If the main thing you look for in a hotel is a quiet sanctuary away from the maddening crowds, the W Hotel is not the one for you. Sure, it provides a fancy escape from hordes of tourists with their M&M World bags, but this is a hotel that’s best suited to guests who want to be in thick of the action, partying their way through the night until they check-out bleary-eyed in the morning light.
Located at the bottom end of Wardour Street, just off Leicester Square, the W has an air of exclusivity from the moment you arrive – on a Friday evening you’ll be greeted by a bevy of bouncers who are on crowd control. The hotel’s first-floor bar and nightclub space, home to possibly the biggest glitterball in town, means those in search of late night thrills and spills flock here for excellent cocktails and after-work shenanigans. Padded lifts ferry residents and visitors up and down, so it’s not uncommon for queues to form at peak times.
Once inside, residents can expect first-rate service and luxury vibes. Standard rooms come in between the £200-£300 mark, but the W also has suites to cater to the whim of the rich and famous. Take the Wow Suite, for example, a cavernous fifth-floor apartment that stretches across three separate areas – a lounge, bedroom, and a bathroom with mirrored walls and a bathtub that’s big enough for two (or more, should that be your thing). Views from here overlook Leicester Square and stretch as far away as the Shard.
Suites also come with the W Insider service, a next level concierge who appears to have done some research on your music collection for the in-room record collection, as well as selecting some amazing gifts for your arrival – a six-month membership to the Lights of Soho gallery in Soho, or a Crosstown doughnut, for example. Wow indeed. The whole experience is not the only thing that’ll make you struggle for superlatives – the suite starts from a mind-boggling £1,200 per night.
Elsewhere in the hotel there’s a spa that apparently does a brisk trade in celebrity spray tans, and a selection of themed rooms, one with its own private cinema and another called the ‘Extreme Wow Suite’ that comes with its own DJ equipment and soundsystem.
The party streak that runs through the W leaves a lasting impression; even after you’ve beat a retreat from the buzzy bar to the sanctuary of your room, you’ll hear the distant throb of house music downstairs as your head hits the pillow – this is clearly a hotel that keeps the party going late into the night.
Time Out tip
For a different kind of raucous evening, book a ticket for the Prince Charles Cinema’s legendary singalong screenings, or look out for their cult classic screenings combined with boozy drinks.