Starwood to open W brand hotel at Union Square Park

NEW YORK -- Starwood Hotels and Resorts said it will open its fourth W hotel in New York, converting the Guardian Life building at the northeast corner of Union Square Park to the W Hotel at Union Square.

The 20-story former office building, which was built in 1911, will reemerge in November with 270 rooms and suites and the W brand's "eclectic mix of fashion-inspired details and decorative arts," according to the company.

The new hotel will make its debut approximately one year after W Hotels' November 1999 launch of W New York -- the Court and the Tuscany, the city's second and third W hotels, located side-by-side on 39th Street between Lexington and Park avenues.

"The successful growth of the W brand has already exceeded our expectations, and plans for a fourth property in New York is proof positive of our untapped demand," said Barry Sternlicht, chairman and chief executive officer of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

"We are particularly excited about the 'trophy' landmark Union Square property, at a vibrant crossroads for upscale dining, shopping and nightlife, with easy access to midtown," he said.

In fact, Union Square Park was refurbished in the late 1980s and now has a colorful green market at its western and northern edges on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

W Hotels said the property's design will "reflect the past while creating a showcase for W Hotels' contemporary style."

Designed in beaux arts style, the Guardian Life building features a granite and limestone facade, a four-story mansard roof and other features that recall the building's French influence.

A grand staircase will take guests from the lobby lounge and bar to the two-story, 2,300-square-foot ballroom with two prefunction rooms and four meeting rooms with park views.

The property will include a 3,000-square-foot bar; a 3,100-square-foot restaurant; a double-height lobby lounge area; more than 7,000 square feet of meeting space on the second and mezzanine floors, and a fitness center.

For business travelers, the hotel will provide the latest amenities and high-tech capabilities, including 27-inch color televisions equipped with speedy Internet access (via infrared keyboards); high-speed data-port connectivity at speeds up to 100 times faster than conventional data modems, and private e-mail access.

Each room will have two telephones; the trademark W bed with a pillow-top mattress, 250-thread-count linens and goose down comforters and pillows; an oversized desk; an upholstered chaise longue, and designer room accessories.

W Hotels
Phone: (877) WHOTELS
Web: www.whotels.com

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