1998: W launched with the opening of W New York on Lexington Ave.
2001: W transformed the traditional hotel lobby into the W Living Room, creating a social hub for guests and locals through cocktail culture.
2003: The first W Hotel outside of the United States debuted:
W Mexico City.
2004: W became the first hotel brand to connect the dots between hotels and fashion by becoming a sponsor of New York Fashion Week with the introduction of the W Hotels Backstage Lounge, which lasted 13 seasons.
2006: The brand reinvented the concept of a traditional resort with the introduction of the first
W Retreat in the Maldives (W Hotels now calls their resorts W Escapes, with the most recent addition being W Dubai, which opened in 2019).
2008: W created a series of ongoing live music events (first with Wonderlust Live and then with Symmetry Live ), with performances by emerging and established artists such as CeeLo Green and Janelle Monae.
It also became the first hospitality brand to have a float at the NYC Pride Parade.
2009: W became the first hotel brand to appoint a global music director, Michaelangelo L’Acqua.
2010: W appointed a global fashion director, and was the first hotel brand to do so.
2012: It became the first hotel brand partner of the CFDA (Fashion Incubator) Program.
2015: Turn It Up For Change, a campaign in partnership with Jennifer Hudson that benefited the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and supported the fight for marriage equality in the U.S., launched.
2016: Sound Suites—private music studios and writer’s rooms for musicians to record in style while on the road—launched, with the first location at W Bali – Seminyak (locations now include W Hollywood, W Barcelona and W Seattle). Similarly, W also launched Wake Up Call, the brand’s signature music festival series and the world’s first-ever music festival held entirely on the grounds of a hotel. W also introduced “What She Said,” the brand’s popular speaker initiative that celebrates femininity in all its forms, nuances and glory.
2017: W introduced “Queer Me Out,” an LGBTQ+ speaker series, bringing together leaders of the queer community from the worlds of fashion, music, design, media and politics. This year, W Goa arrived as W’s 50th property.
2018: W Records, a record label and resource for artists selected by W Hotels and their music industry partners, launched. W Records supports artists through every step of development, providing recording space, mixing and mastering and finally, distribution of the new sound via live performances, streaming and vinyl production.
Fuel Weekends also debuted. W’s fitness-focused vacation packages combine celebrity workouts, parties, delicious and healthy cuisine and adventure at W Escapes around the world.