Design hotel opens in London's Leicester Square

W Hotels opened its 40th hotel and new flagship in London February 14, bringing the brand's design-led luxury to the colorful streets of Soho.

The 192-room property stands ten stories tall above the city's famous Leicester Square and is covered in translucent glass which changes color according to the time of day and the ambience of the area.

The new landmark is designed to establish Starwood's W Hotels as a truly international luxury design hotel chain, although it was beaten to London by Hyatt's smaller chain Andaz, which opened its flagship on the city's Liverpool Street back in 2007.

The W London features a fitness facility with rooftop views of Soho, a spa offering a full range of treatments and a bar inspired by "rock and roll London," complete with a specially curated tequila selection.

In keeping with Leicester Square's famous association with film and cinema (British premieres are almost invariably held there), the hotel is also home to a 38-seat 3D screening room, which W believes will be used for small-scale premieres.

The hotel also offers the Spice Market, a signature restaurant by three-Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten that Starwood says is inspired by the "vibrant street life of South East Asia."

W Hotels announced last week that it plans to open six hotels around the world this year, including properties in St. Petersburg, Bali, Paris and Guangzhou, China in December, although Andaz is also set to beat it into mainland China - the Andaz Shanghai will mark the chain's entry into Asia this summer.

It will also be joined by more properties in Amsterdam; Delhi; Papagayo, Costa Rica; Sanya, China; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands; and Wailea-Makena, Hawaii.

Rooms at the W London start from £269 (€319) per night http://www.wlondon.co.uk

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