A reinvention of the roadside inn and motel from W Hotels.
Predicted: In March 2006, Starwood expected to have the first Aloft hotel open in early 2007 with 500 Aloft hotels expected to open by 2012.
Actual: After two years of incessant hype, the first Aloft hotel actually opened in June 2008. Currently, there are 30 Aloft Hotels open worldwide. The brand plans to have 63 more open by the end of December 2011. We're not sure about the other 407 hotels.
Impact: When Starwood execs (including ex-employee Ross Klein) first announced Aloft it was to be their game-changing budget boutique brand. But since Alofts can only be found in tertiary markets, next to airports and in the 'burbs, we can count on one hand the people we know who have stayed at an Aloft.
A new type of extended stay lodging with emphasis on eco-friendly accommodations from Westin Hotels.
Predicted: In 2006, Element hoped to have 25 hotels within five years with a larger plan for hotels in 150 domestic markets.
Actual: There are five Element hotels open in Lexington, Mass.; Summerlin, Nev.; Arundel Mills, Maryland; and Houston and Irving, Texas. Element has 20 hotels slated to open through July 2012, putting them only a year behind their goal.
Impact: We love Element's green philosophy but as with Aloft, Element can only be found in tertiary markets and in suburbs. There are high hopes, however, with the opening of the Element Manhattan in May 2010.
The "fashion-forward" boutiquey child of the old-school Intercontinental Hotels.
Predicted: As of December '07, there were 11 locations open and "more than 60 under development."
Actual: 27 open worldwide; again, "more than 60 hotels under development"
Impact: This is IHG's answer to a chain geared toward younger travelers, and the brand is all about incorporating local flavor into each hotel but we can't help but wonder how much harder that's going to be as the chain gets bigger and bigger.
Founded by former Starwood folks, these budget-conscious loft accommodations were set for secondary-market cities across the US.
Predicted: 50 properties open by 2010.
Actual: Two open currently, with a third set for July 27.
Impact: NYLO has been expanding slowly (very slowly), but perhaps it's working out for them: reviews of the first couple properties have been fairly stellar, and this brand emerged as the best of the budget-chic pack. They have plans for another brand, XP Hotels but those won't be opening for quite some time.
Hyatt's "unpretentious upscale alternative focusing on casual elegance and "local identity" positioned itself snugly between the Park Hyatt and Hyatt brands.
Predicted: Five properties by 2010 (including two NYC properties by the end of 2009)
Actual: Two open currently; Andaz Wall Street does not appear to be making its scheduled "mid-2009" debut.
Impact: Both the Andaz London and the Andaz West Hollywood properties made big splashes when they opened and though two new hotels have been promised in NYC and one is going to be happenin' in Austin in 2010 (supposedly), we're not so sure we're going to be seeing those one-of-a-kind services and amenities like the Reader in Residence on time, as scheduled. Beyond that? We haven't heard anything.
STARWOOD CAPITAL HOTELS
Former Starwood-er Barry Sternlicht, who was responsible for the success of W Hotels but went off to form his own hotel group, Starwood Capital, announced three different luxury hotel brands Crillon Hotels, Baccarat Hotels, and 1 Hotels.
Predicted: 1 Hotels never had a timeline for its pipeline but the 1 Seattle was expected to open in 2008 followed by four more hotels. Crillon was to be a spin-off of the legendary Hotel Crillon in Paris and would open in every chic city in the world. Baccarat was to open first in the posh Buckhead district of Atlanta followed by hotels in Wailea, Anguilla, and Water Cay.
Actual: The 1 Hotel Seattle is still a hole in the ground but there are plans to open 1 Hotels in Asia. The Baccarat hotel and residences has turned into just residences, at least at the Baccarat Shanghai. Sternlicht is currently seeking to raise capital for a new hotel management company, SH Group, which would operate these luxury properties. And from what we can see, Crillon is not going anywhere outside of Paris.
Impact: "What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?" Or does it look towards Asia, which is what Sternlicht seems to be doing here. Until then, we don't expect any impact from Sternlicht until several years into the future.
The upscale, supposedly game-changing lovechild of Bill Marriott and Ian Schrager.
Predicted: Locations of the initial nine were announced in January '08, with the first to open in Paris in 2010.
Actual: South Beach, DC, and Honolulu were also rumored to be home to the first Edition over the last year or so #151; but it's looking like the first one is going to open in Istanbul in December of 2009.
Impact: We dunno. We're waiting.
Hilton's in-the-works brand of luxury lifestyle hotels that looked promising until Starwood sued the Denizen godfathers for alleged corporate espionage.
Predicted: The brand was announced amid a flurry of hype, and "negotiations were underway" for properties in almost 20 cities.
Actual: Time of Death: Summer 2009.
Impact: We can all learn a lesson from this, kids.
Got any updates on these brands that we may have missed? Put 'em in comments below.
Juliana Shallcross also contributed to this report.