BACKSTORY: W Hotels skipped the big-ticket cities of Shanghai and Beijing, opening its first Middle Kingdom hotel earlier this year in the southern provincial capital Guangzhou. The W’s arrival in Pearl River New Town—the city’s ambitious financial and cultural district—is the latest indication that design, architecture, fashion and art are not the sole domain of the north.
DESIGN NOTES: Hong Kong architect Rocco Yim created a futuristic, asymmetrical colossus of black glass building blocks and steel to house this property. The interior is equally eye catching. A 62-foot transparent “water wall” greets guests upon arrival, there are incandescent purples and blues throughout, and New York–based design firm Yabu Pushelberg has added its cool sheen to the guest rooms.
BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT: A three-story illuminated transparent cube suspended high above the street below, Fei Ultralounge mirrors the unbridled optimism of the city itself. Slinky hostesses usher the glitterati through a velvet curtain and into elevators before depositing them in the lounge itself, a space so glowy and glossy you feel it must be a product of CGI.
HOT DISH: At signature eatery Yan Yu, the award-winning chef Jereme Leung has created a menu that walks the line between tradition and pizzazz. Not to be missed is the osmanthus-smoked roasted pork belly and lobster bisque with crispy prawns.