Expansions & Renovations

Related Companies Reveals $55 Million Comprehensive Renovation of 517-Room W Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. MAY 4, 2017 – W Fort Lauderdale is revealing the first phase of its $55 million-dollar renovation, bringing a fresh, glamorous design to the entire property, including both the Hotel and the Residences. Owned by Related Companies, the full scale renovation touched every corner of the property, including all 517 guest rooms, suites, and residential suites, the grand porte cochère, rooftop WET deck pool and meeting spaces. The final phase to complete the hotel’s new look this fall will include a new ballroom and an oceanfront restaurant from James Beard Award nominee, Stephen Starr.

“W Fort Lauderdale is already known as the perfect beachside escape, beloved by in the know locals and fun-seeking travelers alike,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels. “The newly reimagined W Fort Lauderdale is the latest example of how we are reinvigorating our North American portfolio along with our ownership partners, ensuring W sets the scene and continues to innovate the guest experience.”

At the heart of the renovation is the hotel’s fourth floor, home to the signature Living Room (the brand’s take on the staid hotel lobby), outdoor terrace, Welcome Desk, and BLISS Spa, all of which received a full makeover. Restyled to create an amped up atmosphere, guests are now greeted at the entranceway with bright glimpses of the pool’s reflection along the walls, filtering down from the fifth floor. Blue and white hues are carried throughout the fourth floor’s design, reflecting Fort Lauderdale Beach’s sun and sand. The new floating Welcome Desks are complemented by a statement-making graphic backdrop to create an intimate check-in experience. Adding additional flavor to the fourth floor is the new SUSHI Bar, with its menu concepted by the renowned Sushi Chef Shuji Hiyakawa, a protégé of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

In conjunction with the W Brand’s global design team, the new décor and design reflects the shimmering energy of Fort Lauderdale Beach while staying true to the bold and signature aesthetic for which W Hotels are known. Influenced by the hotel’s nautical surroundings, the customized design creates a dynamic look by fusing mixed metallic details with an airy and vibrant layout.

The guestrooms, suites and residential suites received new flooring, furniture, light fixtures and contemporary accents accompanied by a soothing palette of ocean blues and rose gold touches. With unparalleled views of the Atlantic, WET East now offers new, sleek lounge chairs, umbrellas and day beds, and a full-service poolside bar, which sit atop a black and white Art Deco-inspired tiled deck – a work of art in itself.

The final touches of the renovation, slated for completion over the coming months, will include a new 4,000 sq. ft. ballroom, adding to the nearly 40,000 square feet of existing meeting and event space, which currently includes sixteen indoor and outdoor function spaces. Additionally, the hotel has tapped Stephen Starr to add a second Restaurant & Lounge concept, featuring ocean view sidewalk dining, to complement the existing Steak 954. Starr, a recent James Beard Award nominee, currently oversees the culinary experience throughout the hotel including: STEAK 954, Living Room, SUSHI Bar, WET pool decks, room service and banquet events. The new Starr restaurant and ballroom are expected to be revealed by fall 2017.

“W Fort Lauderdale is already an extraordinary destination hotel, so this significant investment and complete restyling is truly going to take the property, and the guest experience to a whole new level,” said Anna MacDiarmid, General Manager, W Fort Lauderdale. “We are ready and eager to begin sharing it with our guests, Residential Owners and the community.”

About W Fort Lauderdale

Lounging along an exclusive stretch of sugar-sand coastline, W Fort Lauderdale inhabits the hottest address on the beach, inviting guests to explore the escape’s seductive spaces and take advantage of the brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever® service. The hotel’s 517 anything-but-typical rooms and suites boast unrivaled ocean and Intracoastal views, elevating the expectation of waterfront luxury. On property, guests can dine on delicious cuisine at Stephen Starr’s STEAK 954, sip creative cocktails in the hotel’s Living Room and indulge in tropical-inspired treatments at the signature BLISS Spa. For more information, visit www.WFortLauderdaleHotel.com.

Contact:
Lisa Schwartz
lisa@diamondpr.com
1 305.854.3544

Liz Eads
liz@diamondpr.com
1 305.854.3544

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.