HotelCrush: a vehement, furious, downright pathological appreciation for hotel design and culture

ABOUT:

We love hotels. We love room service. We love poolside cocktails. There is nothing more decadent than a trip to a hotel, the epicenter of our social circles and respite from our daily life. They are destinations in themselves, with the acumen of the location converged in the design and the sensibilities of its inhabitants. Hotels are daydreams made real, with amenities at your fingertips and a dip in the water just steps away. More than temporary homes, today's hotels aspire to be just like home - whatever home it is that you are looking for.

W-holic

9/15/11: hotelcrush, w hotel

We love the anonymity of hotels, the perfectly piqued generic atmosphere, a buzz of locals and people passing through. Nowhere is this climate more poignant than at the W (any of them), a brand that floats effortlessly on whatever city it anchors. Our first W was Union Square New York, with its corner lounge sanctuary from the protests and flash mobs punctuating Union Square. We passed hours with friends over martinis and thin crust pizza before breezing downtown, hanging on the scent of the lobby.

Our next W was Los Angeles, swollen with house music and the airy crowd at French Tuesday. We weaved through the lounge beds on the patio, balancing a clutch and a glass of champagne, dancing every beat. We forgot we were in Westwood, in Los Angeles, in America. Cloaked in a trail of L'Artisan Parfumeur and the fizz of Laurent Perrier we were (our young mind insisted) almost French.

And we landed at the W San Francisco. Comprehensively urban and as anonymous as an airport, it was thrillingly easy to forget which city we were in, which year. When we moved back to LA it was the W San Francisco we'd make our temporary base, testing everything from the hot chocolate (delicious!) to the spa (every bit Blissful), to the stock of pink champagne and half of the room service menu.

But the best part? The opening of a W in Hollywood, so close we could zipline in.

Our very own W.

 

Squeezing the Lemon

8/17/11: hollywood

Summer days are hot, smothering, and oppressively wonderful, and we're devastated when they're gone. (Not entirely gone, as temperate weather in Southern California ensures, but not 80, with fresh lemonade, night swims, and pool parties..) With a month and a half of deluxe summering to squeeze, we're working poolside and reporting vigorously, determined to gulp every last drop. Today's mission: a sunny lounge chair at the W Hollywood rooftop, and a plate of our favorite ceviche tacos.

We loaded our Kindle, packed our notebook, and headed to the 12th floor rooftop pool. Swatting past tables of posturing and big moves that come standard in this town, we enlisted the hostess in our quest for a sunny lounge chair. (The one on the end near the bar? Perfect.) Our afternoon passed in a blitz of heat and plunge into a new book, and we emerged as satiated and tranquilized as a Day 3 vacationer.

Our advice? The vacation you need just might be in you own city. And it's nearly effortless to take it.

The W Hollywood rooftop pool is open daily from 11am-6pm (though we don't recommend weekends).

 

W-here's the Pool?

8/5/11: it's not going to happen, dc

We accept certain things as hotel standard issue – body lotion as part of the bath amenities, a chocolate brownie on 24/7 room service, negotiable checkout of at least +1 or 2 hours, and, if the climate is widely known as one of the most humid and punishing on the East Coast, a body of water to park next to with a lounge chair and glass of lemonade. So things aren't exactly coming together for us. We love the W with the passion of 13-15 room keys, and have found pools in unlikely (and no doubt underappreciated) circumstances like the W San Francisco. So, a few steps from the White House (also known as a building with prime undeveloped rooftop real estate), our horror was realized as we ascended to the roof and took a stark look around. Reality setting in, we acknowledged the obvious – we should have checked Tablet.

 

Welcome to the W DC

8/5/11: dc

Roaringly theatric like the scene of a masquerade, the lobby of the W welcomes you with more than high ceilings and plumes of red, white, and black ostrich feathers. The W's signature purple and slightly sweet room fragrance are at full crank, as is the blue light filter and showroom cluster of white couches, tall black and cream chairs, and red vinyl opera couches. We clocked in hours in the lobby catching up with friends and plunging through our latest Gilded Age read, and spent afternoons on the rooftop with our sketch book and a plate of something delicious. Perfectly on beat with our morning, afternoon, or end of the night, we're smitten with another W and feverishly on the path to collecting them all..

Noted:

  • immediate access to our room after arriving at 7am
  • check-out at 3pm
  • W welcome wagon from which children are allowed to pick a toy
  • full access to the lobby and P.O.V. rooftop for us and our guests without a wait
  • excellent room service, on par with or better than the P.O.V. menu
  • Easily reserved complimentary Acura car drop-off service within 5 miles (perfect for a trip to Georgetown), an amenity often completely booked in locations like New York

The Lobby and Bar:

w hotel washington d.c. lobby front desk w hotel washington d.c. lobby bar during the day

The Lobby Lounge Day and Night:

w hotel washington d.c. lobby lounge during the day w hotel washington d.c. lobby lounge at night

P.O.V. Lounge on the Rooftop Day and Night:

w hotel washington d.c. p.o.v. rooftop lounge during the day w hotel washington d.c. p.o.v. lounge at night

View from P.O.V.

w hotel washington d.c. view from p.o.v. rooftop lounge during the day

The Hotel Room:

w hotel washington d.c. hotel room view of the bed w hotel washington d.c. hotel room view of the desk and tv

The Bathroom and Bliss Spa:

w hotel washington d.c. hotel room bathroom and sink w hotel washington d.c. bliss spa

 

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