New York has several W hotels now, with the others all further north in Manhattan around Midtown, where the island's luxury hotels are usually situated. This W, however, is in the heart of the Downtown area, surrounded by corporate headquarters and suited workers, in what initially feels like a weird place to stay. But it's not. It's brilliant.
The hotel directly overlooks Ground Zero, which means fascinating views of the construction work, the memorial, and One World Trade Center, the new tower currently being built. Other advantages of being at this end of Manhattan include being very close to attractions such as Wall Street, the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and Battery Park. There is also a subway a short walk from the hotel for travelling north.
Inside, the hotel is striking, with lots of modern décor, including a black reception area (where people hang around to use free WiFi, as you have to pay in the rooms). There is a restaurant (which I didn't use) and an excellent gym (which I did use) overlooking Ground Zero, so you can watch more tourists while sweating away on the punchbag.
The room itself was strikingly white with modern fixtures and fittings and all the trimmings you expect from a luxury hotel, such as a iPod dock and fashionably stocked minibar. I stayed in a corner room, which meant huge windows for views in two directions. The only downside is the construction site means noise starts quite early. It's well worth it though.
It's a great location from which to reach the tourist hotspots downtown.
The views are absolutely unique.
The atmosphere is vibrant and relaxed, unlike some of the more reserved luxury hotels.
The not so good:
You have to walk through the reception area to get to the gym, which is a bit embarrassing in your sweaty shorts and T-shirt.
Some might find the décor a bit too much.
A stylish hotel with a great atmosphere in an unique location.
Double rooms from £205. W New York Downtown, 123 Washington Street, New York, 10006, USA (+1 866 961 2860; wnewyorkdowntown.com)