Spotlight on Starwood: the Aloft brand.

I’ve been doing some serious research on the nine different Starwood brands. Why? Just for fun. Yes, I know I’m a little weird.

It’s really interesting, though, once you start to really think about and notice what a hotel’s brand message – or personality – is. Often, the message is faint or dimmed – so the hotel just seems like…a hotel. Nothing special, and not very memorable. Sometimes, a hotel’s personality is so well thought-out and strongly communicated that (if you personally connect to the message) you become loyal to the brand and will go out of your way to stay there.

Once you know what a hotel is trying to communicate, you become a more savvy guest. You can look for the brand message, and will be able to notice if the execution of that message was strong and clear, or weak and muddled. You will be better able to articulate why you had a great stay – or a mediocre one.

Yesterday, I wrote a piece describing the features, benefits and overall brand message of the Starwood Element properties. Today, I’m going to do the same thing for the Aloft brand.

Modern, Fresh, Fun

This is the message that Aloft wants you to hear, and the experience that they want guests to have. Aloft strives to be young, tech-savvy, design-forward, and social. They describe their hotels as “a place where energy flows, personalities mingle, and opportunities abound. A place where anything can happen.”

That is quite a message!

Style at a Steal

Aloft is an affordable alternative to the W brand.

Guest rooms feature loft-inspired design, with 9-foot ceilings, platform beds, and oversized showers.

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Rooms also offer Bliss amenities, bottled water, signature coffee, free wifi, and a docking station to charge and connect all of your gadgets.

Re:mix, Re:fuel, and W XYZ

Aloft hotels have self-serve “gourmet eateries” where guests can purchase mix-and-match meals, make-your-own cappuccinos, desserts, and snacks. Re:fuel stations are open 24/7.

aloft re:fuel

Propeties also feature communal lounges with mood lighting and music. Re:mix lounges are the social hub of the hotels, while the w xyz bars in each property are billed as the “hub of hip.”

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Backyard, pool, and gym

Each Aloft property has a “backyard” for hanging out.

aloft backyard

Gyms are open 24/7. Pools have extended hours as well.

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There are currently 60+ Aloft hotels now open around the globe. I’ve personally never stayed at one. Their brand message seems strong; I wonder if it is communicated well at their properties.

Have you ever stayed at an Aloft hotel? Is the brand compelling to you? If you have stayed at an Aloft, what was it like?

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Comments

  1. I’m currently staying at one weekly in Miami, and can’t wait to find another hotel. Since I travel weekly, I like to settle in – as in put my things in dresser drawers and hang things up in a closet. This hotel has neither – absolutely NO dresser drawers of any kind, and the closet is a small rod, of which you can hang very few things on. The Iayout of the rooms are weird. There is a lot of open wasted space that in my opinion could be put to better use. The plus side, the hotel bar actually has great drinks.

  2. Ric Garrido says:

    Aloft has a great marketing message. You really need to stay in one of the hotels to truly know if it is the right fit for your hotel stays.

    The rooms are sort of spartan, although colorful. I describe Aloft as a fine hotel if traveling alone. I think it is too cramped if traveling with another. This is also one of those cookie cutter hotel brands that you need to look out your room window to remember what city you are in since from the inside, the rooms are nearly always exactly the same.

    The hotel is designed for people who want to be social and hang out in the lobby. The pool table is a nice feature in the lobby. The properties used to host live music fairly regularly and that was a big plus.

  3. I’m not familiar w this line. If I was staying for an extended period, (more than couple days), I’d want dresser/closet, but for just couple days I’d be ok.

    I think it would work well for a group of colleagues to stay here since we often take over the bar/lounge areas!

  4. My husband and I spent a few days at the Aloft in Asheville, N.C., this summer. After renting a cabin in the mountains, we wanted to be closer to the downtown breweries and restaurants. The hotel is extremely dog friendly. They actually brought up a bed, locally made dog treats and a water bowl for our pup. I liked that there was free purified water on every floor and we weren’t bothered by the lack of drawers for a short stay. The blinds in the rooms were incredibly noisy thought and we could hear our neighbors open them each day. We enjoyed the hotel, give I think we are the target demographic. We weren’t expecting to be pampered in the lap of luxury. It was nice, affordable and pet friendly with no extra charge.

  5. Points Pixie says:

    TracyC – Great feedback, thank you! Hope you find another hotel that better aligns with your preferences/needs. Good thing about the drinks. 😉

    Ric – Yes, their marketing is strong…but I did notice that there wasn’t a lot of depth to it. Compared to some of the other brands, there just isn’t that much info out there. Interesting.

    Rebecca – Taking over the bar/lounge would be fun!

    Sara – Good to know about the dog-friendly atmosphere. Sounds like you are the perfect demographic. Thanks!

  6. deltasegmentflyer says:

    I have stayed at two of them but despite it being a new brand the rooms were worn down with broken doors etc.

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