Ben O'Brien checks into the W Guangzhou, China.
The W occupies some prime real estate in downtown Tianhe, which is Guangzhou's main business district. It is just a quick stroll to some of the city's best sights.
What's in the neighbourhood? Some of Guangzhou's most striking architecture projects, the Guangdong Museum, the Guangzhou Library and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as the incredible Huacheng Square and of course, plenty of shopping.
My room: A fire-themed Spectacular Design room (the base level rooms are called Wonderful Rooms), very well kitted out with everything you could ever want, and so much more you never knew you needed, including blue toilet paper.
Bathroom: Double basins, a walk in rainfall shower and a generously sized bathtub with built-in TV.
Toiletries: Bliss by NYC products.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes, if booked through the official W website.
Exercise: A large gym on the top storey of the hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows; although it is more style over substance, and consequently the equipment is somewhat lacking for serious gym junkies.
Price: The base-level room costs between $300-$500, depending on the season.
Food and drink:
There are three restaurants and two bars in the hotel. The Japanese restaurant I By Inagiku is a fine-dining treat, and the W brand's signature Woobar is an eclectic place for a nightcap — let the bartender surprise you. The breakfast buffet in The Kitchen Table is another highlight, where my made-to-order shakshuka eggs would give Auckland cafes a run for their money.
What's so good about this place? The W Hotel brand is 5-star luxury marketed towards a younger age group, with a focus on design, music and fashion. The W Guangzhou is no exception — it is over the top and bombastic in the best ways possible; the eyeball that watches you as you ride the elevators was a personal favourite — and somewhat unsettling moment. The moment you step into the lobby you feel transformed into a younger, trendier version of yourself, making it the perfect place to indulge a midlife crisis.
Value for money: If you can score a good low-season rate and are looking for a 5-star brand with a difference, then absolutely.
Perfect for: A weekend stopover for those who are after something luxurious, contemporary and quirky.
Would I return? Yes, please!