Marriott buys New York W hotel for future flagship

Marriott International's renovation plans for the W New York – Union Square include adding a spa and expanding one of the hotel's restaurants. Photo credit: Marriott International

Marriott International bought the 270-room W New York – Union Square for $206 million, with plans to make it its next-generation flagship in North America. The acquisition is part of Marriott’s larger strategy to redefine and reinvigorate the W Hotels brand.

In keeping with Marriott’s asset-light strategy, the company expects it eventually will market the hotel for sale subject to a long-term management agreement.

The 20-story property first opened its doors in 1911 as the headquarters of the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. The W New York – Union Square debuted nearly 90 years later in 2000, early on in the history of the W Hotels brand. Marriott’s renovation is expected to introduce a signature spa and expand one of the hotel’s restaurants.

Marriott’s plans for the W Hotels brand also include the recent opening of W Aspen (Colo.)—the brand’s first alpine location in the United States—and the anticipated 2020 debuts of locations in Philadelphia and Toronto. Additionally, W owners in the United States and Canada have already committed to $200 million worth of renovations.

As of June, Marriott had 56 W hotels open in 26 countries and territories, with another 32 signed projects in the pipeline. As of June 30, Marriott’s total portfolio consisted of 7,100 properties, including 63 owned/leased properties.