As the most successful new hotel brand, the W has been expanding in rapid fashion since the original W New York opened in December of 1998. The W has flourished from a design standpoint by remaining true to creating individual, uniquely distinct properties that are highly influenced by the local culture of each location. The 26-story, $234 million W Boston Hotel and Residences is the 35th “integrated lifestyle destination” for the worldwide brand.
For the W Boston, Bentel & Bentel set out to create a signature design by incorporating Boston’s historic green spaces and widespread use of natural stone in the building design. With an impressive open glass exterior entrance to the main lobby, or what the W refers to as the “Living Room,” passersby can catch a glimpse of the beautiful stonework within.
The project features Tapestry granite, which is quarried locally in Massachusetts. The material was specified for both floor and wall applications. Specified in different sizes and finishes, the granite was the anchor for a modernistic design program that includes steel artwork, falling water and new-age lighting in the main lobby.
According to Paul Bentel, Principal at Bentel & Bentel, careful consideration was taken in selecting the installation products. “We use Laticrete products all the time,” he said, adding that they have specified a range of the company’s materials over the past 20 years. In particular, he cited the need for high performance and durability for products such as adhesives as well as the color range of the company’s grouts.
The stone and tile installation at the W Boston was completed by Merrimack Tile & Stone of Derry, NH, which was founded over 61 years ago by four brothers of the Indoccio family. Today, Frank Indoccio, 89, is the last of the brothers still active day-to-day in the business, but Merrimack Tile & Stone will stay family-run with his son, Tom, now taking over and managing the operation.
Ken Sasso led the installation crew throughout each phase of the W Boston project. Given the varying sizes — and most importantly the differences in thickness of the Tapestry granite tiles — the install crew worked with Laticrete® 220 Marble & Granite Mortar on floors to avoid any issues with lippage between the tiles. For the 6- x 24-inch (15 x 61cm) stone base, Merrimack Tile & Stone used Laticrete 317 fortified with Laticrete 333 Super Flexible Additive to take advantage of the resulting thin-set adhesive’s superior non-sag performance and proven strength.
To complete the interior design, Bentel & Bentel also specified Tapestry granite in several different sizes, formats and thicknesses for all the specialty trim pieces in the main lobby. Merrimack Tile & Stone used Latapoxy® 300 Stone Adhesive to install the 2-inch-thick treads and landings, ¾-inch-thick risers and stringers and 1 ¼-inch-thick tapestry stone to surface radiators and countertops. The Latapoxy 300 Adhesive — a thin-set mortar — was selected because of the product’s enhanced resistance to staining and chemicals as well as its compatibility moisture-sensitive and non-vitreous stone tiles.
Throughout the hotel, installers utilized Laticrete® 1500 Sanded Grout fortified with Laticrete 1776 Grout Enhancer, which inhibits the growth of stain-causing mold and mildew with Microban® antimicrobial protection. In addition to the stone and tile in the lobby, tile work can be found in Descent, the hotel’s chic lounge; Market, an upscale restaurant utilizing a porcelain leather-look tile variety; all public restrooms; the exercise locker rooms; and all back of the house tiling.
In the end, the W Boston Hotel and Residences opened to great fanfare, and with its grand open glass entrance, the powerful natural stone appears right at home on the edge of where the sprawling Boston Commons gives way to the hustling Theatre District.