Friday, March 27, 2009
By Jason Sheftell
After an anticipation-filled wait, the W Hoboken is to open in style today, followed by a large party at the end of April. Developed by Applied Development Company., a family-owned New Jersey firm that got its start building affordable homes, the W Hoboken is a 25-story building designed by architects Gwathmey Siegel & Associates on the Hudson River across from the West Village. It has 225 hotel rooms, a double-height lounge bar and 40 upscale condominiums, all of which sold out at record prices for New Jersey condominiums.
“The W is spectacular inside and out,” says Michael Barry, one of two brothers who runs Applied. “Our first group guests are the New England Revolution, as we’re the host hotel for the New Jersey Red Bulls. This will be a draw for locals, day trippers from Manhattan and tourists. It just gives Hoboken an added dimension as a city.”
Surprisingly, the Barry brothers don’t seem bothered by any global slowdown. In addition to another W Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco, the Barrys are reaping the rewards of their Pier Village rental and beach-club complex, which town planners say revitalized the Jersey Shore town of Long Branch.
Once a sleepy, run-down neighbor to Asbury Park, Long Branch now attracts a hip clientele who come for the Barry’s Le Club Beach Club, with its rentable beachfront cabanas that have flat-screen televisions and bottle service. A nightclub, also partly owned by the Barry’s, draws national talent such as DJ AM. Rents in Pier Village, a 100,000-plus square-foot beachfront retail and residential complex, start at $1,400.
The Bungalow, the Barry’s 24-room Long Branch boutique beach hotel, also opens the end of April. New York City’s SIXX Design shaped the hotel to have a bohemian maritime feel with original works of art. Rates start at $250 with the hotel slated to open on May 1.
“We want to push the community in the right direction,” says David Barry. “To continuously draw people, you have to be a vanguard of what’s happening and be hip and forward-thinking. Pier Village at Long Branch is about psychographics where age doesn’t matter.”
Psychographics is a W Hotel mantra. The interiors of the hotel include a four-story en-tryway and stainless steel-mesh curtains.
“W Hoboken is truly an insider escape,” says Eva Ziegler, global brand leader for W Hotels Worldwide and Le Meridien. “The hotel offers the best of both worlds: an escape from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan while still being able to enjoy a true New York experience.”
A Tuscan steakhouse and nightclub called the Chandelier Room, from the same impresarios who own TenJune in Manhattan, round out the amenities. The hotel is already prebooked well in advance, but reservations can be made at http://www.starwoodhotels.com.