As Lyndsi and I strolled through the lobby of the W in downtown Austin, TX last weekend, I said, “This place feels like yuppie central.” Modern, sleek, hip, over-the-top, pretentious … yet perfect for these two yuppies looking for a fun hotel in the city. I immediately noticed the “whatever/whenever” concierge desk when entering. Our friend Brian later found out that’s no joke after picking up the phone by the elevator and immediately connecting to the desk.
The halls were dark, hip, modern, moody with dark colors contrasted by red. A perfect combination. The elevators are full of mood lighting and mirrors. Perfect for narcissistic yuppies who enjoy nothing more than checking their hair in the mirror (definitely not us…). The walls by the elevator are made of gorgeous wood.
Hotels like the Austin W (opened in 2010) are all about style over function. Yet for leisure travelers, it’s perfect. When you enter the room, the first thing you notice is a built-in shelf in the room with nice cups illuminated with mood lighting (which also lit above the bed with blue hues). There’s the typical flat-screen, floor-to-ceiling windows with impressive city views, and a bed that was simply heavenly.
The bathroom was … interesting. The room with the toilet was only partially private, with two french-style doors sliding together, leaving gaps on the sides (and the doors in ours didn’t lock). The shower water would spill into the center of the bathroom by design. Oh, and two strategically-placed mirrors in the shower were a nice touch. Because if your narcissistic self enjoys looking at yourself in the elevator, the shower has to be 10x more appealing.
So what is it about expensive hotels like the W (dropped close to four benjamins all included) that makes them worth it? The little things. The lighting, the feel of the floors and bed sheets. It all comes together to make you feel safe, clean, comfortable … content. Whereas in typical hotels you sometimes feel grossed out by the bathroom or bed comforter, in exquisite hotels like the W, everything feels clean and welcoming and quality. It’s things like the recessed lighting in the bathroom, the blue mood lighting above the bed, the unique mirrors, the complimentary newspaper every morning, the HDTV with real HD channels … I could go on. Call me crazy, but I appreciate the little touches. I’ve been cursed with expensive taste.
And compared to the quality of hotel we experienced later in Austin, it made us appreciate the W even more. Stay tuned.