W Bellevue, the brand's first new U.S. hotel in seven years,
has opened in Bellevue, Wash., across Lake Washington from Seattle.
W said the hotel "pays homage to lakeside culture with cabin-like architecture" with its
reclaimed-wood staircase and A-frame beams, combined with urban touches like
street art. The hotel also features maritime references with guestroom
side-table lights designed to look like miniature dock lamps and ceiling
fixtures made out of deconstructed docks in the Great Room for events.
Carpeting in the Great Room is dotted with images of tribal tattoos.
The 245-room W Bellevue also boasts the Lakehouse
restaurant, helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson, and a
speakeasy-style bar called Civility & Unrest. The hotel's 20 suites include
its 2,300-square-foot two-bedroom "Extreme Wow Suite."
The hotel's location is convenient for business travelers working
with or for Microsoft, whose headquarters are in Redmond, just northeast of
W's last new U.S. hotel opened in Austin in 2010. In recent
years, most of the brand's growth has occurred in Europe, Asia and the Middle
East, but hotels are in the pipeline for downtown Los Angeles, Philadelphia and
Parent company Marriott International is looking to
reinvigorate W, which has fallen behind other luxury brands, including
Marriott-owned Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott, in guest satisfaction polls.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts and its hotel owner partners
had been investing heavily in W hotel renovations before Marriott acquired
Starwood last year.
In 2013, Starwood said about $400 million had been invested
across a half-dozen of its Manhattan properties, including the original W New
York, which opened in 1998. More recently, older W hotels in Chicago, Seattle
and Los Angeles have also undergone renovations.