Review: W Hotel Muscat, Oman

Review: W Hotel Muscat, Oman

More From This Trip
NAME: W Hotel Muscat
LOCATION: Muscat, Oman
DATE: February 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: This is a perfectly nice W property, with cool design (for a W), friendly service, and a nice pool. However, this stay also made me realize that the W brand is no longer for me.
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The next stop on our trip was in Muscat, where we spent two nights at the W Hotel Muscat. This stay was eye-opening for me, and I think this is the last time I’ll be staying at a W (unless there’s a really compelling reason).

The thing is, there was absolutely nothing wrong with this stay. We scored a great upgrade, breakfast was good, and the property is a fantastic destination for those who just want to lounge by the pool. But this stay made me realize that W just isn’t a brand for me anymore.

I remember back in the day when I thought W was a cool brand. But as I’ve gotten older, the brand just annoys me — W properties are soulless, they’re style over substance (and not even good style), and seem to have uncomfortable furniture by design. I just don’t get it.

I feel like I’ve evolved in some ways, but maybe the W brand hasn’t? I couldn’t help but laugh at how Ford described his perception of the brand to me during our stay (and he also used to think W was coolish) — “staying at a W is like walking into a nightclub, but the party is over and the music is still going.” I don’t have much firsthand experience with that, but I’ll take his word for it.

How we booked our stay at W Hotel Muscat

Why did we decide to book the W Muscat? Well, I had two Marriott Bonvoy free night certificates expiring in the coming months, and they’re valid at properties costing up to 35,000 points per night. This hotel was charging exactly 35,000 points per night on our dates, so that was a fantastic use of these certificates.

I even used Marriott Bonvoy suite upgrade awards, and was able to confirm an upgrade to a Marvelous Suite five days before arrival. Woot!

As a point of comparison, for our dates cash rates for standard rooms started around $400 per night, while the suite we confirmed an upgrade to would have retailed for over $750 per night.

W Hotel Muscat location

The 279-room W Muscat is located on the Shatti Al Qurum beachfront, right across from the Royal Opera House. The hotel is around 20 minutes from Muscat International Airport (MCT), and a fairly short drive from many of Muscat’s most popular sights. For example, the hotel is around 15 minutes from the Mutrah Corniche, Al Alam Palace, Al Jalali Fort, etc.

W Hotel Muscat lobby & check-in

We arrived at the hotel in the evening. I found the exterior of the hotel from the street-side to be cool-looking, and it ever-so-slightly gave the property a sense of place. For that matter, it looks super nice compared to the neighboring InterContinental Muscat, which from the outside might just be the ugliest InterContinental on earth.

W Muscat exterior

Unfortunately that’s kind of where the sense of place for the public areas of the hotel ends, aside from the pictures of the Sultan at reception. Immediately inside the entrance to the hotel was some seating, and then reception was located to the right. The floor-to-ceiling windows are pretty cool, and give the lobby lots of natural light.

W Muscat lobby
W Muscat lobby

Our check-in process was reasonably quick, and the associate checking us in was friendly. He went over the basics of the property with us, and offered to escort us to our room (though we didn’t need that). With keys in hand, we walked down the hallway toward the elevators.

W Muscat lobby
W Muscat lobby
W Muscat lobby bar
W Muscat elevators

By the way, my biggest single point of frustration with W properties is the uncomfortable furniture they have. I found it interesting that so much of the artwork in the lobby was essentially supposed to look like really uncomfortable furniture. Is the brand poking fun at itself, or…?

W Muscat “art”
W Muscat “art”

W Hotel Muscat Marvelous Suite

We were assigned room 236, a Marvelous Suite on the second floor (the hotel has eight floors). Our room was located at the very end of the hallway on the right.

W Muscat hallway
W Muscat room exterior

Marvelous Suites at the W Muscat are massive, and are marketed as being 936 square feet. The room had an entryway with a half bathroom to the right, and the living room straight ahead.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite entryway

At the entrance was a well-stocked minibar, with complimentary coffee and tea, plus all kinds of snacks and drinks for purchase.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite minibar

The living room was quirky, and had a desk with a chair, an “L” shaped couch, and a chair by the window.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite living area
W Muscat Marvelous Suite living area
W Muscat Marvelous Suite living area
W Muscat Marvelous Suite living area

The style is definitely a bit out there, but I do appreciate that they at least put some local touches into the design. But here’s my beef… why does all furniture at W properties have to be so darn uncomfortable? Not a single piece of furniture in the living room — not the desk chair, not the couch, and not even the chair in the corner — was comfortable. They were all hard as rocks.

This seems to be a conscious design choice by W, and I just don’t get it. As I get older I value ergonomics more, and this just annoys me. Why, why, why, why why?! Do people like sitting on a chair at a desk that feels like a bench?

W properties often do a great job creating quirky welcome gifts for elite members, and I had quite a welcome gift waiting for me. It’s pretty common for W properties to Google elite guests before arrival and create customized welcome amenities (I know some people have found it creepy when properties put a picture of you in the room as your welcome amenity).

As far as my welcome amenity goes, I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth (since no gift is required), but:

  • They literally created a laminated cutout with my name on it, but misspelled my name
  • I’m not am Ambassador member (though the box of sweets said “WOW! AMBASSADOR IN DA HOUSE”
  • Basically all the sweets tasted stale, so rather than giving me 20+ sweets that don’t taste fresh, how about a smaller amenity of something that’s actually good?
  • Why does W have to be so cheesy (“GO TRAVEL” and “YOU’RE AWESOME” and “WOW”)? Are we in a cartoon or video game?
W Muscat Marvelous Suite welcome amenity

Speaking of the cheesiness, so much of the W branding is just kind of cringeworthy, in my opinion, with every phrase being turned into something silly (like the room service menu saying “KEEP CALM AND OM, NOM, NOM”). It’s one thing if this were isolated, but this is the case everywhere you turn.

It’s kind of like the Virgin America safety video, back in the day. It was kind of fun the first time you saw it, but by the tenth time…

W Muscat room service menu

As mentioned above, there was a half bath near the entrance, featuring a toilet and sink. Oddly the sink was motion-activated, but it didn’t seem like there was any way to control the temperature (at least not that I could tell).

W Muscat Marvelous Suite half bathroom
W Muscat Marvelous Suite half bathroom

There were sliding doors separating the living room from the bedroom.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite living area

The bedroom was large and fairly sparsely furnished. Fortunately it had the W signature bed, which unlike all the other furniture at W properties, is actually comfortable.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite bedroom

There was no real separation between the bedroom and bathroom, which seems to be pretty standard for W properties. Personally I strongly dislike that for a variety of reasons. The bathroom had a huge soaking tub, a walk-in shower, a partitioned off toilet, and a closet area. Yet I found it odd that for a suite of this size there was still only one sink.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite bedroom
W Muscat Marvelous Suite bathroom
W Muscat Marvelous Suite shower
W Muscat Marvelous Suite toilet
W Muscat Marvelous Suite closet
W Muscat Marvelous Suite closet

Toiletries were from MOMO, which have replaced the Bliss products that W used to have.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite toiletries

The room had a large wraparound balcony offering views of the property and the Gulf of Oman, with seating at one end.

W Muscat Marvelous Suite balcony
W Muscat Marvelous Suite balcony
W Muscat Marvelous Suite balcony
W Muscat Marvelous Suite balcony view

There were a couple more quirks with the room. For one, the phone in the bedroom just didn’t work. Beyond that, when you turned off the master light switch, anything plugged in next to the bed also stopped charging, which doesn’t seem ideal.

So yeah, I’m not really sure what to say. We got a great upgrade and the suite was spacious, but I strongly dislike how little thought goes into comfort rather than style.

W Hotel Muscat pool & beach

The W Muscat has a huge pool area. The thing is, there’s absolutely no sense of place here — you could be in Ibiza, Marbella, or Muscat, and wouldn’t know the difference.

There’s one main pool with plenty of seating around it. Personally we were in Muscat to sightsee, though I recognize that many sun-starved Europeans love to visit Muscat in the winter to just sit at the pool. I’d say that a majority of the guests at the hotel were from Germany and the UK. Perhaps they almost appreciated that they could make themselves feel like they were in Ibiza.

W Muscat pool
W Muscat pool
W Muscat pool
W Muscat pool
W Muscat pool
W Muscat pool seating
W Muscat pool seating
W Muscat pool seating
W Muscat pool view

The hotel also has beachfront access, so that’s kind of cool. While the beach doesn’t hold a candle to what you might find in the Caribbean or Maldives (the water is kind of muddy and sand isn’t amazing), it was still nice to go on a beach walk, and see so many local families enjoying a beautiful evening.

W Muscat beach
W Muscat beach

W Hotel Muscat gym

The W Muscat has a 24/7 gym, located on the second floor. The gym was pretty decent, with a variety of cardio and weight equipment. However, the gym also did get pretty busy, at least compared to other properties I’ve stayed at lately.

W Muscat gym
W Muscat gym
W Muscat gym
W Muscat gym
W Muscat gym
W Muscat gym
W Muscat gym

W Muscat Siddharta Lounge by Buddha Bar

On our first evening we decided to have dinner at Siddharta Lounge by Buddha Bar, since we were arriving fairly late. Buddha Bar is a chain of restaurants in many popular vacation destinations, so this is an offshoot of that. The restaurant was located on the top floor of the W Muscat, and had both indoor and outdoor seating.

Oddly this is regarded as one of the best restaurants in Muscat (at least based on the ratings), but the whole place lacked a vibe. The restaurant was really empty, and there was a DJ there who was basically just staring at his phone the whole time, because how the heck do you get into the vibe of this place? I guess maybe it’s busier on weekends? The restaurant was more or less dead, with just a few tables occupied outside.

W Muscat Buddha Bar indoor seating
W Muscat Buddha Bar indoor seating
W Muscat Buddha Bar indoor seating
W Muscat Buddha Bar indoor seating
W Muscat Buddha Bar outdoor seating

The whole dining experience was unremarkable and strange:

  • There didn’t seem to be a dedicated server, but rather multiple people would come by our table and repeatedly ask the same questions (whether we wanted to order food or drinks, etc.)
  • There was no proper introduction as you’d expect at a decent restaurant, but rather just servers coming over and mumbling “want to order something?”

You can find the restaurant’s menu here. To start we shared some salmon and tuna nigiri.

W Muscat Buddha Bar dinner

Then I ordered a chicken salad, while Ford had the miso salmon.

W Muscat Buddha Bar dinner
W Muscat Buddha Bar dinner

The food was decent, but nothing memorable. Credit to the hotel and restaurant, as they comped our appetizer because of my Bonvoy Platinum status, which was a nice touch.

W Muscat Harvest Restaurant (breakfast)

Breakfast at the W Muscat is served daily from 6:30AM until 11AM at Harvest Restaurant, located on the ground floor. The restaurant had both indoor and outdoor seating, and we chose to sit outdoors.

W Muscat hallway to Harvest Restaurant
W Muscat hallway to Harvest Restaurant
W Muscat Harvest Restaurant indoor seating
W Muscat Harvest Restaurant outdoor seating
W Muscat Harvest Restaurant outdoor seating

I selected breakfast as my Marriott elite welcome amenity, and that included full access to the buffet. The buffet was quite good. There was a huge variety of options, including plenty of tasty dishes from the region.

W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast buffet
W Muscat breakfast

Drinks were supposed to be served by the staff, but we had to follow-up three times before we were served the iced coffees we had ordered.

W Muscat iced coffee

W Muscat room service

On our full day at the hotel we decided to order room service lunch, as we had gone sightseeing most of the morning and were tired, and had plans to go out for dinner. You can find the room service menu below.

W Hotel Muscat room service menu
W Hotel Muscat room service menu

We ordered the cold mezze, Greek salad, and chicken breast, which were all quite good.

W Muscat room service

Bottom line

I know this is a mostly negative review, but I want to be clear, I’m not saying the W Muscat is a bad W property. The hotel has friendly employees, pretty cool design (for a W), an impressive pool, and elite recognition is very good. I’d say this is probably one of the better W properties, and if you’re a huge fan of the brand, you’ll love this property.

At the same time, this stay made me realize bigger picture that the W brand is no longer for me. My biggest gripe is the consistently uncomfortable furniture, which is a deal-breaker for me. Beyond that, I just can’t with how cheesy W properties are, in the name of trying to be cool. Ultimately the W brand hasn’t changed compared to a decade ago, but I have.

As far as Marriott properties go, personally I’d rather stay at… well, just about any other brand, which at least (hopefully) has comfortable furniture. And I really do think it’s time for the W brand to be refreshed. There are lots of great hotel lifestyle brands — for example, I think Hyatt’s Thompson brand is great. But at this point I think W needs a new vision, because it’s more or less the same brand it was when it launched over two decades ago.

What do you make of the current state of the W brand? Do you still like it, or do you think it’s time for it to evolve?

Conversations (62)
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  1. SB Guest

    missed The Living Room off the main foyer, great for pre-dinner cocktails (better than Budda Bar), and the Chinese restaurant attached to the hotel.

    Also, plenty of dry restaurants 5 minutes walk along beach which were great.

  2. Ethan Guest

    I still enjoy a change of vibe when I stay at a W, it’s good to feel young sometimes, all those lavish stuff, loud to deaf bars.
    That being said I always keep it a one day stay, and yeah, during that day I better not have stuff necessities long time usage of laptop.

  3. 23H New Member

    I stayed at this property a couple of weeks ago - likely right around the time that you were there. I'm also not a huge W fan, but have to say that the pool was outstanding, with attentive service. And I certainly wouldn't say its anything like Ibiza, as the annoying scensters were nowhere to be found. We tended to sightsee in the morning and spend the afternoon at the pool.

    I was in...

    I stayed at this property a couple of weeks ago - likely right around the time that you were there. I'm also not a huge W fan, but have to say that the pool was outstanding, with attentive service. And I certainly wouldn't say its anything like Ibiza, as the annoying scensters were nowhere to be found. We tended to sightsee in the morning and spend the afternoon at the pool.

    I was in the Marvelous Suite and found the sofa comfortable, bed, shower and housekeeping all excellent. The concierge was also extremely helpful. We did two nights at the Buddha Bar and were served by the same two servers each night - they were really on point. Sorry you didn't have a great experience up there... we thought it was lovely. The tennis court was also awesome.

    While I think its entirely fair to reflect on the W not being right for you, I'm not sure it was entirely fair to do that in a post on a specific hotel that actually does a lot of things well... its really one of your more negative reviews in tone and rating, but you actually say they do a lot good. Food for thought.

    Thanks for this.

  4. maxc20 New Member

    I guess the hype and cool stuff gets boring as you get older and having experienced so many W hotels. Oh and you make me search how the Intercontinental looks like, and yes, that doesn't look like Intercontinental from the outside

  5. LSP Guest

    Maybe I'm the only one, but I really don't care about brand. I'll happily take a weird W if it's in the right location, has good views, price is right etc. What is a "lifestyle brand" even? I might have some loyalty to hotel company (Hyatt/Hilton/etc.) but I couldn't care less about brand within a company. Limited service/full service - really don't care. The "limited service" places seem to be the ones that give me...

    Maybe I'm the only one, but I really don't care about brand. I'll happily take a weird W if it's in the right location, has good views, price is right etc. What is a "lifestyle brand" even? I might have some loyalty to hotel company (Hyatt/Hilton/etc.) but I couldn't care less about brand within a company. Limited service/full service - really don't care. The "limited service" places seem to be the ones that give me free breakfast, while the full service places don't, they just have aggressive bell hops who try to take my bags away from me (to be seen again at some unknown time).

  6. Mike Simons Guest

    Thanks for review. Appreciate the change in taste. But with a good number of photos, would have been nice to at least include a couple of you & Ford. Primarily to put some bodies in the photos. Thanks.

  7. Nola Guest

    I used to think W's were cool but as I've gotten older, I have also tended toward more comfortable surroundings (and being able to see the elevator buttons). Perhaps Edition would be more your vibe as a compromise between stuffy and boring?

  8. Chiffy Guest

    Seems like Father time has caught up with your sensibilities. I've been staying at W's since 2010 and I still would prefer their style to the stuffy and overbearing brands like Ritz Carlton and St. Regis. Thanks for the review and effort to stay here though.

  9. Steve Diamond

    Agreed its not aging well but i think everyone is missing the point about W hotels. They are not for families or travel with friends. They are for younger couples who want to hook up a lot (to put it nicely). W hotels arent in areas where they are the only premium option so its not like you cant avoid them. The lights, the music, the modern firm furniture all lends itself to "setting the...

    Agreed its not aging well but i think everyone is missing the point about W hotels. They are not for families or travel with friends. They are for younger couples who want to hook up a lot (to put it nicely). W hotels arent in areas where they are the only premium option so its not like you cant avoid them. The lights, the music, the modern firm furniture all lends itself to "setting the mood" and i totally get why that is not appealing for a lot of people and its gross when you think about the uncomfortable couch in each room because its not there for sitting, its there for you know....

    1. John Guest

      @Steve

      Thank you! I was hoping someone would explain to readers the connection between the 'style' of W and the customer base its aiming for: twenty-somethings. It's been described as 'entry level luxury'. Meaning twenty-somethings just starting to make some money. After that (presumable late 20s/early 30s) the idea is to move on to the more premium brands within the group. I can't believe people can't see that point! The same principle works in other...

      @Steve

      Thank you! I was hoping someone would explain to readers the connection between the 'style' of W and the customer base its aiming for: twenty-somethings. It's been described as 'entry level luxury'. Meaning twenty-somethings just starting to make some money. After that (presumable late 20s/early 30s) the idea is to move on to the more premium brands within the group. I can't believe people can't see that point! The same principle works in other businesses: this is why Ralph Lauren has RL Kids. So that children can grow into the brand and move onto RL proper when they're adults. Same with Vogue Magazine. There's Teen Vogue to capture a younger market and then move them on to Vogue proper as they get older....I doubt people who criticize W fully understand how the concept is supposed to work.

  10. Scott Guest

    I stayed there a couple of years ago and actually liked it. I totally get what you're saying about some W props being excessively "cool" at the expense of practical/comfortable, especially in terms of lighting (why so dark?!). But I thought this W was big and airy and light-filled and just felt nice.

    The cheesy wow/wonderful/fabulous stuff needs to be updated, for sure. But I am also grateful that there are properties that have funky...

    I stayed there a couple of years ago and actually liked it. I totally get what you're saying about some W props being excessively "cool" at the expense of practical/comfortable, especially in terms of lighting (why so dark?!). But I thought this W was big and airy and light-filled and just felt nice.

    The cheesy wow/wonderful/fabulous stuff needs to be updated, for sure. But I am also grateful that there are properties that have funky art, seating, decor, etc. because the same old generic Hilton and Marriott gets really old.

  11. Carl Guest

    I understand the comments on the W brand. However I enjoyed my recent stay at the W Verbier.

  12. iamhere Guest

    I don't like W Hotels either. I agree with both of your comments on this. I think all of the details from the décor to the titles for things such as the toiletries and other labels is just too much considering it is not a cheap brand. Would prefer Ritz or St Regis.

  13. Thomas Guest

    You know that you dont like the W brand, but you still go there so you can write a negative review afterwards. Wonderful job.

  14. MrX Guest

    I am always confused, that so many pictures about gym… if its more important then other outlets…

  15. Debo Member

    Agree in general about the W brand. The Chicago Lakeshore property is probably the most annoying hotel I’ve ever stayed at. One property that bucks this trend though is W Maldives. The funky vibe is a little understated and it all…just…works. Also, Chunky is amazing. IYKYK.

  16. CXP Guest

    For what it's worth, this seems to be quite a nice W. I agree that Ws tend to have features/furnishings that can be impractical and gimmicky and the hotel should rethink those. I also agree W's naming of things has become stale and sometimes it's not even clear where the pool or gym is b/c that's not what W calls them. The brand should evolve with the times and it's probably over due at this...

    For what it's worth, this seems to be quite a nice W. I agree that Ws tend to have features/furnishings that can be impractical and gimmicky and the hotel should rethink those. I also agree W's naming of things has become stale and sometimes it's not even clear where the pool or gym is b/c that's not what W calls them. The brand should evolve with the times and it's probably over due at this point.

    That said, when you say "As far as Marriott properties go, personally I’d rather stay at… well, just about any other brand" you probably haven't stayed in a non-luxury Marriott brand lately. Also, I find most hotels - whether old or new - have impossible to work at desks and desk chairs. It's virtually impossible for someone shorter than 6'2" to work at a typical hotel desk (desk too tall, chair too short and often cannot be raised).

  17. Jason Guest

    Should have stayed at the Al bustan palace.

    1. skimegheath Gold

      It was closed for renovations when I went there - is it nice?

    2. Jason Guest

      Ah I didnt realize. Anyways, yes, it is nice, and after renovations I'm sure it'll be even better!

  18. glenn t Diamond

    I hate the 'style', from the bizzare (and uncomfortable) furniture to the excessive use of acres of very ordinary dark marble, everywhere.
    There is enormal potential for injecting more local Arabic feel to the place, without going over the top like some Doha hotels.
    It's all trying-too-hard without succeeding.

    1. John Guest

      @glenn t

      The use of dark marble has a practical purpose: it cuts down the glare from the sun by absorbing it instead of reflecting it back uncomfortably into your eyes. The use of dark colours and materials is a common interior trait of homes in many hot and humid countries. Even with air-conditioning becoming more and common everywhere, the principle remains true. Light = heat. Glare = discomfort. Less light & glare = more comfort.

  19. Francisco Guest

    Thanks for the review. Just curious, if the staff, food and upgrade were good, is it actually fair to give it a 3/5 because you don’t like he brand? Just to give you something to think.

  20. dwondermeant Guest

    I just can't imagine traveling to a country where any discrimination is 100% fully legal with no protections
    You can be thrown in jail for up to 3 years for alternative lifestyle intimate behaviors which their laws books list as disgraceful. Great pics of the hotel quite beautiful even if its not everybody's thing design wise
    Its super posh

    1. Jason Guest

      You know the recently deceased ruler of Oman was gay right? And everybody knows it? Do you really know the laws or is it just your stereotype and unwillingness to open your mind showing?

    2. Abe Guest

      Hi dwondermeant, I'm an American,living in Muscat for 10 years and I have the same common sense freedoms as I do in the US.

  21. David Guest

    I’ve stayed at W muscat twice. Actually the leather desk chair in the room is fine, the sofas too. Every room has the same chairs and sofas. The ‘chairs/seats’ you took pictures of in the entrance area are actually works of art and obviously not meant to be sat on. Shame you didn’t work that out. Plenty of other comfortable places to sit throughout the property. Perhaps you should have stayed at neighbouring Hyatt if...

    I’ve stayed at W muscat twice. Actually the leather desk chair in the room is fine, the sofas too. Every room has the same chairs and sofas. The ‘chairs/seats’ you took pictures of in the entrance area are actually works of art and obviously not meant to be sat on. Shame you didn’t work that out. Plenty of other comfortable places to sit throughout the property. Perhaps you should have stayed at neighbouring Hyatt if you thought the W was ba. Would loved to have tread that review… sorry, as I’ve stayed at this hotel twice, I can openly disagree with you on this. Can we have some sort of interaction from you either here or to FB comments? Really frustrating.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ David -- I didn't find the desk chair to be comfortable (and I'm not sure saying it's "fine" is much of an endorsement either), so we'll have to agree to disagree, I guess?

      I specifically said that the things in the lobby were art, and didn't suggest you could actually sit on the art. I think you may have misread what I said. Let me copy and paste what I had said:

      "I found...

      @ David -- I didn't find the desk chair to be comfortable (and I'm not sure saying it's "fine" is much of an endorsement either), so we'll have to agree to disagree, I guess?

      I specifically said that the things in the lobby were art, and didn't suggest you could actually sit on the art. I think you may have misread what I said. Let me copy and paste what I had said:

      "I found it interesting that so much of the artwork in the lobby was essentially supposed to look like really uncomfortable furniture. Is the brand poking fun at itself, or…?"

      Of course I respect your take, and I'm happy you enjoyed this hotel more than I did.

  22. Steven E Guest

    I agree with you Ben , whilst the property looks funky I think as one ages you look for the simpler things that matter to your comfort i.e comfortable furniture and less in your face “surprise” elements unless they are worthwhile which clearly these weren’t. Also as it appears that the property is completely empty you have more time to focus on these negative elements which stand out ( no people watching )

  23. Scott C Guest

    What is the obsession with bathrooms with no/little privacy? Stayed at the W in Barcelona and had to have everyone head to the lobby or bar before using the restroom with just an 1/8" thick glass door

    1. AJ Member

      I completely agree! This is one of my biggest gripes. I absolutely HATE this open bedroom/bathroom concept and everyone seems to be adopting it.

    2. glenn t Diamond

      OK if you are travelling solo I guess..... otherwise, not so much.

  24. RetiredATLATC Gold

    Yup, easy decision, I will NEVER say at a W. How cringeworthy.

    Sadly, I'll never be in DA HOUSE.

  25. Eric S Guest

    I vote for more Accor hotels… We need variety… Le Meridian is a hidden gem too

    1. DenB Diamond

      Agree Re Accor but for a North American audience, there's no points angle. No branded credit card, no transfer partnership. A glowing review of Sofitel So | Bangkok would only be a frustration for the readers, given that the review would obviously have to be glowing, while the property is beyond reach for nearly everyone. I was lucky to enjoy it while Accor Platinum status was a benefit of The Platinum Card (Canada), 7 years ago or so.

    2. Zach Guest

      He does review non points properties or niche chains in the North American market from time to time. Plus, Accor does have a decent to good luxury footprint in North America, with the Fairmont brand having a strong presence here in the US and Canada.

  26. Nikojas Guest

    This review resonates so strongly with me. 15 years ago W Hong Kong and W Bali seemed pretty cool, but now way too cheesy. Style over substance indeed. Kind of like the hotel equivalent of Abercrombie and Fitch. Had its moment when it seemed fresh and cool and original but no more.

  27. Jon Guest

    I completely relate to this post. When the W’s opened in NYC they were fresh, new, modern and fit the time. I was also in my late teens / early twenties so they fit me at the time.

    In terms of comfort I think it helped that most rooms were tiny containing only a bed (which is you note their beds are pretty comfortable).

    I stayed for a night at a W recently...

    I completely relate to this post. When the W’s opened in NYC they were fresh, new, modern and fit the time. I was also in my late teens / early twenties so they fit me at the time.

    In terms of comfort I think it helped that most rooms were tiny containing only a bed (which is you note their beds are pretty comfortable).

    I stayed for a night at a W recently and it was just awful. But I did wonder how much of it is what I have gotten used to. The vast majority of my hotel stays now are at true luxury hotels. When I started staying at W’s I don’t think I knew what four seasons was. If I’m checking into a Sheraton or a Westin my expectations will be managed knowing that I’m not staying in a luxury hotel. But somehow the W brand is still tied to my younger days where I thought of it as luxury and so I’m likely to be very disappointed.

    1. Max Guest

      Very similar experiences and time frame. The other point I’ll add is Bonvoy itself puts the W brand in the same Luxury level as edition, JW, Ritz and STR. So it’s almost they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

  28. Tim S Guest

    I just did a stay at the W Rome, and felt the brand didn't go over-the-top there. Otherwise, my experience has been the same -- there are only a few W properties worth staying at (Punta Mita, Bali, Dubai) -- the rest are to be avoided.

  29. Ralph4878 Guest

    W Muscat: So what did you think of our property?
    Ben: GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!!
    Seriously, though, this is a great review - Ben made it a point to honestly reflect on how the property and brand work for him, recognizing that his tastes and preferences have changed over time. Thanks for that!

  30. pbmchenry Member

    My preferences for a room are comfortable furniture that is functional, well-placed outlets, a decent-sized work surface, and a good shower. One of the dangers of trying to stay "hip" is that once it gets to the level of standardization needed to scale out to a chain hotel it has already become mainstream and requires constant updating to avoid becoming passé.

  31. DrewT Member

    So, I generally agree about W's, they're trying to be cool to the point of cringe, but...

    I've still liked many of the W's I've stayed at (all in Asia, Hong Kong, KL, Shanghai). The uncomfortable furniture just doesn't bother me all that much, I haven't tried to work any of my trips.

    I think it's a reasonable blend of nice (if cheesey/cringy at times), affordable on points (I've found they are a category lower...

    So, I generally agree about W's, they're trying to be cool to the point of cringe, but...

    I've still liked many of the W's I've stayed at (all in Asia, Hong Kong, KL, Shanghai). The uncomfortable furniture just doesn't bother me all that much, I haven't tried to work any of my trips.

    I think it's a reasonable blend of nice (if cheesey/cringy at times), affordable on points (I've found they are a category lower than a St Regis or RC in a lot of cases), good elite treatment (always had great luck with upgrades, SNAs, and legacy SPG brands seem to offer better benefits across the board), consistency (I've stayed at some fantastic JW's (Phu Quoc comes to mind), Sheratons, Renaissance, Design Hotels, etc, but there are also plenty of totally unremarkable ones. Most W's are at least pretty nice), and a little more "upbeat" than some of the other luxury brands (which is nice in a city hotel sometimes).

    Would I rather stay at a StR, everything else being equal, yeah probably. But is it worth the extra points, probably not. And W's may be generic, but so are most other full service properties I'd be staying at instead.

    I do wish they would update the brand though!

  32. S Member

    Their style is definitely cringe and not for me at all.

  33. Lolo Guest

    I agree, it’s as if they’re stuck in the early 2000s. Andaz properties are similar - the most uncomfortable stay was at Andaz in Maui, I hate their rooms. I’d rather stay at an old property like Kahala Hotel on Oahu because it’s comfortable.

  34. Mohammed Guest

    It's a beautiful hotel and I consider it one of the best in the middleeast

  35. Charles Guest

    Omg! Ben was DEFINITELY in a bad mood these 2 nights he stayed here.. Poor W

  36. Tortuga Diamond

    OMAAT readers voted via secret ballot and the decision was unanimous: we demand a "Ford Says..." pull-quote in future reviews.

    "Ford says walking into a Crowne Plaza is like..."
    "Ford says entering a Four Seasons is like..."
    "Ford says limping into a Sheraton is like..."

  37. DavidYVR Guest

    I stayed at the first W in NYC soon after it opened. I stayed at a few more in the early years. It was always an amazing experience & everything they did was definitely new and exciting. Now it’s just another brand style & it’s no longer exciting. @Ben I completely agree with your observations. Their design style is pretty tiresome - it’s like the design brief is “put as many patterns, shapes & textures...

    I stayed at the first W in NYC soon after it opened. I stayed at a few more in the early years. It was always an amazing experience & everything they did was definitely new and exciting. Now it’s just another brand style & it’s no longer exciting. @Ben I completely agree with your observations. Their design style is pretty tiresome - it’s like the design brief is “put as many patterns, shapes & textures in one small space as you can” oh & don’t forget “make everything uncomfortable” !!

  38. DenB Diamond

    This was a great review because Ban struggled openly, rather than secretly, with the biases that concerned him. Biases? Preferences? I find reviews like this especially useful because they give me more to think about than the classic by-the-book review. I've been intrigued by W, especially with a gorgeous new one opening near me soon (W Toronto). But my interest was stoked mostly by W's marketing and by the look of the building as the...

    This was a great review because Ban struggled openly, rather than secretly, with the biases that concerned him. Biases? Preferences? I find reviews like this especially useful because they give me more to think about than the classic by-the-book review. I've been intrigued by W, especially with a gorgeous new one opening near me soon (W Toronto). But my interest was stoked mostly by W's marketing and by the look of the building as the renovations proceed. I wouldn't know about uncomfortable furniture without this review. Cheesy formulaic "welcome" goodies with my name misspelled would be of limited appeal, for me at least. I'm glad to have more information about W.

    1. DenB Diamond

      Yes I get the irony in my comment about misspelled names. Maybe W also uses an editor that doesn't permit editing.

  39. Never In Doubt Guest

    When your'e young you like things that you then no longer like when you get older?

    ' .

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Your sarcasm detector may need new batteries.

  40. Tom Guest

    I can definitely relate to this post. Perhaps I aged too quickly, but (I think) I'm the same age as you, but have gravitated towards the Meridien and Westin brands (or the newer Sheraton hotels) for quite a few years now. The clean, modern, yet calm interiors really do make the rooms a lot more pleasant to relax (or work) in.

    Sure, the W Hotels have always been kinda cool, and I did really enjoy...

    I can definitely relate to this post. Perhaps I aged too quickly, but (I think) I'm the same age as you, but have gravitated towards the Meridien and Westin brands (or the newer Sheraton hotels) for quite a few years now. The clean, modern, yet calm interiors really do make the rooms a lot more pleasant to relax (or work) in.

    Sure, the W Hotels have always been kinda cool, and I did really enjoy staying at the W Taipei and Sentosa hotels. Sadly, the wow factor quickly wore off and the furniture, colors, vibe, etc. then became really annoying. After all, I went on vacation wanting to relax--there are always spots to party and hang, and it doesn't have to be the same place where you call it a night!

  41. Jimmy’s Travel Report Gold

    Ben, I’m chuckling at your review because I’ve also thought W‘s can be corny for sometime. I do think you’re being particularly hard on this property - maybe because this is the W you came to the realization that they’re not as cool as you once thought they were. My wife and I are staying at the Ritz Carlton Oman at the beginning of April. Apparently it’s a property with some character and that also...

    Ben, I’m chuckling at your review because I’ve also thought W‘s can be corny for sometime. I do think you’re being particularly hard on this property - maybe because this is the W you came to the realization that they’re not as cool as you once thought they were. My wife and I are staying at the Ritz Carlton Oman at the beginning of April. Apparently it’s a property with some character and that also reflects Oman. We’ll see. I wonder if you can comment on what local sites you enjoyed seeing. I’ve really enjoyed the Oman series of reviews that you have done.

  42. Pete Diamond

    I don’t get why the brand should evolve to fit your changing preferences?
    3 stars purely on your subjective view of the aesthetics? Harsh.

    1. Pete Diamond

      Aesthetics aside, the actual hotel review seems nicer than the ultimate rating.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Pete -- The brand doesn't have to evolve for me. But the reality is that most brands do evolve over time to reflect changing consumer preferences. That doesn't have to be my preferences, but I'm just sharing why I won't stay at W properties anymore.

      And the star rating ultimately reflects that I'm not going to be staying at W properties anymore, and I'm annoyed by the uncomfortable furniture, which is probably the single...

      @ Pete -- The brand doesn't have to evolve for me. But the reality is that most brands do evolve over time to reflect changing consumer preferences. That doesn't have to be my preferences, but I'm just sharing why I won't stay at W properties anymore.

      And the star rating ultimately reflects that I'm not going to be staying at W properties anymore, and I'm annoyed by the uncomfortable furniture, which is probably the single thing I value most in a hotel. Should I give the hotel five stars?

  43. Sam Guest

    Maybe because the entire theme of the hotel attracts transients and making the furniture too comfortable would be… a liability? Perhaps hard to clean?

  44. Alec Guest

    W just has not aged well. They really need to figure out what to do with it. Realized its also a horrible hotel to stay at when traveling as a group of friends, no bathroom privacy haha

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Tortuga Diamond

OMAAT readers voted via secret ballot and the decision was unanimous: we demand a "Ford Says..." pull-quote in future reviews. "Ford says walking into a Crowne Plaza is like..." "Ford says entering a Four Seasons is like..." "Ford says limping into a Sheraton is like..."

6
Ralph4878 Guest

W Muscat: So what did you think of our property? Ben: GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!! Seriously, though, this is a great review - Ben made it a point to honestly reflect on how the property and brand work for him, recognizing that his tastes and preferences have changed over time. Thanks for that!

3
Francisco Guest

Thanks for the review. Just curious, if the staff, food and upgrade were good, is it actually fair to give it a 3/5 because you don’t like he brand? Just to give you something to think.

2
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  • October 21, 2019
  • Ben Schlappig
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Review: W Hotel Aspen