W Hotels, from the start, set out to wow and they still do it. Back in the early days guests might find real wheat grass growing on window sills. Now you are more likely to find welcome gifts that are exactly thought out for you, the guest, one reason W Hotels have such a high repeat rate, and not only from millennials. All young-at-hearts appreciate the modern luxury that this brand manages to convey. Let the gal share some examples about W Hong Kong. Rooms used to have impossible-to-fathom FrancisFrancis espresso machines – now you have an easy-to-use Nespresso machine, the kind that everyone knows. And, what a lovely thought, there are two sizes of china cups, both by trendy RAK, and, also, paper cups with lids.
In my case my welcomes included a magnificent fruit plate with all my favourite fruit, berries and whole bananas – see above. There was also a personalized lab, with test-tubes of juices and full instructions how to produce a mocktail. Someone had researched my reading habits and, what bliss, there was a copy of today’s Financial Times. That same someone had also found out my pillow idiosyncracies. Yes, such data mining is perfectly possible in today’s world of transparency but in 99% of cases hotels say yes, they know their customers, but do not do anything about it.
Interestingly the GM here, Peter Hildebrand, studied Economics in Brisbane and then he could not decide whether to go into luxury retail or hotels. Fortunately the latter alternative won (I was amazed, a few days ago in Beverly Hills, to see how many luxury stores are shuttered, a result of even high-end consumption increasingly moving online). Hotels, by contrast, continue to breed like rabbits. This is great for operating employment, and for designers, and yes, Nic Graham, who designed this particular hotel, has shown some unique offerings. He has made the Technogym up on the 73rd floor a fun workout place, with big Rolex clocks on the wall and entire-wall images of healthy bods. Somebody, presumably in the hotel’s ‘F&B’ department, has also made private dining fun. A few years ago legendary culinarian Jeremiah Tower inspired me to think of cassecroute, gourmet snacks. I certainly dined casse-croute style in this particular luxury hotel. A rolling table with a patterned sage and steel-coloured cloth held mushrooom-coloured odd-shaped china, also RAK. I had a perfect Kitchen D. Lux burger, with 250 grams of Australian prime meat in a sunflower seed bun, and the fries were as good as those at home. But then chez moi I am probably not going to pour a glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009 Vieilles Vignes Tardieu-Laurent, out of a Riedel carafe. PS: Breakfast is pretty special too – see the video below.