2 -min. read

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_LPrjopbO8&w=560&h=315]

W Hotels have been making considerable investments in their North American properties recently (see what the W Montreal looks like now) but one of the show-stopper projects, almost literally, has been the $10 million Living Room renovation of the W Times Square.

Times Square has gone through many incarnations from glamorous theater district to seedy sex clubs to a super touristy spot. The W has now taken a bit of that old Broadway glamour, mixed in some naughty, and added a few crowd-pleasers for their new look.

Located on the 7th floor, the sultry lounge was fully revealed in September but the other night (formerly it was a typical zen/mod type of space), W celebrated the new Broadway-centric design with a soiree for “Ultimate Encore”, a three-minute short and sweet film from Broadway veteran Alan Cumming and starring Bernadette Peters that was filmed at the W. (The film also seeks to raise awareness and money for the pet rescue charity, Broadway Barks.)

Party guests including Rose McGowan, Phillip Bloch, Joey Aria, along with the film’s co-stars Cynthia Rowley, Selita Ebanks, and Amanda Lepore, mingled amongst the low, geometric-shaped seating areas and got cozy in the built-in banquettes that line the wall, complete with glittery chandeliers. Other fabulous folk found their way to the long bar, which is backlit by retro-looking Times Square neon signs from Brooklyn-based studio Lite Brite Neon. The specialty cocktail list offers concoctions dreamed up by the team NYC’s top culinary group, IndieFork (known for Chalk Kitchen and Handy Liquor Bar.) At one end of the room is a grand piano that doubles as a communal table, while a caged DJ booth is meant to resemble the iconic ball that drops in Times Square every New Year’s Eve. It even spins! Lastly, the Living Room boasts a floor-to-ceiling mural by renowned graffiti and street artist Lady Aiko, depicting Times Square throughout its colorful decades.

Also new-ish at the W Times Square is the addition of Dos Caminos, a popular Mexican outpot from BR Guest Hospitality, which features a 40-seat mezcal and margarita bar at the ground level. Blue Fin, the W’s sushi and seafood restaurant, is also getting a makeover, while W has further plans to bring back a retail store to the 7th floor, with a design inspired by the old arcades of Times Square.

[Video and cover photo: W Times Square]


Juliana Shallcross
A self-confessed hotel addict, Juliana Shallcross has been reporting on hotels around the world for more than a decade. She was previously the managing editor HotelChatter.com. A good portion of her job involves sleeping in new hotels, obsessing over technology and keeping tabs on the ever-changing hospitality landscape. She's based in Los Angeles.

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