Aloft to open second Taipei property in January

Aloft Taipei Beitou

Taipei’s second Aloft-brand property is set to open its doors in January 1, 2017 in the city’s northeastern Beitou district, a region surrounded by the Datun volcano group and known for its numerous hot springs.

The Aloft brand is designed to offer a design-focused and social experience for tech-savvy travellers. The new Aloft Taipei Beitou will offer a total of 292 loft-inspired rooms, including 13 suites, equipped with SPG Keyless technology, enabling guests to access their rooms using the SPG app.

Meanwhile, the Re:mix lounge on the hotel’s first floor features large floor-to-ceiling pixel-like RGB LED walls. The W Xyz cocktail bar, offering live acoustic music performances, American-style restaurant Nook, and Re:fuel By Aloft self-serve pantry round out the new hotel’s F&B options. Corporate groups can also hold events at the hotel’s three Tactic meeting spaces.

Access to the city’s underground transportation system, the MRT, is available via two stations approximately five minutes from the hotel. For travellers looking to enjoy cherry blossom season in mid-February, the hotel is situated close to the Sakura Tunnel, a street lined with cherry blossom trees. The property also faces onto the green Guandu Plain.

Aloft Hotels launches voice-activated rooms

Aloft Hotels

Aloft Hotels, a modern brand for the new business traveller by Starwood has unveiled voice-activated rooms this week in the USA — Aloft Boston Seaport and Aloft Santa Clara in California — under the “Project: Jetson” initiative.

The voice-activated technology is integrated with Apple’s Siri; it runs a custom Aloft app on iPads placed in the rooms. With this, guests can control the temperature, lighting, television, music and so on with a simple voice command.

“Today’s early adopter, hyper-connected global traveller wants a level of personalisation unlike ever before, and that means being able to control their hotel experience with the sound of their voice,” says Brian McGuinness, global brand leader of Aloft Hotels.

When guests launch the app on their in-room iPads, they’re greeted with a personalised welcome screen and a tutorial that walks them through the technology. Any request made thenceforth must begin with “Hey Siri”, followed by the command.

For example, if the room temperature is warmer than desired, they must say: “Hey Siri, cool the room,” or to switch from nigh-mode lighting to day-mode, “Hey Siri, good morning.” Siri also acts as a personal concierge when asked to list sightseeing attractions and restaurant options in the city. Further, by logging on to the app with personal Apple account details, Siri can play songs from the synchronised iTunes account.

Aloft Hotels is positive about the success of the new technology, and hopes to introduce it to its other properties worldwide.

India has five Aloft Hotels: Aloft Ahmedabad SG Road, Aloft Bengaluru Whitefield, Aloft Chennai OMR – IT Expressway, and Aloft Coimbatore Singanallur are Starwood franchise properties managed by Indian company, Auromatrix Hotels, and Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park is a fully managed Starwood property.

Three more Aloft Hotels properties are scheduled to open in India: Aloft Goa Calangute (April 2017), Aloft New Delhi Aerocity (June 2017), and Aloft Bengaluru International Airport (December 2019). These will be fully managed Starwood properties.