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Top 10 Hotels 2016 Sofitel

Top 10 Most Luxurious Hotels 2016

Ranking high-end hotels for luxury is a tough job but Hotels.com has just fearlessly come up with a top 10 list. It comes to us by way of the wire services but it goes to show that rest and relaxation matter more than top-notch dining and glittering fixtures.

Take New York City for example. If you’re in town for business and want a place where a good night’s sleep is all but guaranteed, consider booking a room at the Hotel Sofitel New York. Of course, it was ranked one of the top 10 luxury hotels by users of Hotels.com. Yes, the users of Hotels.com exhort you to try to legendary SoBeds and actually, so do we!

In the travel site’s “Loved by Guests Awards,” the top 10 hotels achieved near-perfect scores from guests for offering luxurious hotel experiences that include designer toiletries and deep sleep for the weary.’

The Sofitel in New York, for instance, is singled out for their SoBeds which are so popular among guests that they’re sold at the Sofitel boutique, notes Booking.com.

The Waldorf Astoria Orlando also received high marks for spoiling guests with luxurious in-room amenities from Salvatore Ferragamo that go above and beyond soap and shampoo to include face masks, lip balms, and hand and eye creams.

Topping the list is the W Taipei in Taiwan, which draws repeat guests for its central location and contemporary decor and is particularly popular among younger travelers.

“We had a great time staying at the W,” reads one review. “Stylish and modern furnishings, very conveniently located near shopping/restaurants, useful amenities such as 24 hr facilities for exercise and swimming.”

Here are the top-ranked luxury hotels according to Hotels.com:

Design Focus: House on Sathorn, Bangkok

In July last year, following a three-year restoration and a soft opening that saw the hosting of some of Bangkok’s swankiest parties, The House On Sathorn was officially launched. A familiar landmark that has had at least a couple of significant resurrections in the past, The House On Sathorn is at the same time lauded as a successful renovation for adaptive reuse.

W Bangkok general manager Tina Liu describes the project as a “sensory-rich, multi-venue complex, offering artisanal, Asian-inspired cuisine, creative cocktails, and spectacular restored artwork”. 

The pig's heads that adorn the capitals of the pillars, a reference to the original owner's Chinese Zodiac sign.

The pig’s heads that adorn the capitals of the pillars, a reference to the original owner’s Chinese Zodiac sign.

W Hotel commissioned AvroKO to undertake the full renovation, in consultation with a government body as required for any gazetted historical property, Liu explains. The international firm’s ‘design through storytelling’ approach was applied well to project in an instance of a perfect match. On the one hand is a heritage building that was completed around the late 1880s and, after over 15 years of abandonment, was identified for a revival. On the other is an award-winning architecture and interior design practice, based in New York City but with an office in Bangkok, and renowned for hospitality-centred projects.

AvroKO encompasses the design and branding outfit Brand Bureau, custom furniture and lighting designer Goodshop, and hospitality services provider Avroko Hospitality Group. Its knowledge and expertise in the areas of design, especially for hospitality and F&B, is top-notch. Add to this equation the client comprising proprietors of upmarket hotel W Bangkok and you get an exciting prospect for beautiful design.

The cosy restaurant with custom furniture, pendant lights and contemporary artwork.

The cosy restaurant with custom furniture, pendant lights and contemporary artwork.

The House On Sathorn was originally the residence of wealthy Chinese immigrant Chai Sua Yom, owner of an engineering company that was responsible for digging the Sathorn canal for public transportation. For his work, he was bestowed the title Luang Sathorn Racha Yutka by King Chulalongkorn. Although the canal had not been used according to intended purpose for decades, the name Sathorn has come to identify the stretch through which it ran.

Consisting of four separate buildings that enclose a courtyard, and surrounded by a garden in a spacious compound, the colonial mansion boasts the original three-storey structure with a hexagonal portico at the centre of the façade. It was originally painted two shades of yellow, which the recent restoration brought back. On the left side of the portico is another box-like projection that terminates with the attic windows.

Private banquets and events are catered in an especially designated space. Boasting access to the central courtyard, the hall has modern facilities installed.

Private banquets and events are catered in an especially designated space. Boasting access to the central courtyard, the hall has modern facilities installed.

The façade is decorated with a series of cornices relieved by graceful half-arch mouldings that crown each window on the ground floor. These large, tall and shuttered windows reinforce an upward sweep that gives the building an illusion of height while providing sufficient light and ventilation to the interiors. Pig’s heads, an unlikely motif for a stately home, decorate the pillars in reference to the owner’s Chinese zodiac symbol. On top of the building is a gracefully sloped hipped roof.

In the 1920s, with the owner’s fortune in decline, the property changed hands and was converted into the upmarket Hotel Royal. From 1948 to 1999, it was leased out and became the Embassy of the Soviet Union, and later the Russian Federation. Its latest reinvention is that of a hub of upmarket F&B establishments owned and operated by W Bangkok, its immediate neighbour in the same compound. The extensive renovation of the structure was done in consultation with the Thai government’s Department of Fine Arts. This ensured the faithful restoration of the building to its original, and approval of changes and additions.

The central courtyard that serves as a alfresco bar and lounge with views of the four sections of the building.

The central courtyard that serves as a alfresco bar and lounge with views of the four sections of the building.

“The renovation also called for meticulous upgrading work,” Liu shares. “This encompassed everything from matching new tiles with the original to replacing missing hardware on doors and windows— some of which were no longer available.” Parts of the old building were extensively repaired, and with the plan to covert the entire building into bars and restaurants, a complex retrofit programme was implemented. Utilities, from HVAC to power and water supplies, were installed; rooms were refurnished and refinished according to their new functions. Meanwhile, the intricate wooden staircases and the frescoes commissioned by the owner, both of which are original to the house, have all been meticulously restored.

The result is a building with four distinct areas that have been identified as The Dining Room, The Bar, The Courtyard, and The Conservatory, which includes The Loft that houses an event space as well as four hospitality suites. This became the platform for AvroKO to tell The House On Sathorn’s new story.Sathorn-revival-form-facade

Surrounded by period architectural ornaments, the designers assembled a collection of contemporary artworks—paintings, installations, and sculpture, modern light fixtures, as well as custom and original pieces of furniture. Colours were reimagined for each room with paint, wallpaper and carpets until the layers what is old and new are meshed completely
and indistinguishably.

Story Credits

Text by Marc Almagro

Images by W Bangkok

This story first appeared in Form Magazine.

W Beijing

W Hotel Opens in Beijing, China

W Beijing

Beijing has opened the doors to a new , a modern, glitzy property that aims to be the hotel of choice for the fashion, music and entertainment industry who descend on the bustling capital.

Located on Chang’an Avenue, a major thoroughfare that’s also home to major landmarks and monuments like Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Silk Market and the Beijing Concert Hall, the W Beijing towers over a place that straddles tradition, history and the 21st century.


W Beijing lobby

All 349 guestrooms and suites feature digital tablets that can control room lighting and mood, a home theater system with Bose portable speakers and amenities from Bliss.


W Beijing room

The W Beijing is the second of several W Hotels planned for China over the next five years in cities like Changsha, Chengdu, Shanghai, Suzhou, Sanya, and Shenyang.

W Hotels opened its first China location in the city of Guangzhou.

w beijing Spectacular Room King Bed

W Beijing – Chang’an is offering special rates to celebrate its opening from November 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015.

More information available at www.whotels.com/beijing

W South Beach

W South Beach Unveils $1 Million Wedding Package

W South Beach

In what could go down as one of the most extravagant hotel wedding packages ever, the W South Beach has created a ‘Million-Dollar Wedding.’

As its name suggests, this one’s not for penny pinchers. If you literally have a million-dollar wedding budget and are looking for a one-stop shop, wedding planners over at the W South Beach in Miami have created a package described as the “ultimate in wedding extravagance.”


W South Beach living room

So what exactly does a million-dollar wedding involve?

Pre-wedding, couples are entitled to separate four-night stays — one for the bride and the other for the groom — in advance of the big day, as well as a seaplane excursion and a yacht dinner.

W South Beach bedroom

Spa services include a “complexion-boosting boot camp” for brides and ‘grooming’ services for the husband-to-be.

In addition to a wedding dress from Ever After Boutique and custom-designed tux, the package also takes into account post-wedding needs, such as “designer intimates” for night and day.


W South Beach bathroom

Come the big day, the hotel will provide a seated dinner for 175 guests catered by in-house restaurant The Dutch which serves American cuisine and is helmed by celebrity US chef Andrew Carmellini.

A team of photographers, and music — such as a seven-piece band and DJ are also included. Couples also get their own personal ‘Jeeves,’ or butler, to cater to their nearly-every whim and fancy.

W South Beach penthouse

After spending their first night as husband and wife at the hotel’s Penthouse Suite (pictured above), the couple will then jet off for a six-night stay at The Royal Estate at the St. Regis Bora Bora (pictured below).

St Regis Bora Bora Resort

Tara Stiles w hotel

Luxury hotels tapping celebrity fitness trainers

Tara Stiles w hotel

Celebrity US yoga instructor Tara Stiles has been tapped by  to create exclusive workouts that will be available systemwide as in-room tip cards and videos in suites around the world.

To develop the hotel-specific program, Stiles locked herself in the rooms of several W Hotels to step into the shoes — or bare feet — of hotel guests.

The end result is four yoga regimes to boost energy, ease jet lag, get ready for a night out or for recovery.

To promote the new program, W’s newest fitness ambassador has also hit the streets enclosed in an all-glass, mobile truck, striking yoga poses around New York City.

Tara Stiles Performs Yoga in Glass Box

Stiles will also lead yoga retreats at select properties around the world this year, including the W Verbier in Switzerland, the W Vieques in Puerto Rico, W Bali-Seminyak, and the W Maldives.

Packages will be customized for their destinations and include daily sessions with Stiles, individual fitness consultations and personalized workout regimes.

More details on the FIT with Tara Stiles Retreat Packages are available here.

Tara Stiles

luxury wedding selfie

Hire a ‘social media wedding concierge ‘ for $3000

luxury wedding selfie

W Hotels will now provide couples with a “social media wedding concierge” at their New York locations to document their ceremonies for a mere $3,000 on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,

“It’s time to say goodbye to shameless wedding selfies and hello to a professional Social Media Wedding Concierge…” reads the press release.

Between creating Vine videos of the couple’s first dance, live-tweeting every line of the groomsman’s speech or telling Facebook friends who haven’t been invited to the wedding the precise moment when the couple says “I do,” the concierge will also curate a unique wedding hashtag and encourage guests to crowdsource content as well.

Online reaction has been swift and merciless to the new service, with critics calling it a step too far in narcissism and a laughable waste of money.

The service also comes with the creation of a wedding blog and a post-wedding Shutterfly photo album complete with a collage of the best tweets and Instagram photos from the day.

W New York City Hotel

W Hotel Amsterdam

Amsterdam to Get W Hotel in 2015

Amsterdam’s historic former Telephone Exchange building is set to get a makeover as the contemporary W Hotels chain prepares to move in to town.

W Hotel Amsterdam

W Amsterdam, set to open its doors in the city’s Dam Square in autumn 2015, will be the design-led Starwood Hotel brand’s first Dutch location.

The hotel will feature 169 stylish guestrooms, including 10 suites and one Extreme Wow Suite (the company’s take on the Presidential Suite).

Upon entering the building, guests will be taken directly to the hotel rooftop for check-in and a cocktail in the W Living Room. The building will also feature a rooftop bar and restaurant with city views.

The historic property represents the typical Amsterdam School architectural style. It will be re-imagined by Office Winhov architects in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv-based practice BK Architecture. The building’s historical elements will be fully restored and combined with a new, contemporary design.

The brand currently has a portfolio of 45 W Hotels worldwide, with more than 20 additional properties in the pipeline.

penthouse Residences W Hollywood

W Hollywood penthouse on market for $45 million

penthouse Residences W Hollywood

The 15th-floor penthouse at the Residences at W Hollywood in Los Angeles is on the market for $45 million.

The 25,000 sq. ft. penthouse has four bedrooms, eight bathrooms and 340-degree views of the Hollywood Hills, downtown Los Angeles, Century City and the ocean.

It includes a ballroom that can fit 250 people, a wine room and wine vault, a screening room with LCD projection, a solarium, a gallery and a pub-style tap room.

The nearly 4,000-square-foot master suite has a fireplace, entry foyer and oversize walk-in closet and dressing room designed to look like a Ralph Lauren store, says Richard Robertson III, the apartment’s architect.

The unit also includes a fitness center with an attached beauty parlor, a library, 17 valet parking spaces and a reception area with separate women’s and men’s powder rooms.

Mr. Robertson says he designed the space, which is still raw, to emulate the golden era of Hollywood with a streamlined Art Deco look.

The owner can work with Mr. Robertson and interior designer Sue Firestone to customize the penthouse or bring in his or her own designer.

Sixty percent of the 143 units in the W Hollywood residences, which range in price from $800,000 to $3 million, are sold as of early May.

Via WSJ PropgoLuxury

penthouse W Hollywood

w hotel taipei

W Hotels to Double Asian Portfolio

W Singapore Sentosa Cove

W Hotels Worldwide unveiled plans to more than double its Asian presence by the end of 2018, bringing its Asian portfolio to nearly 20 W hotels and retreats in nine countries.

More than half of the W brand’s global pipeline is slated for Asia Pacific, including the first W Hotel in mainland China opening in Guangzhou later this month, followed by other China openings in Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha and Suzhou over the next five years. Additional W Hotels have been announced in India, Indonesia and Malaysia. W Hotels recently opened in Singapore and Bangkok.

The W brand entered Asia in 2004 and currently has eight hotels and retreats in seven countries, including Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Maldives and Hong Kong.

w hong kong pool

Evolution Tower Panama City

W Hotels opens its first hotel in Central America

Evolution Tower Panama City

W Hotels announced this Wednesday that it was opening a new property in Panama City, the first for the brand in Central America.

Slated to open in 2016, W Panama will become an iconic addition to Panama City’s skyline as part of the 50-floor Evolution Tower located in the city’s financial center.
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Palm Jumeirah

W Hotel Dubai Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah

W Hotels Worldwide has signed an agreement with Al Sharq Investment LLC to introduce a new W Hotel in Dubai on the Palm Jumeirah.

Set to open in 2016, W Dubai-The Palm will be located in Dubai’s most prestigious residential, leisure and tourism hub and will offer spectacular views of the island, Dubai Marina and the waters of the Arabian Gulf.

W Dubai-The Palm will feature 283 guest rooms, including 102 suites, five WOW suites and two Extreme WOW suites (W’s interpretation of a Presidential Suite).
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W Hotel Paris Opera Logo

W Paris unveils interior details

W Hotel Paris Opera Logo

Hotel chain Starwood has released new details of its soon-to-open luxury property in Paris, set to open on February 14.

The W Paris revealed December 14 that the structure has been conceptualized by the Rockwell Group, the designers behind the W New York.

The hotel has been designed along the theme of light, playing on Paris’s nickname, Rockwell said, combining ‘unexpected materials’ with high-tech touches.
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wet deck hong kong

Wet Deck at W Hong Kong

wet deck hong kong

W Hong Kong continues to WOW the town this summer by the launch of its poolside bar Wet Deck on the 76th floor.

With the phenomenal views and sophisticated gourmet palate, Wet Deck refines the art of delights in this bustling city and depicts an explosion of fantasy.

Located on the 76th floor, WET DECK is the highest outdoor poolside bar in Hong Kong, being 211 metres (692 feet) above the sea level.
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Starwood's Preferred Guest

Starwood Preferred Guest points most valuable

Starwood's Preferred Guest

Starwood’s Preferred Guest program has topped a list of the ‘best value’ reward programs from US website NextAdvisor.

Preferred Guest, a loyalty program which rewards hotel guests for their stays in Starwood-operated brands such as W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien and St Regis, offered a worth of $0.021 per point when redeemed for a hotel stay.

It isvconsiderably higher than competing programs such as Marriott Rewards and Hilton HHonors, whose points were worth $0.008 and $0.005 respectively.
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DJ Angus Wong

W Hotels brings superstar DJs around the world

DJ Angus Wong

W Hotels has announced yet another addition to its musical offering, in the form of a global tour of DJs, in association with energy drink Burn.

The hotel is sending six DJ competition winners on a week-long crash course dubbed the DJ Lab, which begins at the W Barcelona and concludes at the burn studios Hacienda in Ibiza, the Spanish island renowned for its clubbing.

After the DJ lab, the up-and-coming DJs will crisscross the globe, calling in at W hotels to perform at exclusive events and other occasions from later this month.
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w hotel iphone app

Music and room service on new W Hotels app

w hotel iphone app

When it comes to hotel apps, not all are created equal, as the excellent travel guide app from Fairmont and the concierge iPad app from InterContinental have shown.

But this week, hotel chain W Hotels pushed the bar a little higher with the release of the W Hotels Worldwide app, embracing travel, music and food all in one.

The free iPhone app offers information on the Starwood-owned brand’s hotels, as one would expect, with photos, maps and weather for each destination.
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W Hotels Namaste Tower

W Hotels Unveils Plans for the Namaste Tower

W Hotels Namaste Tower

W Hotels has just announced plans for the Namaste Tower, a new W Hotel in Mumbai that is due to open July 2015.

To follow the long tradition of great Indian architecture, the striking 984-foot-tall building will house 62 floors combined into a hotel, office, and retail space.

The design of the tower is actually meant to reflect the namaste yoga gesture where two wings of the hotel are clasped together like hands greeting the city of Mumbai.
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