Stay the night: W New York

They've spent $40m rejuvenating this Manhattan hotel. Will the results please its trend-setting guests?

There's nothing like a birthday to prompt a good hard look in the mirror. At W New York, they took the hint and lavished $40m on a complete makeover of this, the inaugural W hotel, which opened on Manhattan's Lexington Avenue 10 years ago.

What else would you expect from Starwood's trend-setting brand, which gave the hospitality industry the "Wow" factor – at least as a room name, along with Wonderful, Spectacular, Mega, Marvellous and Cozy. The concept has proved to be a big hit with W's young, style-driven target audience – an essential travel accessory for the regular city-breaker. These urban resorts with their sceney bars are a destination in their own right.

Now guests can enjoy added "bursts of wow" from new "nature-inspired" colours, textures and furnishings, "organic shapes and modern angles". Yet, for W's neo-nightclub style, it's a drab palette, heavy on the browns and deep purples, which the odd white wall or splash of bright colour can't quite relieve.

The rooms

All 688 rooms in the 11-storey property have been refreshed. W's theatrical – the unkind might say gloomy – lighting remains key to the look, centring on the very comfortable bed, where headboards featuring abstract photos are backlit and pools of amber light spill out from its base. It's a matter of taste, but you might feel like you're sleeping in a teenage boy's customised car. A hanging, rotatable flat-screen television and the functional multi-level desk attempt to compensate for the perennial problem facing any Manhattan hotel – lack of space. The aubergine ceilings don't help in the smaller rooms. Best efforts have been made to give the illusion of space in the styling of the bathrooms, with glass panels replacing the shower curtains, floating shelves and horizontal grooves in the wall coverings. But you can't help but know you're in New York when you sit hugging your knees in the tub.

The food and drink

The restaurant is only open for breakfast until further notice, though snacks, lunch and dinner can be ordered in the lobby bar, between 12pm and 1am – a three-course meal without drinks costs around $30 a head. For somewhere new to try in the city, check out the nutritious yet delicious restaurant Rouge Tomate (rougetomate.com) at 14 East 60th Street, just off Fifth Avenue.

The extras

Work out in the Sweat fitness centre, or chill out in the Bliss49 spa. Then step out on to one of Manhattan's premier streets, in the heart of midtown. Serious shopping and theatreland are a short walk away and landmarks including the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station and the Rockefeller Center are within easy reach.

The access

Children are welcome at the hotel. Small cats and dogs are admitted (and will be pampered at an extra cost). The hotel is accessible by wheelchair and Braille is also featured in the lifts.

The bill

Double rooms cost from £139 per night. Kate Simon flew to New York with British Airways (0844 493 0787; ba.com), which offers return flights from £402.

The address

W New York, 541 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022 (00 212 755 1200; whotels.com/newyork).

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'