space. Textured carpeting and custom wall coverings in guestrooms create signature patterns that are found throughout the hotel. A soft, glowing light from underneath the bed illuminates the room while recessed lighting fixtures and light-filtering shades set the mood for guests to unwind. In the bathroom, panel-lit mirrors hang over spacious white marble sinks stocked with W's signature Bliss amenity products.

W Chicago-City Center continues to offer W's signature contemporary lifestyle programming for guests and locals alike, including W's Living Room bar experience, Tuscan-inspired steakhouse fare by acclaimed Chef Mike Kurotobi at ristorante we, SWEAT state-of-the-art fitness facility, WIRED 24-hour business center, and more than 14,000 square feet of ultra-modern meeting and event space, including 13 meeting rooms and a 4,000 square foot Great Room (W's twist on the hotel ballroom), perfect for accommodating large-scale events. The hotel also offers W Hotels' Whatever/Whenever® service promise, offering guests whatever they want – from a private boat tour of the city along the shores of Lake Michigan to a pair of jogging shoes at 2am – whenever they want it, as long as it's legal!

Ideally located in the heart of the famed Chicago Loop, W Chicago-City Center is within steps of the Sears Tower, the Chicago Art Institute, shopping on Michigan Avenue, live music at Millennium Park and the city's renowned Theatre District.

About W Hotels Worldwide®

W Hotels is an innovative contemporary 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.

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