W Hotels was launched in 1998 with the W New York, a conversion of the old Doral Inn hotel at 541 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The first few W hotels were mainly conversions of existing hotels already within the Starwood group. In 2001 Starwood added W New York - Times Square and made it its Starship property. The W expanded its number of properties quickly in the United States over the next decade and is now focusing its expansion efforts abroad for the most part.
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