W tends to aim for more, how shall we say, "very well-heeled" hipsters
. The W Hotels in New York are really incredible places, and though they consider themselves boutique, they certainly aren't small hotels. I don't think it would be that much of a stretch to see them at a location like the Turn. In fact, they don't open a hotel unless they secure a premier location. They looked at the DC market forever, but held out until they were able to purchase and fully renovate a heritage building less than a block from the White House.
In fact my favourite hotel lobby of any place I've ever stayed, including some luxurious hotels and full-scale resorts, is the original W New York: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotel...opertyID=97502
The photos don't really do it justice (they're trying to be too clever and artsy with the pics). It wasn't the largest lobby and didn't have the grandest or most upscale interior design. But what it did have is a space and style that just works. The interior was like a Frank Lloyd Wright design with a twist, resulting in a surprisingly warm atmosphere. The space had vaulted ceilings, a sleek but cozy two-sided fireplace, and huge windows looking out onto a lively, typical Manhattan street-scape. Whenever I used to go to NYC from DC, I'd spend hours there . . . working, reading, or just soaking up the atmosphere. It was a great people-friendly space . . . an effortless, comfortable haven where you could chat, eat tapas, drink, or just hang out by yourself and read a book. I've rarely seen a public space that felt so comfortable and upscale at the same time.
I don't tend to think the west coast W Hotels live up to the standard of the east coast ones. I was actually rather disappointed in the San Francisco W. The Seattle W is ok, but it seemed to lack some of the style of the ones back east. But most carry themselves quite well. I think it would be great if they found a home somewhere in the heart of Vancouver.