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We’ve been waiting for Aloft Financial District to open (supposedly on June 25) but in the meantime, there’s another Aloft to focus on—Aloft New York Midtown.
Set to break ground later this month on 38th Street, just off 5th Avenue, the newest Aloft in the city will have 27 stories with 180 loft-style guest rooms. Architecture firms Nobutaka Ashihara Architects and Paul Vega of VLDG Inc. will design the hotel, encasing it in glass and metal with 360 degree views of the city. As with all other Alofts, this one will be very tech-centric, enabling keyless entry, as well as social, planning live music shows in the Aloft's XYZ bar.
This will be the fourth Aloft in the NYC area but certainly not the last. Starwood Hotels is planning to double their Aloft presence by 2017. Which is totally fine, but we just hope the "loft-style" rooms break from the usual faux-retro Aloft style.
Opening This Month / Hotel Openings / Marriott Hotels / Edition Hotels / Legoland Hotels / Hotel News / Aloft Hotels / → All Tags
Finding a hotel room is easy. Simply go on the Internet or use your smartphone and voila! You're booked. But if you are only interested in new hotels, then that's a different story. Luckily, you have us. And we're obsessed with new hotels. Here's a list of hotels that have opened or are opening this month (and a few that aren't going to make it.) Got a new hotel to add? Send it to us!
· NEW YORK EDITION: As we told you last week, the latest edition of Edition Hotels will open on May 12 in New York's iconic Clocktower Building. Rooms right now are going for $675 a night, before taxes. Learn more about what's inside the hotel here.
· LEGOLAND HOTEL WINTER HAVEN: Another Legoland Hotel will open in the U.S. on May 15, this time in Winter Haven, Florida, adjacent to the Legoland theme park there. There will be 152 rooms with four different Lego themes to choose from--pirate, kingdom, adventure or Lego Friends from Heartlake City, which is a new category for the Legoland Hotels brand. Rooms are sold-out on opening weekend but rates on May 19 start at $199 a night. Read more about what's it like inside a Legoland Hotel here.
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The season is winding down in Florida but the hotel scene in Miami remains hot, especially when it comes to new hotels.
Construction has been underway on the former Ankara Motel for a few years now (here's what it looked like when our Miami spy walked by it last July) but Aloft is nearly ready to show off its restoration efforts (the Ankara was built in 1954) as well as its new interiors.
Here's some info on what Aloft saved from the Ankara days and what they added in:
Components of the hotel that have retained their original form include the classic brick walls of the Historic Wing, refurbished Ankara Motel signage and the pool shape. Inside, modern design takes center stage as a translucent staircase welcomes guests into the thriving two-story atrium with custom leather wrapping and a striking light fixture inspired by drum cymbals. Additionally, the bar and lounge features a custom chandelier by Yellow Goat Design made of 1,000 colored acrylic lighting rods descending from the ceiling.
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The UK’s second (and third, and thereafter) cities don’t often get much of a look in when it comes to attracting Americans – whether visitors or investors. But all that might be about to change with the news that Aloft is preparing quite an aggressive British invasion.
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The newest Aloft Hotel for Manhattan--the Aloft New York Financial District--was set to debut this week (according to our Master List of Hotel Openings) but now the fun, select service hotel from Starwood Hotels will open instead on March 5. This is a bummer but not surprising given Starwood's regular delays.
If the March 5 opening date still holds, then guests can expect all the usual Aloft accoutrements like funky but comfortable rooms; the w xyz bar and lounge; the re: charge gym; the re: fuel 24-hour pantry for quick bites; free WiFi; and a slightly north of Wall Street location, across from a Pace University campus and about a 15-minute walk to the September 11 Memorial and Museum.
However, we wouldn't put all our money into booking a room just yet. The website says the hotel will open on March 5, with reservations being taken for June 5. Eep. In the meantime, there's always the new Residence Inn. Or you know, one of the many other Starwood properties in Manhattan.
It’s always great to hear of an endangered landmark that may be saved from the wrecking ball and given back to its city as a hotel. When such salvaging happens in Detroit, it especially thrilling as we are all rooting for Motor City to make a comeback. Here is what we know about the latest effort to turn an abandoned building in Detroit into a hip, hotel (as if there was any other kind.)
Brooklyn-based developers ASH NYC have a contract to buy one of the most delapidated, graffiti adorned, buildings in Detroit for conversion to a boutique hotel. The slender 14-story building, pictured above, was once offices and a retail music center for Wurlitzer, the American company acclaimed for its organs and pianos, but who also made jukeboxes and electric guitars. Yes, we're already imagining some of these musical instruments displayed inside the new hotel.
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A dog is not just for Christmas – it’s for overnight stays in the New Year, too. Or, rather, it is if you’re staying at Aloft Asheville. Its partnership with a local animal rehoming charity means that you can check in petless, and check out with a new furry best friend.
Aloft is working with Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue to rehome pets – which means a beauty parade of doggies around the public areas. Or, rather, one doggy at a time – wearing an “adopt me” vest, and giving pleading eyes to guests at check-in.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Liverpool Hotels / Aloft Hotels / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
The “Northern England Hotel Scene” has hitherto not been a phrase that slips easily off the tongue, but the northern cities are killing it this year, with a Beatles hotel, a football hotel and a retro Manhattan hotel all journeying north of the Watford Gap.
You’ll find no Beatles murals here. Instead, you get a magnificent conversion of a grand 1903 building which was on English Heritage’s At Risk register, and had been closed for 20 years, before Starwood jumped in and turned it into the UK’s second Aloft.
Because of the history, the 116 rooms are pretty much all different (there are 97 room types, according to the Liverpool Echo). All, though, have high ceilings, ‘floating’ beds and Bliss amenities - and "Savvy" rooms have more architectural features, while "Aloft" rooms are more standard. And then those public areas – stained glass windows, wood-paneled conference rooms, and a stucco-roofed lobby. What more could you want?
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UPDATE: Hilton Hotels also announced a "mobile room key deployment" today for four of its brands – Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton. HHonors members can open their hotel room doors via smartphones starting in spring 2015.
Back then, you had to be an SPG member (duh) and an Aloft reservation, but also, you had to apply to be a tester of the keyless entry. Now, starting on Wednesday, November 5, all you'll need is the SPG app on your smartphone and a reservation at one of the participating W, Element or Aloft Hotels, made directly through Starwood.
Here's how it works (you can watch the video above or read the step-by-step instructions below):
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Named for its purpose and state of mind, Botlr, the robotic servant is currently at the tail end of a test run at the Cupertino Aloft in California. We told you all about Botlr last month but in case you need a refresher, here's how he/it works:
After receiving a request that needs to be delivered, such as a snack or small amenity, a hotel employee programs the robot by hitting a few buttons. Botlr then uses the hotel Wifi to interact within the hotel and perform tasks, such as calling and directing the elevator to a specific floor. It is programmed with a mapping system that allows it to navigate through the property, the exact same technology used by Google's self-driving cars. Cameras help it avoid obstacles and real people.
When it arrives, it uses a signal to call the room telephone and alert the guest. Sensors allow Botlr to recognize when the door is opened and lift the lid on its storage container. And instead of being silently pressured into giving a tip, guests can enter a review for Botlr on its flat panel display screen. If it's a positive review, the Botlr will do a little dance. Well, that solves our problem of not having enough cash on us.
The practice of using robots in hotels is rare but not new.
We came across a space-themed capsule hotel in China entirely staffed by robots. Way back in 2006, a Sheraton Hotel in Japan unleashed some robots to greet guests. The Hotel @ MIT has a robot on display and of course, we cannot forget about the Yotel luggage robot in Times Square. Yet while these were all innovative additions, with the exception of the Yobot, these hotel robots really didn't fulfill a service need for guests. Until now.
The NY Times reports that the Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, across from Apple's headquarters, will start using a Botlr Robot by Silicon Valley start-up Savioke on August 20. (Follow the adventure on social media with the hashtag #MeetBotlr.)
The Botlr's mission is simple. It "will shuttle items from the hotel lobby desk to guest rooms." So let's say you've just got settled into room and have changed into your pajamas when you realize that you've forgotten a toothbrush. Instead of going back downstairs or calling housekeeping and waiting forever to have a toothbrush delivered, the Botlr will bring it up to you. Here's how Botlr does what it does:
The latest Starwood hotel to hit Miami won't open until March 19, 2015 and judging by the pictures, we're even a little skeptical of that date. Yet it is interesting to see how Aloft is updating the old Motel Arkana, keeping much of the motel's existing structure but also adding another tower adjacent to the lot. (See the rendering on the Aloft Miami Beach website to get a better idea of how it will look.)