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Yeah, we know: airport hotels are little more than a necessary evil.
Whether it's a delayed flight, a layover, a late arrival or a god-awful early departure the next day, our reasons for staying in one rarely involve the word fun. Or even "nice."
Imagine our relief then, when we arrived at the Aloft Phoenix Airport recently—after midnight, tired and cranky—and were rewarded with something closer to a city boutique hotel experience.
Check-in was fast and simple, and the front-desk guy made sure to tell us about the free WiFi. Bless.
Click through our gallery to check out our room and you'll understand why we wish we were staying longer than eight hours.
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British Airways announced today its "Big British Invite," a promotion that offers two nights free accommodation in select UK hotels when you purchase a roundtrip ticket between the US and the UK.
You can book this deal through March 31, 2013, and the free hotel stay is valid for travel from January 9 through May 31, 2013. In other words, you must book the airline tickets by March 31st for travel between now and the end of May.
There are participating hotels in London, Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, and Edinburgh, and while there are an abundance of Holiday Inns on the list, you'd be silly to pass up the extra nights. Hotels in London include the Royal National, President, Aloft London ExCel and Rembrandt.
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There's tons of New York hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Follow The Rainbow to the Standard Hotel: On Tuesday, a bold new work of public art debuted on top of (where else?) The Standard New York. Titled "Global Rainbow, After the Storm," by US artist Yvette Mattern, the work features seven beams of high-powered laser light projected into the sky. The rainbow is actually visible for up to 35 miles, though it only uses the amount of power equivalent to two hairdryers. Sadly, the installation is short-lived: tonight is the last night to see it in action.
Remember all the hype when Starwood introduced its Aloft brand? They had us waiting and waiting for Lexington (MA) to be the first ever Aloft destination, and then Canada got the scoop. That was only four years ago, and believe it or not, there are now over 60 Alofts worldwide. On this side of the pond, we’ve so far had to make do with Aloft London ExCel (where we witnessed some Photoshop battling), and more recently Aloft Brussels Schuman.
That’s set to change with the announcement of two new hotels in Germany, Aloft Munich and Aloft Stuttgart, both scheduled to open in 2015.
As evidenced by past marketing stunts like Brooklyn's Portlandia screening, or the awesomely nerdy Photoshop art battle in London, Aloft hotels like to stay on top of all the trends. Music trends, nifty iPhone check-in trends, video art trends. The list goes on....But there's one area in particular they're focusing on more these days: furniture.
Aloft guests over the next year will be spotting a few new features in the rooms that are part of the brand's evolution. One example? The little wooden dots you see above.
To the uneducated eye, they appear to be just that: little wooden dots. But on closer inspection, it turns out the dots* are actually a quintet of coat hangers, artfully arranged and ingeniously disguised. Well, color us stupid!
Just a smidge behind the initially proposed opening date of August 30th, today it was announced that the Aloft San Francisco Airport will fling-open its doors on September 13th.
The former Clarion Hotel, which dates back to the 1960s, was added into the Starwood fam. They company gave the aging hotel a makeover, proposed future greatness, and now the 263-room property has a sparkly Aloft name-ring on it.
Like other airport hotels in the chain, this one is close to transportation—less than three miles from SFO (a free shuttle runs back and forth every 15 minutes) and a short walk from the Millbrae BART station which will get you to downtown San Francisco in 20 minutes. We say double win, and one to consider when thinking about your favorite San Francisco hotel.
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Ready or not, Aloft is slowly infiltrating every corner of the world—India, China, and the US are all in line for multiple openings this year. And it was announced last week that South Korea is even set to get its first Aloft by 2014.
But in the more immediate future, we're looking at two US openings this month: Aloft Asheville on Aug 23 and Aloft SFO on Aug 30. One will be a place to retreat from (or invite back to your hotel room) all the ukulele-strumming Blue Ridge Mountain hippies. The other will be a place to lament your delayed flight. Both will spoil you with free WiFi.
Get ready. It’s coming. Aloft Atlanta Downtown, formerly a Days Inn, will open in the spring of 2013 with 263 rooms and 2,000 square feet of meeting space.
This new Aloft hotel will be in a prime location in Atlanta, close to the thriving hub of Georgia State and Georgia Tech as well as tourist attractions like the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca Cola. The CNN Center, Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia Dome are also in the neighborhood.
As with all Aloft Hotels, you can expect a room that looks like the one above, a w xyz bar, the re:fuel 24/7 pantry, the re:mix lounge, a pool, free WiFi and affordable rates. It's too early to know the specific hotel rates for this location yet, but Aloft rooms usually start at about $125 per night.
While you wait for Aloft Atlanta, the newest Aloft in the U.S. is set to open at San Francisco International Airport on August 30th. Rates there start at around $200 a night.
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UPDATE 8.15.12: Sike. The Hotel Indigo Brooklyn actually opened as initially promised on August 1st, even though when we wrote this story the hotel's website was saying October 4. Nevertheless, you can check out our in-person visit of the new spot right here.
Well, it's still going to be an Indigo but the opening date has been moved to October 4. The hotel's website is up and running and we found rates for $224 a night for a queen-sized bed. That rate also includes a 37" HDTV, free WiFi and even a microwave and refrigerator. A king room was going for $254 a night while a king suite was $324.
We couldn't see any square footage measurements and we're not sure we can trust those room photos. The first one looks like it is up to Hotel Indigo standards with that hardwood floor. But the second one is a shot of the rooms at Aloft Brooklyn. What the what? See for yourself below.
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It doesn't take much to get us excited about a new hotel opening. Back in March when we learned that Thompson (and not Ace) would be opening up a 297-room hotel at Manhattan's historic 5 Beekman Street, we thought our hotel hunger was sated for the time being. But the excitement doesn't end there—as shown by an interactive map of new downtown hotels, published yesterday by neighborhood blog Tribeca Citizen.
The map, which blows our mind a little, counts no less than nineteen new or ongoing hotel construction projects below Canal St; and that's in addition to the ten recently opened downtown hotels like W New York Downtown, Smyth Tribeca and Conrad New York.
Here's a few of the upcoming hotels that caught our eye...
The hotel scene in Chicago keeps getting hotter. Last week, we pondered the location of the upcoming SLS Chicago and we've already got our hotel spidey sense heightened for Virgin Hotels and Soho House Chicago.
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Any true Ben Folds Five fans will have already heard the news (which Mr. Folds announced himself via Twitter in January), but for the rest of you: the Ben Folds Five will be making their first album since 1999. And one of the places they'll be re-uniting onstage? The Westin Times Square.
We know what you're thinking...but before you go scratching your heads about why they would pick such a random concert venue for their reunion tour, know that this gig is actually part of a new live music program being launched by Starwood hotels all over the world. Titled "On Tour with SPG: Hear the Music, See the World," the promotion consists of notable bands either performing in, DJing at, or attending parties inside Starwood hotels—all for the enjoyment of (incredibly spoiled) SPG members.