REVIEW: The W Hotel in South Beach

So I visit South Beach quite often, and most of that is driven by the fact that there are so many cool hotels to explore and stay at.  Yes, the beaches are nice, the scenery isn’t too shabby, and the food and entertainment scene really are about as close to Ibiza as you can get without hopping over the Atlantic, but I really have to give it up to the choices of hotels in Miami Beach.

The W Hotel there is no exception, and it is probably one of my favorite W’s that i’ve visited.  There’s two reasons for that – the room selections, and the incredible pool area.

Lets start with the lobby – it’s a marble affair with plenty of seating areas and one of my favorite restaurants – Mr. Chow’s.  The ceilings are magnificently tall, and there is a definite air of modern opulence that you feel the minute you walk in.

That's the lobby, it's pretty
That’s the lobby, it’s pretty

However, lets get to the bread and butter – the rooms.  It’s no secret that i’m usually a bigger fan of hotels that have a uniqueness to them.  This can often be tough to find in chain hotels, but the W manages to do this quite often even while still instilling a “W-ness” to a property.  At the South Beach location, you get a choice of over a dozen types of room categories.  The result is some really cool floorplans including ones with staircases that lead to rooftop jacuzzis, and other rooms with their own gardens or multiple balconies.  They do all possess the same styling, however, which is not a bad thing because the white wood and gloss black furniture gives a futuristic look to the hotel keeping in line with the Asian-mod-deco look of the entire place.


Check out that spiral staircase which leads to...
Check out that spiral staircase which leads to…

...a sweet rooftop jacuzzi
…a sweet rooftop jacuzzi

The other favorite feature of mine is the enormous pool and the surrounding pool deck area.  There seems to always never be enough space to lounge around at most South Beach hotels, but this has never been a problem for me at the W.  If you want a cabana, they’ve got plenty of those, and if you just want a chair, well they have plenty of those as well.  The lush greenery, the dining tables spread amongst the palm tree forest, these are all calming and relaxing features that make this one of my favorite pools in South Beach.


  • Pool area is one of the best in a South Beach hotel
  • Rooms are spectacular, great views and incredible floorplans


  • Often incredibly expensive, you do get what you pay for, however


  • If you are an SPG member, the combo points + cash works really well at this property for securing great deals


  • Check out my other South Beach articles to read more about this!  I’ve covered it extensively in my review of the SOHO House: South Beach

REVIEW: The W Scottsdale Hotel

So I already wrote about one of my favorite hotel’s in Scottsdale (you can read about it here), but the W is probably my second favorite and depending on my mood it sometimes comes in #1 as well (Variety and all that jazz).

Probably the #1 reason why I like the W in Scottsdale – its pool – and let’s not forget, it’s always hot in Scottsdale so this is of prime importance.

So you’re probably wondering, how does it compare to the Valley Ho?  Well, they’re two different spots.  The Valley Ho is very much a boutique hotel with all the associated qualities, there’s less of a corporate feel, some cheeky elements and details, and a property that feels much more tailored to an off-the-beaten-path experience.  The W, however, does much of this in the traditional W manner – which is to say, corporate but still with some passion and uniqueness.

The rooms are probably the second best part of this hotel (after its very cool elevated rooftop pool area).  They are clean, modern, large, and have great views of the surrounding area.

Clean, warm, modern, and luxurious. It matches the desert vibe quite well

Lastly, I can’t help but mention that the lobby and public spaces are spot on (albeit a bit small) for a W.  The fireplace and little cubby areas throughout the lobby make for great spots to hideaway and have a drink and some great conversation – just what hotel lobbies were meant for.


  • Great pool, like really great – lots of space, lots of chairs, and lots of fun
  • Even though it’s not the newest hotel it’s still got a modernity and class to it


  • Not necessarily a con, but across town there exists a pretty good hotel called the Valley Ho, you’ll just have to pick your poison


  • You have to check out the SPG points + cash options on this one, because it’s an expensive hotel in general and you can save a lot of money with the cash + points booking options


  • Take a golf cart ride with one of the local carts that roams around downtown Scottsdale, and have them give you a tour.  It’s a cool little town with some pretty unique dive bars, restaurants, and art galleries and the best way to get a lay of the land is to have a golf-cart tour!

REVIEW: W Bogota – It’s real Colombian here!

This has got to be one of the cooler W hotels in terms of design and style.  Its a small one but its great location and great room rates make it a great home base if you find yourself in the city of Bogota.

What you immediately notice when you enter this property is the moodiness of the place.  This is not unlike most W hotels which have slightly darker surroundings and evoke a sense of sensualness and mystery.

That’s one sexy lounge.  It’s also a great place to hang out in before you head out for the night!

If you book early enough, check out the suites – they go for great prices, and they’re totally worth the price.  For less than $200 I was able to get a suite with its own game room and pool table, and this was during peak holiday season!

The service was above average for a W hotel, they were extremely accommodating when we needed to check in early and even though the room wasn’t ready they gave us complimentary spa access in order for us to freshen ourselves from our journey.

The rooms themselves were in great condition as of this writing, and had a whimsical and charming quality to them.  Especially awesome were the bathrooms, with LED lighting in the showers and gold fixtures that couldn’t help but remind me of something that would be in the infamous Pablo Escobar Mansion.

The gold touches really make this room pop visually.  It’s got some of the most interesting contemporary furnishings i’ve ever seen in a room.  Clean yet warm and inviting

Gold tiles, a gold shower, and gold fixtures.  Remember, gold is best!


  • Its got a bathroom that stands out and makes you wanna smile
  • The service is on par with some higher tier hotels
  • The rates are phenomenal for the quality of hotel you are getting into


  • It’s a smaller property so it doesn’t have a grand feeling to it


  • They really appreciate SPG loyalty here so remember to use your SPG card if you have one.  Also, they have a disproportionate amount of suites so it’s relatively easy to upgrade at the front desk, I highly recommend trying that out if you didn’t book a suite ahead of time


  • You really should check out Tabula when you’re here.  Anthony Bourdain recommends this restaurant and so do I.