aloft has been one of my favorite brands in the Starwood portfolio ever since my first stay: They offer modern rooms with all the technology fittings and breakfast at a reasonable price! It’s a mid-scale, select service brand and I had good experiences around the world with them. Read on to find out what you can expect from an aloft property.
So, who are they? aloft was launched after the success of the high-end W brand as a cheaper, but equally stylish and modern option. With 100 hotels, mostly in the US, it is one of the smaller brands in the portfolio, but they are continuing to add new locations around the world! They are positioned at the same level as the more common and less stylish Four Points brand.
In their own words, “Aloft opened its first hotel in 2008 and has rapidly expanded to 93 properties in 15 countries by the end of 2014. Designed for global travelers who love open spaces, open thinking and open expression, Aloft is where travel creates possibilities. An affordable alternative for the tech-savvy and confidently social, Aloft caters to the global traveler. With a vibrant social scene at W XYZ ® bar, modern authentic design throughout and technology that keeps up with the next gen traveler, Aloft is: Different. By Design.”
That is actually a good description. The hotels have a much more modern design, with an open lobby and a stylish bar, a 24/7 pantry for food and drink and open floor plan rooms! You won’t find bell boys or concierges here or full-service restaurants.
Just recently, Marriott made a bid to acquire the Starwood group and I think aloft is one of the brands that will stay and grow – Marriott is lacking some of the pizazz that the W or aloft brands have, so let’s hope we will see more of them!
What experience can I expect? The aloft hotels are following pretty closely the modern formula, with an open lobby featuring the xyz bar (from the W brand of hotels) for drinks at night and re:fuel, a 24/7 pantry for breakfast, snacks and drink with bistro and lounge style seating. The rooms are just as modern and closely follow the same design and color schemes across the different properties, so if you like one aloft hotel and room, you are likely to enjoy the next one. You’ll find an open bathroom area with shower and toilet cubicles and a modern room with a desk, free internet and other basic amenities.
They are limited service hotels, comparable to the (less stylish) Courtyard by Marriott or (cheaper) Holiday Inn Express, so you basically get a very nice room and breakfast, but not much else. The bar and snacks can get you through the evening, but it’s not a full restaurant experience like at more upscale hotels. Depending on the property, you might also find a gym or pool.
I’m a big fan of the aloft brand (and similar limited service hotels): I rather spend my money on a nice, modern room than on a concierge or bell boy I won’t use anyway! And aloft is in the sweet spot of “nice enough” for me – above the very basic ibis styles and the very price W hotels!
aloft participates in the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Rewards program, so you can earn and use your hotel points at over 1,200 properties worldwide.
To see more photos and get a better idea of the experience you can expect, you can read my reviews of aloft properties:
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Malaysia