Philly gets its long-awaited W Hotel, the W Philadelphia at 15th and Chestnut Streets.
During Philly’s legendary hotel rush of the 2000s – Sofitel, Lowes, Monaco, aka, Kimpton – the one call this city forever waited to heed was that of the legendarily luminous and luxurious W Hotel. Since that time, the ever-elusive W has had a dozen different locations in the City of Brotherly Love. Nothing seemed to work time after time without a right time and place. Until now. Until 15th and Chestnut and the 51-story skyscraper W Philadelphia set to open tomorrow, Friday, August 20, joining the family of 60 additional W Hotels around the planet.
“Philadelphia is ready to ring free and we are excited to open our doors and change the city’s social scene as only W can,” said Edward Baten, General Manager, W Philadelphia in an email note. “This hotel is an homage to the city and the people who define it. By embracing its history through art and design to celebrating its present through local talent and brands that can’t be found anywhere else, W Philadelphia delivers an inspired local experience for the global guest.”
Because W Philadelphia is geared toward the Commonwealth (its grit, its neighborhoods and diversity, blah blah), I want to include several items that seem somewhat Philly-centric.
*W Philadelphia features 295 guest rooms including 39 suites, which feature floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking, panoramic city views. Nods to traditional Pennsylvania craftsmanship can be seen in entry way and bathroom tile patterns as well as Shaker-style chairs at each workspace. Illuminated in the guestrooms are the words of the Declaration of Independence, etched in graffiti font on a custom light fixture. The signature W Bed is made with a bespoke bedspread print – “Philly Toile” – featuring both modern and historical city icons. A throw pillow features the iconic Robert Indiana LOVE statue on one side and, for a playful twist, the word LUST on the opposite side.
*The hotel’s six suite categories feature oversized soaking tubs and ornate details including Danby marble and Chesterfield-style furnishings, as well as the only private guest balconies of any luxury hotel in the city. Local artwork imagined under the theme of “Collective Independence” is displayed in salon groupings inspired by the impressionist and modern art collections housed at the nearby Barnes Foundation. The WOW and Extreme WOW Suites push the unexpected even further with custom foosball and billiard tables as well as in-room DJ booths.
*Shaping the sounds of W Philadelphia’s music activations is Joshua Lang, a multi-faceted artist with a background in design and music. In addition to spinning regular sets on property as resident DJ, Lang will book DJ talent with his distinct approach to curating the sound and vibe specific to the hotel’s social outlets: think soulful and loungey in the Living Room with funk and soul and high-energy and vibrant house and global dance music on the WET Deck.
*W Philadelphia features an eclectic selection of spaces for guests and locals to socialize as they unwind and indulge. First is the Living Room, with design inspired by the historic sunken gardens of Fairmount Park. By day, coffee from local artisan roaster Rival Bros. will be served in custom ceramics from Philadelphia-based houseware and design studio, Centerpeak, and, by night, craft cocktails curated by famed local mixologist Resa Mueller will flow. The focal point of the Living Room is a wall of hand-painted, custom ceramic skulls which draw inspiration from the Hyrtl Skull Collection at the nearby Mutter Museum and feature references to hip-hop, fashion and garden icons.
*Tucked away behind the skulls and a two-way mirror, guests will find “Stevens’ Prophecy,” a salon adorned with artwork celebrating Hollywood and Philadelphia royalty, Grace Kelly. The name is a reference to the story of Grace Kelly’s high school yearbook superlative in which it was predicted she would become “a famous star of stage and screen.” The salon will soon feature its own specialty menu including small-batch as well as limited-run spirits.
*On the 7th floor, the WET Deck features a heated, year-round pool with intricate, green and blue custom tile work inspired by French parterre pattern, while the WET Deck Bar is adorned with a large-scale, pixelated floral motif from floor to ceiling. All WET Deck Talent will wear custom uniforms from Philadelphia’s own Grant BLVD, a Black-owned sustainable fashion brand that upcycles vintage clothing. Around the corner, guests will discover a lush greenspace known as the Secret Garden, where Illuminated busts of Benjamin Franklin and Marie Antoinette are tucked amongst the greenery for a modern twist on traditional garden design. The urban retreat will play host to local pop-ups and host live music performances where guests and locals can discover up-and-coming talent of the musically-driven city.
*Soon to be the power spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Center City Philadelphia, Dolce, a signature concept of LDV Hospitality, is W Philadelphia’s destination restaurant. The timeless spirit of Fellini’s 1960s Rome is brought to Center City with a menu of fresh, regional Italian dishes.
*W Philadelphia is home to the brand’s signature AWAY Spa which, unlike other spa concepts, embraces socialization with a lounge, beauty bar and DJ set-up for private events. Located on the 7th floor, AWAY features five treatment rooms inspired by the color palette and joie de vivre of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette as well as two large-scale wallpaper prints of Marilyn Minter’s provocative take on beauty and pleasure – Kicksilver and Goldkicker. AWAY embodies the brand’s “Detox. Retox. Repeat.” philosophy with a custom detox menu (including a Detox Massage, Detox Body peel and wrap and a Detox Facial) in addition to traditional luxury spa services. AWAY is stocked with clean products from The Davines Group as well as local favorite, Franklin & Whitman. Furthering this Detox philosophy, the hotel features FIT, a 24/7 fitness center and will feature a regular lineup of FUEL programming where guests and locals can take intimate classes with top local fitness pros.
*Spanning three floors, W Philadelphia has over 45,000 square feet of event space inspired by the brand’s long-standing passion for music. It begins with pre-function space connected by a monumental grand staircase with a dramatic floating chandelier made of 10,000 gold coins as a nod to Philadelphia’s banking history. Alcove seating under the stairs shares space with a locally-produced skull sculpture, another reference to the famed Hyrtl Skull Collection and a signature iconography of rock n’ roll. Each of the 37 meeting rooms flow with natural light and high-design lighting concepts that create the feeling of private recording studios. Lastly, the sun-drenched-by-day Great Room features floor-to-ceiling windows, abstract floral carpeting as well as circular lighting fixtures and shimmering wall finishes that resemble the night sky during evening events.