The W Downtown is a bit of an enigma—and not just the street it’s on, which is more a glorified alley behind the World Trade Center than an actual street. Deep in the heart of old New York, now known as the Financial District, this W sees the bulk of business from business travelers but yet is still without a restaurant or in-room dining service. It’s located on a rather residential back pocket, and yet it’s wrap-around terrace boasts one of the liveliest outdoor parties come summer time. Even the rooms are almost entire stark white—at the flamboyant color-magnet W, of all places. But that’s why the W Downtown is a seen as the special sister in the New York W squad—the lovable odd- ball that has something the others don’t.
Rooms across the W’s categories (the names, the names!!! Wonderful, Spectacular and Wow) are contemporary space-age chic in white lacquer. Oh, and white croc. Naturally, there’s a hidden drawer or cabinet to conceal whatever evidence of one’s corporeal things. Don’t forget, however, white rarely hides one’s tracks. With floor to ceiling windows, the rooms flood with light and are set with striking views, though in certain quarters of the building, mostly of other people’s homes. The hotel offers the “whatever whenever” service where anything a guest could possibly request can be delivered.
White tile? Glass enclosed shower? Backlit mirror? Check, check, check. All the finer points of contemporary bathroom design are met in this sleek bathrooms, also stocked with Bliss products.
Up on the 5th floor, the lobby or the Living Room is a long hallway of black lacquer and small alcoves for private conversations. The infamous terrace framed the Living Room, as well.
Outfitted with the latest across all equipment category, this spacious gym offers what one would need for a workout and a training session. Like the other Ws, there are specially curated fitness programs, such as Barre-to-Bar or yoga experiences that are open to guests and the public alike.
At this time, there are no dining options at the W Downtown. The hotel does have special relationships with certain restaurants to deliver dinner.
The Living Room bar and terrace are the hotel’s drinking dens serving up cocktails al fresco (in the warm months) and on leather banquettes inside. The space really comes alive at night with its waving ceiling of neon lights.
The newly opened World Trade Center Oculus is a new transport hub for the A/C/E lines and the Path train. The R/W also are close by at Rector Street, as is the 5 at Bowling Green.
Welcome to Food Court territory—granted it's Eataly (3-minute walk) and France's answer, Le District (10-minute walk), which offer chaos and the sublime all rolled into one dining experience. But both have every iteration of every dish possible from these cuisines, and deliciously at that.
Stroll Stone Street (7-minute walk) in search of roaring pints with recently released white collar workers, but if the bro force is too strong, try The Dead Rabbit (10-minute walk), which remains FiDi’s most sophisticated spot for a well-shaken drink and rightly spiced finger food.
WHY WE LIKE IT
For all of the EDM-pulsing cool that this W is serving, it’s actually quite quirky. The programming is quite distinct, the staff has lots of personality and the space itself is in a funny part of the city. It’s well-located for those needing to be at the tip of Manhattan, but the W Downtown brings some sass and flash to an otherwise stiff, suited neck of the woods.