In late February I first wrote about how the world’s first W Hotel is leaving the brand. Specifically, I’m talking about the W New York, which opened in 1998. While at the time the hotel was supposed to set the standard for the brand, over the years the brand has evolved, and the hotel hasn’t been able to keep up.
The W New York has tiny rooms (some are 150-170 square feet), and generally gets terrible ratings from guests. For user generated reviews on spg.com, it’s the lowest rated hotel in New York. Apparently part of the reason they don’t just renovate the hotel and keep it as a W is because the architectural limitations of the building mean that it’s practically impossible to renovate it to a level that would make it worthy of the branding. So the hotel is being kicked out of the W portfolio.
Up until recently we didn’t know what this hotel would be rebranded as, and whether it would just adopt a different Starwood brand, or if it would leave the hotel group altogether.
We now have our answer. As of May 9, 2018, the W New York is operating as the Maxwell Hotel, a Tribute Portfolio property. Tribute Portfolio is Starwood’s independent hotel brand (soon to operate under Marriott’s umbrella), intended to consist of hotels that reflect the cities that they’re in. In other words, a Tribute Portfolio hotel can really be whatever they decide to make it, since the brand has flexible standards.
This seems like a great fit for this particular hotel, since people might be much more accepting of the small rooms if this is viewed as more of an independent hotel.
I’m happy to see the hotel continue to be part of the SPG portfolio, as we can still earn and redeeming Starpoints for stays here, and receive all SPG benefits. This will also be the first Tribute Portfolio hotel in NYC, and I suspect this will also be one of the most reasonably priced SPG properties there.
(Tip of the hat to Points, Miles & Martinis)