February 09, 2011 // Franchising.com // New York – W Hotels Worldwide will continue to showcase what's new and next in design with the opening of six new W Hotels around the world in 2011. Design has been at the forefront of W Hotels since the opening of the David Rockwell-designed W New York – the first ever W Hotel – more than 12 years ago and has evolved with more recent hotel openings by designers such as Patricia Urquiola (W Vieques), United Design (W Doha), and Ricardo Bofill (W Barcelona), among others. As a way to further fuel innovation in design, W Hotels has also forged unique design partnerships such as its "W Hotels Designers of the Future" award with Design Miami/Basel.
"Design has always been an integral part of the W brand," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader of W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. "As W continues to transform into a global powerhouse, we have evolved our design approach to include contextual insights that lead to locally relevant designs bound together by W's DNA."
On track to reach more than 50 hotels by the end of 2012, W Hotels will, this year, open:
Inspired by these unique design personalities of W Hotels around the world, W has recently launched the Global Glam collection of exclusive designer fashion and accessories. An intrinsic expression of design, W Hotels is using Fashion to communicate its global growth. This week, during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, W will launch the fourth season of the Global Glam collection, reflecting the designs of W Taipei (opening February 14, 2011), W Austin (opened December 2010) and W Mexico City (undergoing renovation).
In 2010, W Hotels had an exciting presence at key international design weeks, kicking the year off by announcing a partnership with Design Miami/Basel, the most prominent and substantive forum for international design. The new alliance began at Salone del Mobile in Milan in April, when Design Miami/ Basel announced the "W Hotels Designers of the Future Award" recipients. The four winners of the first ever W-sponsored prize – Beta Tank, Graham Hudson, rAndom International and Zigelbaum + Coelho – debuted exclusive concepts for W Hotels at Art Basel Switzerland in June and then presented these works at various W Hotels across Europe throughout the year. The designers' projects are also being integrated into soon to open W Hotels around the world. In September 2010, W was an official sponsor of Istanbul Design Week, hosting a Young Designer Competition and also displaying the innovative "W Hotels Designers of the Future" works within W Istanbul. Closing out 2010, W Hong Kong hosted a variety of special events, dinners and presentations during Hong Kong's annual Business of Design Week in December.
W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 38 hotels and retreats in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand's sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts and signature spas. With more than 12 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach more than 50 hotels by the end of 2012. W Hotels and W Retreats have been announced for London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Taipei, Bali, Bangkok, Athens – Astir Palace, and Verbier, among other international destinations. For more information, visit www.whotels.com.