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 September Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.