W New York - Union Square 4.0

Gramercy and Murray Hill, New York City, New York
The W chain prides itself on its "whatever/whenever" service, wherein guests are encouraged to ask for, as the name suggests, anything at any time. At this W, the concierge stands behind Rockwell's nude, brazenly geometric desk.

The hotels of celebrity designer David Rockwell(2 of 22)

 The W chain prides itself on its "whatever/whenever" service, wherein guests are encouraged to ask for, as the name suggests, anything at any time. At this W, the concierge stands behind Rockwell's nude, brazenly geometric desk.
W Hotels' 270-room Union Square property greatly resembles other W's in New York: comfortable beds, modern rooms, an excellent gym, and plenty of business travelers in the butterfly-decorated, techno-soundtracked lobby. Guests at this W are greeted by a massive, dramatic floating staircase overlooking an edgy lobby outfitted in neutral colors. Rockwell incorporated some elements meant to evoke a feeling of nature -- patches of grass growing on the front desk, for example. The W chain prides itself on its "whatever/whenever" service, wherein guests are encouraged to ask for, as the name suggests, anything at any time. At this W, the concierge stands behind Rockwell's nude, brazenly geometric desk. Business travelers congregate in the offbeat lobby. Like at other W hotels, a boisterous evening crowd of young professionals spills out into the lobby from the bars. The hotels are known for their purple, silver, and black color schemes, their extensive use of butterflies, and kitschy design flourishes. Renowned for his work on many of the W hotels, Rockwell -- the son of a vaudeville dancer and choreographer -- draws inspiration from the theatrical. At the W New York, Rockwell designed the swank Whiskey Blue bar, which features expensive drinks, pictures of rock stars on the wall, and waitresses in tight black dresses. The 222-room Ink48 Hotel, opened in September 2009, is the most recent addition to the Kimpton brand's cluster of fashionable, service-oriented properties in New York, joining (among others) Times Square's Muse and Gramercy's 70 Park Avenue hotels. By being slightly removed from the usual tourist stomping grounds of midtown Manhattan and Times Square, guests are rewarded with comfortably sized, rakishly appointed rooms, a quiet, sophisticated vibe, above-average service, and great perks, like the free nightly wine receptions. Plus, there's the attractive lobby-level Print restaurant, as well as the Press rooftop lounge with sweeping views of the Hudson and midtown Manhattan. The hotel has an aura of quirky, design-forward elegance -- in this case, bubble-glass chandeliers, electric blue velveteen couches, red silk upholstered seating alcoves, and the blue-lit "Living Room," which all exemplify Rockwell's theatrical style. Earthy and vibrant, guest rooms feel comfortably luxurious, with high ceilings and ample closet space for storage. The spacious 300-square-foot Deluxe King Room features a chartreuse daybed, mud-cloth-upholstered chair and natural fiber lampshades that affect an attractive, tribal-chic aesthetic. Small touches -- black wicker nightstands lit from beneath to provide ambient light, stemless wine glasses that sit in for the usual coffee mugs -- illustrate the hotel's attention to detail. Though the hotel's "story" is "Make Your Mark" -- a rather literal interpretation of the building's former life as a printing house -- the theme is unobtrusive, visible only on the hotel's ink-splotched stationary and on a few placards extolling trivia about sepia ink and font styles. Rockwell designed Bourbon Steak, which opened at the Four Seasons after the hotel's $40 million renovation in 2008. This restaurant is the fourth outpost of the popular steakhouse from two-time James-Beard-Award-winning-chef Michael Mina and is known for Mina's butter-poached steaks and duck-fat French fries -- both of which live up to the hype. With some of the most beautifully decorated large rooms in Miami, a great spa, a huge fitness center with a rock-climbing wall -- all of which Rockwell designed -- a beachfront location, and dozens of daily classes, Canyon Ranch is a great choice for a healthy vacation. Rockwell gave the 150-room resort a 70,000 sq. ft. spa and fitness center and incorporated many locally grown, natural materials and handmade pieces into this design to promote the hotel's health focus. While the rooms at some high-end Miami hotels rely on Liberace-esque design to feel special, Canyon Ranch suites are designed to make guests feel at home -- if home were decorated by an innovative downtown New York design shop. Beautiful teak is used for crown molding and cabinetry. It looks absolutely stunning against ecru-colored walls with purple, green, and orange accents. Floors are covered with floral designs made of purple-and-iridescent mosaic tiles. Jacuzzi tubs are beautiful, as are the delicately scented Lather toiletries, and the Grohe showerheads have wonderful pressure. Rockwell incorporated ebonized oak, limestone and marble into his bathroom designs. Built in 1904 as the Seville Hotel, the Carlton's 12-story Beaux Arts building sits in a fairly low-key neighborhood with plenty of small-scale offices, shops, and condos. In December 2008, David Rockwell renovated the guest rooms as well as the lower three levels of the hotel, which include the lobby, restaurant, bar, and lounge. This two-story antique photograph of the hotel from when it first opened over a century ago is one of the most stunning design elements of the lobby. Rockwell intended to update the hotel while respecting its history, according to his website. Beds have super-comfortable pillow-top mattresses, soft sateen sheets, and thick down duvets and pillows. All rooms include 42-inch LG plasma TVs, iHome iPod docking stations, energy-efficient lightbulbs, a user-controlled Honeywell air conditioner and heater, a large safe, and a bank of outlets on the desk with a USB and Ethernet port. Chambers, a 77-room Midtown East boutique, has a collection of more than 500 original pieces of contemporary art in the lobby and guest rooms. For this project, Rockwell drew inspiration from the city of New York, combining a plush, luxurious feel with an edgy, industrial aesthetic. This handsome property, opened in 2001, is the brainchild of three hoteliers -- Ira Drukier, Richard Born, and Steve Caspi -- who are responsible for many other beloved boutiques in the city, including the Bowery, the Greenwich, the Blakely, and the Maritime. Rockwell incorporated a basketweave element throughout the hotel, which can be seen in the front doors and along the mezzanine. Rockwell's marriage of luxury and minimalism is seen again in the rooms. From the high ceilings to the clean, ultramodern decor to the contemporary art to the industrial-chic bathrooms, the standard rooms, which come in at about 300 square feet -- big by Manhattan boutique standards -- are anything but standard. Sitting on the western edge of SoHo in downtown Manhattan, the sleek glass Trump SoHo Hotel opened in Spring 2010. The lobby, full of clean lines and earthy materials, is at once both striking and imposing: The dim lighting, abundance of wood, and soaring ceilings give the space a dark, masculine feel. The entrance doors soar upwards for almost two stories, dwarfing everyone who enters. Which isn't to say that David Rockwell's design isn't tasteful and sophisticated -- it is. The walnut wood that lines the lobby is seen throughout the hotel, as is beautiful, brown hand-stitched leather and dark stone. On the second floor is a library, designed to be an extension of the lobby, complete with a fireplace, couches and armchairs, and colorful Taschen coffee table books. The plush guest rooms here are really the standout, though, all with floor-to-ceiling windows, gorgeous bathrooms, and top-of-the-line technology. The furniture is by Fendi Casa (the first time the company has outfitted a hotel) and the beds have custom-made Bellino linens.