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Old Sep 30, 07, 3:34 am
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Programs: Etihad Guest
Posts: 1,544
Pretentious, moi?

In addition to its barbecue restaurant FIRE and its bar WET, the W Maldives is proud to rebrand its toilets as POOP and its waters-edge relaxation area POSE.

Seriously, I had thought of this hotel as a peer for the St Regis Bora Bora and the Bora Bora Nui but it clearly is nothing of the sort.

Its market is 28-35 year olds with no kids, but while its obvious target markets are those which find Bora Bora too far to fly to, i.e. western Europeans and rich Indians, it is so lost in uniquely American cultural references as to be a comedy piece to them. Unfortunately, Americans can get to Bora Bora in a quarter of the time it takes to get to the Maldives, and they won't be coming at all.

Consider something as superficially inoffensive as the "W WHATEVER" logo. That seems cool to the sort of people used to hearing simpleton hotel chain heiresses use the expression, but for non-American English speakers the word "whatever" is an astonishingly old-fashioned, deeply uncool expression last heard in the BBCs 1972 comedy set in a grim northern English city "Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads". It evokes memories of dialogue such as:

"Would you like another cup o' tea, Terry pet?"

"Whatever, Mam".

Seriously, there is a problem in plonking a very "US American" model totally unmodified into a market in which Americans and American-influenced guests are entirely absent. And "US American" well describes a hotel only a Miss Teen USA contestant would find cool or smart as opposed to cliched and crass.

W Maldives is the right property under the wrong brand for its clientele. It would work so much better as a St Regis.

Last edited by DCF; Sep 30, 07 at 4:05 am
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