W Hotels Debuts in Xiamen

Guests can expect to see whimsical interiors dotted with contemporary artwork and high-tech touches.

A Fabulous room at W Xiamen. (All photos courtesy of the hotel)

China’s borders might be shut for the foreseeable future, but when entry restrictions are eventually lifted, international travelers headed to Fujian’s most well-known coastal destination have a new luxury hotel to check out. Taking up a downtown high-rise adjacent to the OneMall shopping center, W Xiamen features 293 guest rooms and suites and an eye-catching design by Hirsch Bedner Associates.

The global firm took their cues from the city’s tropical surroundings and thriving music scene, scattering digital installations and commissioned art pieces throughout the public and private areas of the hotel. On the ground floor, the faces of Fujianese Gaojia opera singers are painted on curved metal walls at W the Store, while lobby space the Living Room features pillars of neon glass and motion sensors that release a burst of flute notes whenever someone approaches the lobby’s centerpiece, an installation inspired by the musical instruments displayed at a local organ museum.

Upstairs, guest rooms come with feature walls that use digital artworks to create a “color puzzle” with RGB (red-green-blue) illustrations, alluding to the natural scenery that has made the city a popular domestic tourist destination. Other notable touches include consoles and coffee tables inspired by Bo Bing, a popular local dice game. At the top of the line is the 262-square-meter Extreme Wow suite, which features an entertainment area with special lighting that sends virtual ripples across the room.

Heat, the hotel’s poolside bar.

Guests at W Xiamen have four dining and drinking venues to choose from. Heat, the poolside bar, serves up street food-inspired bar bites and cocktails that draw on the island city’s rich heritage. Lobby lounge Soundscape specializes in organic brews and healthy drinks, while Cantonese and Minnan flavors take center stage at restaurant Min Yen, which hosts private cognac tastings paired with mystery menus. All-day eatery Nine was designed as a food hall with live stations offering items such as freshly baked pastries and handmade noodles; Nine’s afternoon high tea service highlights Fujian’s tea culture with a selection of rare infusions, while the menu shifts to premium steaks and seafood after dark.

W’s fun-loving nature is also evident in its recreational spaces. A speaker wall adorns Fit, the 24-hour gym, while the rainbow-hued Wet pool features a mosaic wall that reflects filtered sunlight and a range of colors onto the water’s surface. The top-floor Away Spa takes things down a notch with soothing treatment rooms inspired by a colony of egrets. Aside from couple’s massages, manicures, and pedicures, offerings here include the signature Egret Does Massage, which incorporates a foot ritual and the application of essential oils with feathers in a motion recalling an egret’s flight.

Finally, event spaces at the hotel are headlined by the 1,000 square-meter Great Room with a 110-square-meter LED screen, billed as the largest in the city.

Doubles from US$228; wxiamen.com

A dining room with a view of Xiamen’s cityscape at Nine.

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