W Guangzhou Hotel — WOW!

I’m probably one of the biggest critics out there when it comes to W Hotels in the US. I find they’re overpriced, cheaply decorated, and 110% style over substance. So while I thought I had written off the brand earlier this year, I’ve been nothing short of delighted by my non-US stays at W Hotels the past six months or so.

Over the summer I stayed at the W Taipei, which was simply a gorgeous property with incredible SPG Platinum treatment.

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W Taipei

Then a month later I stayed at the brand new W Sentosa Cove Singapore, which was once again stunning.

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W Sentosa Cove Singapore

Now I just wrapped up a stay at the W Guangzhou, which might just be my favorite W property of all.

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W Guangzhou exterior

Physically it’s a stunning property. I mean, my usual complaint with US W properties is that they seem to get all their furniture from IKEA. There’s nothing wrong with that at Aloft properties, which I love, but when I’m paying $200+ per night some non-college dorm furniture would be nice.

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W Guangzhou lobby

I received a “Fantastic Suite” at the W, and it’s simply stunning. It’s decorated much more like a St. Regis or modern Ritz-Carlton than a W.

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W Guangzhou Fantastic Suite living room

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W Guangzhou Fantastic Suite bedroom

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W Guangzhou Fantastic Suite bathroom

The awesomeness continued with the hotel’s public facilities. I mean, check out the hotel’s 29th floor pool. Is that one of the coolest hotel pools, or what?

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W Guangzhou pool

As is the norm in Asia, the breakfast buffet is sinfully good. I mean, as much as I love breakfast buffets in Asia, at the same time I really, really hate them, since I end up eating about ten times as much as I otherwise would.

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W Guangzhou Kitchen Table restaurant

And the other thing that makes this W awesome is that it’s the only one in the world with a club lounge. The club lounge doesn’t serve breakfast (since guests that are eligible for access receive restaurant breakfast anyway), but is open throughout the day and has an evening happy hour.

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W Guangzhou lounge

But more than anything else, service at this hotel is amazing. I’ve come to realize that very few people in Guangzhou speak English, and that even applies at the W.

However, that doesn’t bother me one bit because of how hard the employees try. I’m only here for two days, and when I went to breakfast the second morning the lovely server said “did you want the same table as yesterday? And an iced coffee to drink again?” Amazing to remember that after just one day!

Then I went to the club lounge the second afternoon to get some work done, and as soon as I sat down the lady working the lounge said “and did you want a cappuccino again?”

I know it sounds simple, but the more hotels I stay at, the more I appreciate the little touches touches. Remembering a drink order or table shouldn’t be a big deal, but it really makes me smile.

Similarly, the concierge couldn’t have been more helpful in making recommendations about what I should do. The second day he had remembered my name and without my prompting written down some more recommendations for things for me to do.

And the last example of the amazing service — I checked out of the hotel at 6AM, before the restaurant even opened for breakfast. There were no taxis available, so it took about 10 minutes for a taxi to arrive, and they had me sit in the lobby to wait. By the time the taxi arrived the associate that had checked me out came up to me with a bag and said “I realize you have not had breakfast yet, so we packed you some breakfast. Please enjoy.” AMAZING!

Anyway, this is simply an awesome W, inside and out. Not only is it physically stunning, but it has service to match.

A full trip report will follow early next week!

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Comments

  1. Looks nice. Was the suite upgrade pro-active or did you have to ask? (or did you use suite nigh award?)

  2. lol I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks the US W’s got their funitures from Ikea. I like the W concept but the execution at least at the US properties is not up the level you would expect from a luxury hotel brand.

  3. Lucky,

    Most of the Ws you have stayed in are new builds. In the US, many are conversions and won’t be as nice. That said I like the W brand. I don’t really care about things like hotel club lounges, free breakfast and upgrades (which most travel bloggers and forum members care about the most); I do care about the quality of the restaurant/bar, decor, location, rooms, etc. In the US I find that W Hotels have lively bars/restaurants, which I think is important. Internationally, you get the sleekness of the US hotels with more standard luxury level service. I’m looking forward to my stay at the W Barcelona later this year.

  4. @ Anthony – Get back to work before the Manager at the W reprimands you for talking up your hotel brand during work hours faffing about on the internet. :p

  5. Yes, because the only possible explanation for a fan of the W Hotels is that he is a worker there. 😛

    Lucky, what is behind that glass partition in the picture of the living room?

  6. Looks nice! I wish more SPG hotels had lounges like Sheratons so we, at least, wouldn’t have to pay $5 for a bottle of water 😉

    With regards to IKEA, based on what my mom tells me, IKEA in other countries (at least, in Russia) makes much higher quality furniture. She’s not a fan of IKEA sold in the US, to say the least.

  7. I have had similar experience were the staff remember me, they knew what I like and prepared bkfast for me in the morning so I could have something ready for my car ride. I once had them wake me up 1 hour early since there was a lot of fog on the roads and they knew my flight schedule and knew that I would not make it if I left on my original time, what a difference between the service at hotel and service on first class.

  8. is it ironic that while I’ve heard & experienced the superiority of China airlines’ hardware over us, & its soft products lacking by a lot, W Guangzhou has it done right in both regards! I wonder if the proximity of the city to Hong Kong has anything to do with it.

  9. I love to hear when a hotel excels at service, which I think is a key differentiator for me since you can get luxury accommodations from numerous properties in most cities.

  10. Lucky – I’ve only been to Asia once (China and Hong Kong), and every hotel we stayed at the staff in each practically tripped all over themselves to provide top notch service. They executed it perfectly every time (2 Hiltons and Langham Place in HK) and nothing was too much to ask. From the front desk staff to concierges to lounge staff, all were as you put it so well: AMAZING!

    I am inclined to think it’s more the Asian standard and feel all US employees should be counseled and trained by their Asian counterparts on how to deliver quality service. My $0.02.

    Glad you experience awesomeness!

  11. Any opinion on the W Bangkok? I have a reservation at the Royal Orchid Sheraton in May, but since you seem to like the W brand more in Asia, I might switch to the W instead.

  12. Hi Lucky,
    I’ve found the lounge staff remembering my name, room#, seating preference, drink preference, and newspaper preference to be the norm in Asia. I’ve had this very experience at Conrad Tokyo, Conrad Seoul, Hilton Shanghai. Perhaps its cultural, as the only time we’ve had a similar experience in the West is on cruises staffed by those from the Far East. Just my admittedly limited sample size observation.

  13. Four Points Taipei kept my mom’s slippers for 6 months and returned them to her on next stay in the following year.

  14. Hi Ben
    Does the hotel provide an airport pick-up, please? I can’t find anything on the hotel’s website but understand that some of the top hotels in Guangzhou do have such a service.

  15. @ J Dee — I think they have the option for a private car service for around 700 CNY per way. I just took taxis though, which worked just fine.

  16. If only the service industry here would provide service like that, then I might even accept the IKEA furnishings!

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