Dita Von Teese in front of a Chinese-style birdcage for W's promotion of its Beijing opening. (Courtesy Photo)
Starwood’s trendy lifestyle hotel brand W has touched down in Beijing as part of a massive China expansion plan, and it wants the world to know about it with a global promotional tour.
In order to promote the opening of W Beijing - Chang’an that happened last November, the company is sponsoring a “Rock the Empire” tour with a series of China-influenced parties across the world featuring celebrity burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese. At select locations for the event, Von Teese dances in a giant Chinese-style birdcage at a fashionable party to promote the hotel's second ever location in China. Kicking off in New York on Chinese New Year, the event has traveled to San Francisco, Singapore, and Hong Kong and will culminate with a grand finale at the Beijing location (Von Teese was in San Francisco and New York, and will be at the Beijing event as well).
"We created the Rock the Empire tour as a way to celebrate the opening of W Beijing - Chang'an around the world and not just in China,” said Sarah Doyle, the director of global brand management for W Hotels. “We felt that a traveling birdcage (symbolic of China’s love affair with bird keeping) complete with performances by the world-renowned Dita Von Teese would be a captivating and uniquely W way to spread awareness of the brand’s debut into the Chinese capital.”
Known for its regular DJs, parties, and hip decor, W’s arrival in Beijing signifies its faith that China’s fashionable set will provide ample revenue at a time when traditional luxury hotels are losing business from Chinese bureaucrats. While traditional luxury hotels have lost revenue from a decline in fancy banquets held by Chinese officials thanks to the country’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign, W targets a younger, more stylish crowd with an emphasis on design and a happening bar scene.
W has been on an ambitious mainland China expansion push. It opened its first ever mainland location in Guangzhou in April 2013, and has future openings slated for Changsha, Chengdu, Sanya, Shanghai, Shenyang, Suzhou, and Xiamen over the next four years.