Starwood has announced the name of its new mid-market chain meant to build on the W style while competing with Marriott Courtyards and Hilton Garden Inns. The chain will be called aloft.
- These first aloft properties will be located in Lexington, Massachusetts, Tucson, Arizona, San Francisco Airport, Philadelphia Airport, and Cherry Creek, Colorado. The company also stated that its UFOC, or franchise offering circular, was effective as of today and that it would begin to offer aloft licenses to qualified hotel owners and operators. Starwood anticipates the first hotels to break ground in early 2006 and open in early 2007, with 500 properties worldwide expected by 2012.
Here’s what we know about their plans so far:
- Design visionary David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group, whose award-winning projects include the Kodak Theater, Nobu and the W Union Square, are collaborating on the brand’s design.
With generous nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows, guest rooms will have a decidedly loft-like feel. In addition to the guest room centerpiece — a signature, ultra-comfortable bed for which Starwood’s brands are well known — a well-designed workspace, an mp3 docking station and a flat panel television will further differentiate the aloft guest room. Large stylish bathrooms will feature oversized walk-in showers and amenities created by Bliss.
Starwood has created aloft to be both quiet and inviting, day and night, offering a variety of friendly venues for guests to gather. aloft’s public spaces are designed to draw guests from their rooms with a number of super social offerings. With Relax; a communal space to grab a drink with friends and Fresh air; an open-air area out back, guests can socialize and gather for light meals during the day or night. aloft will also satisfy guest’s needs 24-hrs-a-day with Re:Fuel; a one-stop area offering up food, snacks and drinks to grab and go. For workouts, Train fitness centers or Splash; the indoor or outdoor pool, will start or end guest’s days with a quick work out. The aloft sites will also feature flexible meeting and function space and offer 100% wireless Internet access throughout the properties.
Starwood needs something other than Four Points to compete in the mid-market category. And they can’t do any worse than Intercontinental Hotel Group’s Hotel Indigo misadventure.