Who‘d have thought that the letter W would represent quality, value for money, exceptional personnel in presentation and delivery of service, first class hospitality, VIP treatment, spacious modern living, eclectic night life, contemporary music, innovative art and design… (I could go on but I think I’ve painted a good picture so far).
I never heard of ‘W’ until August 2011. I popped to Barcelona for my summer vacation and on exploring my surroundings wondered what on earth that building was in the distance. Embraced by the most wonderful restaurants offering the best in local cuisine, I learnt quickly it was a hotel. Worth a look at least.
As soon as I was in the lobby I knew it was most probably out of my league (at 450e per night) so I enjoyed a walk around and planted the idea firmly in my ‘if I ever win the lottery’ bank.
Until April 2012 when I started exploring summer holiday destinations again.
I found the W on lastminute.com at an affordable price if I compromised slightly on duration. It had to be done. For the experience at least. Barcelona was already a hot spot in terms of what it offered a holiday maker – a perfect mixture incorporating city life, shopping, culture, history, night life and… beach!
And so it was. 5 nights at the end of May, booked. Expectations firmly set. Not to pre-judge but I knew having ‘popped in’ previously that we were going to experience something P.R.E.T.T.Y special.
On check-in I chat casually about my reason for visiting the city. I write reviews and articles about the best of the best and I already love Barcelona! That was my instant ticket to an upgrade. Twice.
There’s the ‘Marvellous’ room I booked, there was the ‘Wonderful’ room I bypassed and then there was the ‘Fabulous’ room I was given access to. ‘W’ is also for ‘wow’.
I enter and the views of the beach and esplanade are stunning. The room is indeed ‘fabulous’. The bed and sofas are furnished with throws and cushions, there’s an iPod dock and flat screen TV, cordless telephone, under bed mood lighting, ‘snack box’ containing chocolates, pretzels, nuts, spirits, beer, wine and champagne, the in-house spa toiletries add a little something else and finally there was a ‘W’ brand merchandise shop. Yes, in the room. Selling ‘W’ music on CD - featured throughout the hotel (and it’s contemporary remember, not like ‘lift/elevator’ music), flip flops, baseball cap, signature ‘Eclipse’ chocolate and probably one or two other items that sadly I can’t recall now.
There was complimentary champagne, luggage tags and signature chocolate (delivered to the room within hours of our arrival) and on another occasion I also enjoyed a bottle of complimentary red wine – delivered to the room when I was out exploring one day. Nice surprise. Whilst these things are of course lovely (hic) – what mattered most to me is that I felt looked after. Customer service is important to me so what I found loveliest were the personalised cards (printed and hand written by staff), welcoming me to the city and reinforcing their desire to meet my every need, making the holiday the most enjoyable yet.
You could say that my experience was enhanced by the fact I write critiques but trust me, I observed plenty and am 100% confident that had we been ‘normal’ guests, the experience would have been the same. It was the attention, the smiles, the ‘good-mornings’ and ‘evenings’ staff who couldn’t do enough for you, 24/7 access to whomever ‘Whatever and Whenever’ (their trademark). Here’s an example.
Relaxing poolside on ‘wet deck’ after a late breakfast, I spot a member of the hotel staff to the left of us greeting some guests with one of those handshakes… you know the ‘I belong to the gang’ sort? Said member of staff and guests exchange some words and I voice out loud “I wonder what he does, he seems to know that group of people really well, looks like he’s checking whether they need anything or not.” My accompanying breakfast guest responds “They probably accommodate one of the penthouse suites on the top floor and he is their personal butler”. Me – “Hmmm, that’d be nice hey?!”
We return to our coffee and iced tea. A minute or two passes and the same gentleman walks in our direction.
“Hi. How is everything for you, are you getting around ok and are you enjoying the hotel facilities?” Shut. Up. (Not said out loud).
He asked us. He really did ask us just now.
“My name is Jeremy, I’m a ‘W Insider’ and if there is anything at all you need. I’m here for you.”
I talk leisurely about my incredible experience so far (this was day 2), tell him how wonderful everything has been focusing heavily on the level of service more than anything else and he reiterates that I should call him (at which point he gives us his business card) if I need anything at all 24/7.
I rest my case. This place is awesome and they’ve already achieved they’re objective as far as I’m concerned – it’s the best holiday experience… yet!
The conversation draws to a close and with bigger smiles than when I first entered into dialogue. Within moments I’m served a chilled glass of pink cava and a very decadent fruit platter.
I’ve paid to be at the W in Barcelona but I feel indebted to the personnel for making everything so ‘W’onderful.
I could give you another 100 reasons why you should make ‘W’ Barcelona your next stop but I can’t.
You just need to experience it for yourself. So go.
Dear W Personnel,
If you’re reading this. Thank you. From my heart. You Wow! And you Wow very well.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.