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Marriott Acquires W New York – Union Square for W’s Next-Gen North American Flagship

The purchase marks a new chapter in transformation for the hotel company's iconic youthful luxury lifestyle brand

Marriott International has purchased the 270-room W New York – Union Square in the heart of Manhattan’s dynamic Union Square neighborhood with plans to transform the existing hotel into a cutting-edge W Hotels showcase, advancing the company’s strategy to redefine and reinvigorate the brand in North America.

The  $206 million price tag for W New York – Union Square, gives the international hotel company a location on Park Avenue South, in a 20-story Beaux Arts style building that is an icon of architecture, with panoramic views of Union Square’s pedestrian plaza and park. It is widely recognized for its “W Union Square” rooftop sign that stands out on the Downtown skyline.

The property first opened its doors in 1911 as the headquarters of the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, and in 2000 opened as W New York – Union Square, becoming an anchor for locals and out-of-town guests, alike. The renovation seeks to unlock the property’s untapped potential with plans for a signature, socially-charged spa and an expanded restaurant on one of New York City’s most bustling street corners. Honoring the brand’s electric New York City roots and innovative drive, the renovated hotel will be the incubator and catalyst for a new vision for W in North America – one focused on immersive, next-level contextual design; authentic, experiential programming, and a fresh take on the brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever service philosophy.

“There’s no better place than New York City to reveal to the world the future of our W Hotels brand, so we’re tremendously excited about this acquisition and the unique opportunity that it presents for our reinvention strategy,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International. “When W was launched as a single hotel in New York 21 years ago with ground-breaking design and a bold approach to nightlife, it pushed the boundaries of how people thought about a hotel. Given how much travelers crave these types of experiences today and the brand’s global reach, we see limitless potential for the W brand with hotel owners and developers, travelers and locals.”

The purchase and renovation project is part of a comprehensive plan by Marriott International to reinvigorate the W portfolio in North America. The plan also includes the recent opening of W Aspen – the brand’s first alpine destination in the United States, and the anticipated 2020 debuts of W hotels in Philadelphia and Toronto.

As of June, Marriott International had 56 open W hotels worldwide in 26 countries and territories, with another 32 signed W hotel projects in the pipeline with the brand debuting in eight additional countries. The brand was born out of the bold attitude and 24/7 culture of New York City and now comprises a collection of more than 55 hotels in 25 countries. The brand participates in for loyalty perks and rewards.