Design-driven hospitality

Starwood's Aloft brand targets design-conscious travellers

Aloft has made its Abu Dhabi debut
Aloft has made its Abu Dhabi debut
NEWS, Design
NEWS, Design

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is celebrating the Middle East debut of its Aloft brand, following the opening of The Aloft Abu Dhabi on October 27.

The new lifestyle brand was designed to appeal to ‘forward-thinking, savvy, design-conscious’ travellers. It is a reinterpretation of conventional hotel design that reassesses what travellers actually want and need.

“Aloft is the world’s fastest growing hotel brand. It has re-invented the industry by ignoring certain aspects of hotels that have become clichéd and old fashioned in the minds of our target audience. For example, free wireless internet is very important to our customers, but room service and silver service tea lobbies are not,” explained Stephan Vanden Auweele, general manager, The Aloft Hotel.

“We provide what our customers want and don’t concern ourselves with things that they don’t; this approach reduces our costs and allows us to provide the customer with a lower price per room.”

Having designed the first ever W Hotel for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, as well as W Union Square and a series of other high-profile projects, Rockwell Group was an obvious choice for the design of the new 408-room Aloft property.

The property’s design stays true to the heritage of the W brand, offering highly atmospheric public spaces that are meant to draw guests out of their rooms. Guests can relax, work or socialise at the bar, ‘w xyz’, or enjoy a meal at ‘dine’, the hotel’s main restaurant, which has been designed to convey a retro-modern, American, 1960s-inspired essence.

“Aloft’s vibrant and inviting public spaces encourage guests to spend time in the lobby and the bar. The hotel features an open, airy design, great music, the destination w xyz bar with signature cocktails, a pool table, and games throughout,” explained Chuck Wood, managing director, Rockwell Group Middle East.

“Aloft is an urban-inspired, high-tech environment with high ceilings and open, multi-functional spaces. The hotel design is open, light and vibrant.

“Featuring loft-like guest rooms, a buzzing bar scene in the open lobby, an urban-inspired grab-and-go café and industrial design elements throughout, Aloft hotels are a far cry from the conventional cookie-cutter hotel brands that populate the select service space,” he continued.

Wood reiterated the need to create a “sassy, savvy, vibrant, urban, loft-inspired” hotel that would cater to a whole new breed of traveller. “Aloft addresses the needs of today’s highly social, self-sufficient traveller, without sacrificing on style or quality.

“Aloft hotels are wired for the future language, including high-speed wi-fi throughout, self check-in and room selection and the in-room ‘plug & play’, a one-stop connectivity solution that connects to a 42” plasma screen.”

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