It's particularly bittersweet that the hotel largely responsible for bringing boutique lodging into the mainstream no longer bears the "W" brand. Its fate also serves as a cautionary tale for hoteliers on maintaining relevancy in hospitality: Just because you were cool before doesn't mean you always will be.
The original property in the W hotel chain, whose hip designs and emphasis on nightlife helped revolutionize the luxury lodging business when it launched in 1998, became the Maxwell on May 9.
The property, on Lexington Avenue and 49th Street in Manhattan, is getting a new owner too: Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. is selling it for $190 million in a deal that’s expected to close this month. The hotel had “been a particularly poor performer,” Host Chief Executive Officer James Risoleo said on a conference call in February. Neither Capstone Equities nor Highgate Holdings, the reported buyers, responded to requests for comment.
Those who want to stay at a W in New York still have options — in Times Square, Union Square and downtown.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P. This article was written by Patrick Clark from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].
Skift Editor’s Note: You can read more about the very first W Hotel and its impact on the lodging industry in Skift’s Complete Oral History of Boutique Hotels.
Photo credit: The original W Hotel in Manhattan helped launch a boutique luxury chain that now includes more than 50 hotels around the world. It recently changed names to become the Maxwell, and is now part of Marriott's Tribute Portfolio collection of hotels. Christian Heeb / laif/Redux via Bloomberg