Stone World

Stone palette contributes to chic hospitality design

January 7, 2010
Known around the world for its trendy rooms, signature restaurants and glamorous nightlife, the W Hotel brand is the essence of contemporary hospitality. When it came time to select materials for its new destination in Miami, FL, a total of $14.5 million worth of stone was specified throughout, including the lobby walls that are clad in 4- x 7-inch Grigio Orobico marble tiles. Architect: NBWW & Associates, Inc., Coral Gables, FL; General Contractor: KM Plaza, Miami, FL; Stone Supplier: Ciot Tecnica, Montreal, Canada; Stone Installer/Fabricator: Italbec U.S., Dania Beach, FL


Known around the world for its trendy rooms, signature restaurants and glamorous nightlife, the W Hotel brand is the essence of contemporary hospitality - while also maintaining an exclusivity factor. When it comes to choosing décor for its newest destinations, it is no surprise that the hotel brand requires top-notch materials. Its recent new setting in Miami, FL, was no exception, with a grand display of stone throughout its interior design.

The 505,000-square-foot hotel called for $14.5 million worth of stone that was supplied by Ciot Tecnica of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and fabricated and installed by Italbec U.S. of Dania Beach, FL. “In cooperation with Yabu Pushelberg, the world renowned interior design firm, and Costas Kondylis of New York, the team has created a state-of-the-art, avant-garde guest experience,” according to a statement released by NBWW & Associates, Inc. of Coral Gables, FL, which served as the architectural firm for the project.

A bar in the hotel’s lobby features Zalto Nero marble countertops and White quartzite in a rubble brushed finish for its base. The pieces of quartzite are comprised of five thicknesses that range in size from 2 to 6 cm. The same quartzite forms columns throughout the lobby area - providing a striking contrast to the marble walls. 

“NBWW was charged with providing flagship level detailing for the W Hotel brand,” said Bruce Brosch, NBWW Partner and Project Architect for the W Hotel in Miami. “The owner representation was intimately involved in all selection processes.”

Stone is featured in the main hotel spaces, including the lobby areas, restaurant, nightclub, bar and lounges. Additionally, the flooring, walls and vanity tops in the bathrooms of the guestrooms and suites were designed with a range of stone products. 

The lavish setting extends further around the lobby, as the Grigio Orobico marble tile walls section off different lounge areas. 

Creating a magnificent ambiance

Guests are treated to the hotel’s lavish setting upon entrance. The lobby walls are clad in 4- x 7-inch polished Grigio Orobico marble tiles. “Initially, Green onyx was considered in lieu of the Grigio Orobico for the walls of the lobby, but it was considered too ‘busy’ for the intended art program by ownership,” said Brosch.

The lobby reception desk features 2-cm Zalto Nero marble countertops and White quartzite in a “rubble-brushed” finish for its base. The pieces of quartzite are comprised of five thicknesses that range in size from 2 to 6 cm, according to Jill Poser, Director of Business Development for Italbec U.S. The same rough-hewn quartzite base can be found at a lobby smooth bar as well as columns throughout the lobby area - providing a striking contrast to the marble walls.

The elegant use of stone also flows into the hotel’s trendy restaurant, Solea, where 2-cm-thick Bianco Pana marble comprises the walls and countertops. Additionally, St. John stone, in a woven pattern, is featured on the walls at the display kitchen of the restaurant.

All suite bathrooms feature 12- x 24-inch Cipollino marble wall tiles, and the material was also employed for the shower walls, floor and vanity tops.

The hotel’s nightclub also prominently displays a showcase of stone, further contributing to the overall upscale vibe of the “W.” The bartop and tabletops are made of 2-cm Marron Fantassime, and the same material was also applied to the nightclub’s walls. Outside of the club area, 3-cm Misty Carrara marble makes up the countertop in the waiting area entrance.

The luxurious setting doesn’t end at the hotel’s public spaces, as guests can both start and finish their day in any of the hotel guestrooms, which also feature a sophisticated stone palette. For the suite bathrooms, 12- x 24-inch Cipollino marble walls tiles were employed. The same stone was also used for the floor, shower walls and vanity top.

More than 400,000 square feet of stone was used throughout the new W Hotel in Miami. “[We chose] standard reasons for the material selection,” said Brosch. “Stone is forever.”

Striving for excellence

Besides the White quartzite, which was imported from Brazil, all other stone was quarried in Italy. “Three site visits to the quarries in Italy [were made] to assure quality control was in place for the majority of the product,” said Brosch.

The architect also explained that the design team at NBWW made weekly visits to the jobsite to supervise the installation. Overall, Brosch said the level of work by the contractors and stone fabricator was outstanding. “It was a pleasure working with such a professional team,” he said.

Construction on the W Hotel in Miami began in May of 2008, and it was completed in July of 2009. For its work on the project, Italbec U.S. was recently awarded by the Marble Institute of America (MIA) with the “Grande Pinnacle Award” for “Best of Show” in the commercial interiors category.