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Review: W Bogota

Length of Stay
1 night
Room Type
Fantastic Suite
Elite Status
Marriott Titanium
Date
February 2022
Rating

During my visit to Bogotá, I spent a night at the W Bogota hotel. This was my first time hotel-hopping for the sake of it, a good way to see something new.

Ricky also stayed here for one night a few weeks later, as a big fan of the W brand. We’ve sprinkled his thoughts and photos throughout this review.

In This Post

W Bogota – Booking

After rates jumped for The Artisan DC Hotel, I opted not to stay there for all three of my nights in Bogotá. Instead, I decided this would be a good opportunity to experience another interesting neighbourhood, and to get my first taste of the W brand.

The W Bogota is a Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy property, priced at 30,000, 35,000, or 40,000 points on off-peak, standard, and peak nights. These prices are not expected to increase this year. Cash rates around the time of my stay were in the ballpark of $300.

Staying on a peak night, I used a Free Night Award worth 40,000 points, an Annual Choice Benefit for earning 75 elite qualifying nights in 2021 and reaching Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status. If I don’t love the cash rate, I’m not afraid to make an award redemption at slightly subpar value for the sake of empowering myself to try something I otherwise might not have booked.

I always prefer to use certificates over points if I can redeem for their full value. Points are always more flexible, whether for higher-priced nights or for the Fifth Night Free perk, so I’d rather save them for later.

Additionally, I used a Suite Night Award, my Annual Choice Benefit for reaching 50 elite qualifying nights in 2021. I figured if I was going to use my Titanium certificate, I may as well go all-out and guarantee the best room available.

Ricky Ricky

I do love the W brand, and so couldn’t resist giving my first Latin American W property a try here in Bogotá for my one-night stay, even in favour of some better-located properties closer to the major tourist attractions.

While Josh redeemed a certificate for his stay, I opted to pay the cash rate of ~$230 after taxes instead, given that I felt confident of getting even higher value out of my 40,000-point Free Night Award in the future.

Instead of using a Suite Night Award to secure an upgrade, I opted to apply my “suite-talking” skills to try to get the best room possible instead, and I was fairly happy with my results.

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W Bogota – Location

The W Bogota is in the neighbourhood of Usaquén. The area is considered to be one of the wealthier, safer, and trendier parts of Bogotá.

The hotel is nestled into the Santa Barbara business park. It shares a plaza with several office buildings. You can easily walk to the highlights of the neighbourhood, including the public square with a church, as well as many lively streets brimming with local cafés, bars, and restaurants.

As I had already seen the tourist sights in La Candelaria when I was staying much closer in Chapinero, I spent some time wandering the nearby streets of Usaquén. If you do commute downtown from here, it could be up to an hour by car depending on traffic.

While Usaquén has a reputation for being more of a place to live than a place to stay, it’s also a bit of a diplomatic quarter. The W is across the plaza from the Canadian embassy and not too far from Mexico’s. Eavesdropping over breakfast, the hotel’s clientele was made up of a number of foreign diplomats and international businessmen.

Ricky Ricky

The W Bogota’s location in Usaquén did indeed make things a bit more challenging in terms of efficient sightseeing on a quick visit to Bogotá. The journey from the airport took a breezy 30 minutes in the evening, but getting to La Candelaria the next morning proved to be a slow journey in the midst of Bogotá’s notorious traffic. 

Location-wise, I’d certainly recommend a more central hotel if you aren’t in town for long, unless you’ve got an irrational fascination with the W brand like me. The W Bogota in Usaquén would be a better choice as a secondary base on a longer stay in the capital, similar to Josh’s trip.

W Bogota – Entrance sign
W Bogota – Entrance sign

W Bogota – Check-in

The hotel has two entrances. The vehicle drop-off zone is on the first floor. I was let off here, entering the main lobby.

As soon as you step into the building, the aesthetic screams W. I like to describe the W brand as “nightlife at noon” – dark interiors with strategic light, colourful art, and tasteful energetic music.

W Bogota – Lobby

The lobby is small for a building of its size, with limited seating. Gold is heavily featured in the lobby and throughout the property, as a tribute to the region’s natural resources. There’s a shimmering waterfall of butterflies along the wall as you enter.

Check-in was smooth, with very friendly, professional staff who were well-trained and eager to please. As a Titanium Elite, I was offered a choice of free breakfast or 1,000 points.

If you’re coming and going on foot, you’ll use the hotel’s other entrance, on the third floor. This level connects directly to the plaza, which has a few restaurants unaffiliated with the hotel. On the far side of the plaza, you can explore Usaquén across the main road.

W Bogota – Pedestrian plaza

While the front desk is on the first floor, the third floor is the hotel’s heartbeat. Here, you’ll find the restaurant, as well as the bar with extensive lounge seating.

W Bogota – Fantastic Suite

I was put in a Fantastic Suite, the highest upgrade available with a Suite Night Award. You can pay extra for the WOW or Extreme WOW Suites.

I got Room 1111, affectionately once-once en español. 

The hotel’s hallways match the vibe of the rest of the building, with backlit room numbers creatively placed on the ceiling of the dim corridor.

W Bogota – Hallway

Entering the suite, you’ll notice a continued emphasis on the W’s play between lights and darks, but with more white features.

The entryway has a closet, a powder room with a toilet, and a mirrored nook with a funky stool.

The kitchen has a fridge, sink, snack bar, and a hot drink station. You can make your own cocktails with the shaker provided – but they clearly only outfitted the barren shelves with exactly enough glassware for the number of guests on the reservation! Am I not entertaining? (I wasn’t.)

W Bogota – Fantastic Suite kitchen

The desk was a mixed bag, with a cool touch-activated lamp and a helpful collection of basic office supplies, but not a lot of space and a chair with metal legs that dragged across the tile floor. In using a Suite Night Award, I had planned to use the space and get some work done, but I ended up mostly lounging on the couch while doing so (when I wasn’t in a nearby café).

W Bogota – Fantastic Suite desk

The main living space is divided from the entry and kitchen by white curtains, instead of a door or wall. This added to the feeling of brightness in the suite, with the flexibility to create some intimacy for a large crowd. (There is a lockable real door dividing the kitchen from the master bathroom.)

W Bogota – Fantastic Suite curtain

The room is quite bright throughout the whole day, with a mostly westward exposure (plus ample artificial lighting) and floor-to-ceiling windows in both the living room and the master bedroom. There’s not a whole lot of skyline to see – but also not a whole lot of skyline to obstruct the view.

W Bogota – Fantastic Suite city view

There’s an L-shaped leather couch partially against the window facing the TV, plus some other individual seats. They weren’t uncomfortable by any means, but they did strike me as form over function.

The master bedroom is divided from the living room by a set of double doors that swivel 360 degrees from the centre. I thought it was a fun choice, if not a bit impractical. I suppose it adds to the sense of openness in the space.

W Bogota – Fantastic Suite bedroom doors

The sleeping area follows the design patterns of the living area, with leather furniture, a low-profile bed, and a sense of wall-to-ceiling flow.

W Bogota – Fantastic Suite bedroom

The master bathroom is divided from the bedroom with a similar curtain setup. Smack in the middle of the room is a soaker bathtub.

W Bogota – Fantastic Suite bedroom & bathroom

There are two sinks, with the counter space concentrated to one side. On the far side, there are two floor-to-ceiling glass doors for the shower and toilet.

Around the corner, you’ll find the suite’s walk-in closet open directly to the bathroom, with shelves and hanging space should you choose to settle in for an extended stay. There’s another funky stool in a mirrored nook.

W Bogota – Fantastic Suite walk-in closet

In general, the design elements in the suite were slick and coherent, but I felt they were lacking a bit of consistency in terms of how much they really popped, with some features shining more than others. I believe each room and suite is unique, which does add to the charm of the hotel’s eclectic aesthetic.

Ricky Ricky

I upgraded to the Fantastic Suite as part of my “suite-talking” efforts, having been informed that the WOW Suite would be subject to a separate upcharge of US$350. (I’d note that this hotel has some of the cheapest rates for WOW and Extreme WOW Suites that I’ve seen at any W location.)

The Fantastic Suite was a creative and welcoming space, and I thought it met my needs well for a quick one-night stay. I liked the patterned design that crawled across the bedroom ceiling, and the “bathtub in the bedroom” situation was unmistakably on-brand for a W hotel.

W Bogota – Breakfast

Breakfast is served in the main restaurant from 6:30am until 10:30am.

Upon checking in early, the front desk advised me that I may be able to get breakfast while the staff finished preparing my room. Sure enough, I was able to enjoy two complimentary breakfasts despite only staying one night!

As a COVID-19 measure, the buffet is set up behind plexiglass. Restaurant staff plate your food on request and serve it through portals in the barriers.

W Bogota – Nut bread & ceviche

The comprehensive menu included a few interesting highlights. I tried calentado, a traditional dish from Bogotá which basically means “leftovers” and consists of rice with assorted meats and beans.

W Bogota – Calentado

You can get breakfast wraps if you’re looking for an early lunch consisting of handheld meats and cheeses, or boxed cereal for the kids (or snacking later).

W Bogota – Breakfast wraps

There’s a self-serve juice bar with a selection ranging from trendy nutrient-forward mixtures (think spinach and beets) to fruits native to Colombia (think soursop).

W Bogota – Juice bar

Beyond all of those, there’s the usual suspects that make up any Colombian hotel breakfast, such as fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, hot and cold meats, and a pastry spread.

Overall, I found breakfast to be tasty, varied, and filling, but not remarkable.

W Bogota – Breakfast
Ricky Ricky

My thoughts on the W Bogota’s breakfast offering very much echo Josh’s – I’ve been blown away by some incredible W breakfast spreads in the past, but this wasn’t one of them.

Still, I helped myself to multiple servings of caldo con costilla, a soothing rib broth on a morning that I was feeling a little under the weather. 

W Bogota – Dining

For lunch and dinner, the breakfast space becomes Jairo, the W Bogota’s on-site restaurant. The menu emphasizes traditional Colombian cuisine with a modern twist.

W Bogota – Restaurant

The W Bogota is also known for its signature brunch, only available on weekend evenings (yes, evening brunch) and Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately neither my nor Ricky’s stays fell at the right time, but by all accounts the meal is phenomenal.

W Bogota – Bar & Lounge

There’s no Club Lounge at the W Bogota. Instead, you’ll be clubbing and lounging.

The W Lounge was a popular space to congregate in the evening. The seating can accommodate large or small groups, and the round sofas are inviting for mingling.

The atmosphere was good, with a live DJ, edgy art on the walls, and a colourful palette of lighting.

The night I was there, a guest bartender was beginning his residency. He had a few signature cocktails on the menu. I quite enjoyed the mezcal mule.

W Bogota – W Lounge
W Bogota – W Lounge

You can also order food from the lounge as an alternative to the restaurant. Nothing stood out strongly enough to compel me to eat at the lounge, and the menu seemed a bit pricey for the lack of innovation.

W Bogota – Other Facilities

The fourth floor has the gym, spa, and pool.

The gym is quite large and has a good mix of weights and cardio equipment.

The pool has the same dark aesthetic as the rest of the hotel’s shared space, which I thought was an odd choice for an indoor body of water. Too small for laps, but too uninviting for lounging.

W Bogota – Pool

Conclusion

The W Bogota hotel is certainly a strong facility, but I may have gone in with too high expectations for my first W property.

The Fantastic Suite was lovely, and the building’s hard design elements were on point, as was much of the soft product in the form of food and service.

However, the reality is that there’s a limit to the heights you’ll reach with a luxury brand in Latin America. Your points will go a lot further in other parts of the world.

The W Bogota is a nightlife hotel that’s totally not in a nightlife district. It’s a place to see and be seen, with nobody to see and nobody to see you.

Also, as much as I adored Usaquén, it’s not an ideal neighbourhood for most tourists, as it’s rather far from many attractions for a first-time visitor to Bogotá. In spite of the property’s virtues, it feels out of place no matter whom it appeals to.

I’d say Usaquén is a great part of the city to stay for a second visit, but I wouldn’t rush to stay at the W Bogota again – I’d likely book an Airbnb and sink into the pace of everyday life. I’d be more eager to try another W hotel in a different part of the world.

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