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Number of locations
W Hotels is a luxury hotel chain owned by Marriott International that is generally marketed towards a younger age group than their other upscale properties. As of July 2017, W operates 52 hotels in 25 countries and is continuing to expand both domestically and internationally.
W Hotels was launched in 1998 with W New York, a conversion of the old Doral Inn hotel at 541 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The first few W hotels were mainly conversions of existing hotels already within the Starwood group. In 2001 Starwood added W New York - Times Square and made it its Starship property. W Hotels expanded its number of properties quickly in the United States over the next decade and is now focusing its expansion efforts abroad for the most part.
W opened its first hotel in Europe in Istanbul in May 2008. The hotel, located in the renovated Akaretler Row Houses, a group of historic structures built in the 1870s to house the employees of the Dolmabahçe Palace, blends the traditional Ottoman design of the row houses with the contemporary feel of the luxury hotel chain. W Barcelona hotel was W's first in Western Europe and opened in October 2009. It features a futuristic design by architect Ricardo Bofill in the shape of a sail and, standing 26 stories tall, it can be seen from all over the city. W's most notable properties under-development includes the 62 storey W MUMBAI also known as Namaste Tower.
The lobbies of all the hotels are known as the "Living Room" to embrace a personable and socially encouraging atmosphere. W Hotels attempt to include the letter W wherever possible - the swimming pool is known as "Wet," the concierge and Service Express proudly use the slogan "Whatever/Whenever," valet is referred to as "Wheels," and the front desk is called "Welcome." Other cheeky branding queues that play up W Hotels cheeky and playful but still luxurious vibe can be found in their "P.A.W.S." or "Pets are Welcome" policy. Careful care is put into incorporating Ws into as many elements as possible, making for a tasteful, modern, and omnipresent reminder of staying somewhere different. W Hotels are often accompanied by their well regarded "Bliss" spas. W Hotels exclusively use Bliss products for all bathroom amenities.
Many W properties are co-located with luxury apartments known as "Residences at the W" such as W Boston and W Austin. These residences are also marketed towards a younger, more affluent demographic than other properties in the area.
All W properties are centered around the concept of showcasing the best features of their respective locales. W Hotels "cocktail culture" plays a large role in W's efforts to reflect their setting--many properties offer "champagne check-ins" and feature nightclubs with noteworthy local DJs and well-known artists performing.