Why Is No One Talking About The W Las Vegas?
In most cities, the opening of a W, the more modern eccentric chain of Starwood’s luxury portfolio of brands, would be a momentous occasion. Here in Los Angeles, the W Westwood lures those wanting an alternative to the stodgy luxury found in some of the area luxury hotels to it’s uniqueness. Meanwhile, the W Hollywood opened to fanfare and helped to revitalize an already bustling yet mixed neighborhood with it’s rooms and the opening of the first true day club rooftop pool operated in conjunction with Drai’s.
When SLS partnered with SPG, announcing shortly after the partnership that a W would open in place of the Lux Tower at the SLS, many, including myself thought it was the perfect idea. The Lux Tower, while interesting in its own right, never really found footing as an answer to the Tower Suites, Sky Suites, and other “hotel within a hotel” concepts that are so successful within Las Vegas properties. Bringing the modern twist to the hotel would truly allow a higher end experience in line with what has made the W so successful in other cities and bring the Lux Tower in line with what the SLS originally thought it would be.
But after a lengthy amount of time since opening, no one is really talking about the W at the SLS. While friends will always rave of the latest hotel openings, experiences and the like, no one in my direct contact has mentioned more than a whisper or two about the W. If it were in theory such a perfect match, then why all the silence in place of praise for what typically would be considered a major hotel changeover and introduction of such a renowned brand? In my opinion, the problem may be twofold.
First, when the SLS announced the W, I thought this would mean a significant change to the Lux Tower’s design scheme. While the rooms are great, the decor runs the line from eccentric to terrifying. The “tapestry” design could easily be changed out for something more interesting and less over the top with little to no work required. Yet when the W finally opened, outside of some changes to the lobby of the hotel the rooms remained unchanged. Instead of taking the W brand and making something transformative, SLS and Starwood chose to simply renovate the lobby and leave the hotel alone, a quick fix more than a true change.
Secondarily, the W draws many for its amenities. But in a town like Vegas where over the top amenities are second nature, there is no real reason for the W to stand out like it would elsewhere. Standard luxury elsewhere isn’t luxury in Vegas, and that means that simply bringing a standard luxury brand into the fold doesn’t always equal more rooms sold.