From LA to Miami, Hit the Road with W Hotels
By Annie Cassius, Social Media Manager, W Hotels
Driving across the United States has always been on my bucket list. With domestic travel at an all-time high, I decided that 2021 marked the perfect window to embark on this adventure.
I am a Miami native, but needed to be in Los Angeles earlier this year for work. That said, I decided ahead of time that I wanted to return to Florida by taking a road trip back. When mapping it out, I realized I’d be passing a number of cities with W Hotels. As they say, it was meant to be.
It was incredibly interesting to experience W in tandem with Route 66, from modern lodgings to empty, limitless stretches of road. Overall, my trip was eye-opening, insightful and inspiring. Seeing the vastness of this country by car was humbling in many respects, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for new perspectives, cultures and adventures!
Below, I’ve listed some highlights from my stopovers in Los Angeles, Aspen, Atlanta and Miami Beach.
First stop: W Hollywood! I was greeted in Hollywood by red carpets, bright lights, tall skinny palm trees and open arms. I was amazed by the square footage of this property and its grand entrance. My guest room looked over the entire neighborhood, with the iconic Capitol Records building in clear sight from my window.
I loved the extensive art collection and large spiral staircase in W Hollywood’s lobby. The day I checked in, I stopped by an event at the hotel’s Wet Deck. There was an excellent DJ, delicious cocktails and even better vignettes of the surrounding city (from the pool, you can see the iconic Hollywood sign).
One of the coolest parts of the hotel that I stumbled upon, however, was the on-site recording studio, also known as The Sound Suite. After exploring, I headed out for dinner at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood before returning for Drag Bingo at the hotel.
Fittingly enough, if you’re planning on visiting Los Angeles this Fall, be sure to drive by the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The long-awaited outpost, which honors all things cinema-related over the years, is finally opening its doors on September 30, 2021. Their very first event? A screening of The Wizard of Oz in their impressive 1,000 seat theater designed by the starchitect Renzo Piano. Also be sure to check out one of their inaugural exhibitions: a retrospective around the Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, the genius behind Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and more.
Next up on my journey was W Aspen. After I pulled up to the property, I was greeted with a refreshing glass of rosé, a tour of the facilities and a very helpful overview of the surrounding area and its activities.
I loved how the hotel was nestled into the base of Ajax Mountain (one of Aspen’s four peaks) and that I could admire the gondola in action from my guest room window.
After settling in, I decided to check out the Living Room and outdoor deck for lunch. I also found out I could hit the town in the hotel’s BMW X7 or via bicycle, both of which can be coordinated with a guest stay!
I took the car that afternoon over to Devil’s Punchbowl, an incredible waterfall nearby that was recommended to me by W Aspen’s insiders. Thankfully the water wasn’t too cold, and there were no more than five people visiting when I stopped by. When I arrived back at the hotel that evening I tested my skills at shuffleboard over a delicious espresso martini. The perfect nightcap.
Another cool thing I learned while there: The Aspen Art Museum, which in and of itself is impressive, has this new, hybridized store-meets-gallery, which was conceived of by the American artist Jonathan Berger. This new space opened just at the end of 2020, and features 350 objects and pieces, a majority of which are for sale. It’s an intriguing cultural blend (especially in a town known for its retail): shopping, learning, discovering, interacting and more, all under one roof!
By the time I hit W Atlanta, I was ready for a night of room service and cocktails. So, I decided to do exactly that. The food and drinks were delicious and the service was excellent.
W Atlanta’s Living Room light was beautiful during sunset, and its rooftop Wet Deck overlooks all of Downtown Atlanta. Most importantly, the guest room had plenty of space, and it boasted city views unlike anything I had seen in the last few days as I drove through America’s vast center. Downtown Atlanta brought the uptick in energy I needed to make it back to my final Floridian destination.
Speaking of energy: if you’re on a road trip, you must, in some way, appreciate driving. With that in mind, I recommend a unique experience while in Atlanta. Pull into the Porsche Experience Center, which is basically a playland for anybody who is a motorsports enthusiast! Porsche is offering driving experiences on their newly introduced Taycan, a hybrid supercar that’s as speedy as it is… well, sexy.
For my final stop, W South Beach did not disappoint. I especially love their pink umbrella lined beach! An Instagram in the making…
I quickly dropped my bags in the room and went to lay in the sun. After a day of tanning and music (the pool always has great DJ’s), I went for a walk to Kith nearby for their world famous ice cream, which is a summer staple in Miami’s heat.
The night was followed by dinner and drinks in Wynwood, Miami’s nearby arts district. The following morning I enjoyed a delicious spread of pastries by the beach and attended a tennis clinic at W South Beach’s on-property tennis court. W South Beach has this singular blend of relaxation, exploration and good vibes that ended this journey in the best way I could have hoped!
When in the Miami area, Superblue is a brand new, must see location. It’s something you’ll never forget. The immersive art experience features large scale works, many of which use projections and lighting techniques, and the space is enormous. There’s a mirrored labyrinth by Es Devlin, virtual rooms by teamLab, and a soothing piece by James Turrell (among others).