Aloft Hotels

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Aloft Hotels
Franchise
Industryhospitality
Founded2005
FounderW Hotels
Number of locations
100 hotels
Area served
United States, Canada, Europe, Asia
OwnerStarwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (through subsidiary W Hotels)
ParentMarriott International
Websitewww.starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels

Aloft Hotels is a hotel chain based in North America, owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (which was acquired by Marriott International in October 2016), although it is referred to as "a vision of W Hotels". The first hotel opened at the Trudeau International Airport in Montreal in 2008.[1] Aloft Hotels have since opened across North America and internationally. Most Aloft hotels are located in city centers or in close proximity to airports.

The brand is most notable for its modern architecture design style.[1] Another characteristic of Aloft hotels is the naming of basic hotel amenities. For example, in each hotel, the swimming pool is referred to as "splash".[2]

History[edit]

Aloft Hotels was conceived in 2005 by Starwood Hotels. The hotel chain already had several brands, including Sheraton, Westin, and W Hotels, but was looking to expand into a market of more contemporary hotels. To reflect its relationship with Starwood Hotels, the Aloft brand was dubbed "A Vision of W Hotels". Starwood worked with the architectural company Rockwell Group and its founder David Rockwell to come up with the design.[1][dead link]

To generate interest in the brand before its 2008 opening, Starwood launched a virtual tour of the hotels using Second Life,[3][dead link] which enables visitors to move through a typical Aloft Hotel and explore its aspects in detail. Starwood monitored statistics from the site, gauged public reception based upon visitors' opinions, and incorporated this information into the design of future Aloft Hotels.[3][dead link]

Locations[edit]

Since its first hotel opened in 2008, the Aloft brand has grown rapidly. The hotel originally started in North America and expanded to include international locations. According to the Aloft website, in the United States there are current locations in 27 states. There are also open locations in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.[2]

In 2011 and 2012, 20 proposed locations were to open, including in Mexico, Thailand, Colombia, and England,[2] for a total of 66 Aloft locations. While positive for the hotel brand, this number was well short of an original anticipation to have 500 locations by 2012.[3]

In early 2013, the brand opened a 482-room property in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, making it the largest Aloft hotel in the world. The hotel includes a ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,000 people in a theatre setting.[4]

In 2013, the chain opened a new hotel at the Ernst & Young Tower in Cleveland, Ohio.[5]

In September 2016, Aloft entered the Saudi Arabian market with a new hotel near the center of Riyadh.[6]

In December 2016, Aloft Long Island City-Manhattan View opened.[7]

In 2017 and 2018 Aloft is slated to open properties in Kiev, Ukraine and St. Petersburg, Russia, respectively.

Reception[edit]

Public reception of Aloft Hotels has been mixed. The majority of opinions revolve around the two main aspects of the hotel brand: room prices, and the contemporary style.

The trademark culture of Aloft Hotels has also drawn some criticism. The contemporary theme of Aloft Hotels is not appreciated by everyone, and some critics feel the Aloft Hotels have too much of a "cookie cutter" feel to them.[8] In addition, the barrage of colors, shapes, and lingo from the first moment in the hotel has been noted as simply too much for some to handle.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c aloft Montreal Airport Opens, Making Global Lifestyle Debut. BusinessWire.com, June 5, 2008, Accessed November 8, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Alofthotels.com. Accessed November 8, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Starwood Hotels Explore Second Life First. Jana, Reena. Bloomberg Businessweek, August 23, 2010, Accessed November 8, 2010.
  4. ^ "Aloft opens its largest property in Malaysia". TTGmice. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Aloft Cleveland Downtown". Aloft Hotels. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  6. ^ "Aloft Riyadh Hotel Opens in Saudi Arabia". Hotel News Resource Mobile Edition. September 6, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  7. ^ "Aloft Long Island City-Manhattan View". Aloft Hotels. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  8. ^ a b The adrift Aloft Hotel. Schumacher, Mary Louise. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, January 12, 2010, Accessed November 9, 2010.