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Starwood's aloft encourages clever mixing

30 Apr 2008 by Ciprian Hirlea

Starwood Hotels and Resorts ramps up its portfolio (which includes familiar names such as Sheraton and Four Points) with the imminent launch of aloft. At press time, aloft properties in Canada, South Carolina, Kentucky, California, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Beijing were rushing completion works to make a July 1 opening.

Described as possessing the “DNA of a W (the chain’s hip tier)”, aloft’s characteristics include having an urban-influenced design, accessible technology, panache and a strong social atmosphere. aloft Beijing, located in the city’s technology district Haidian, is expected to appeal to IT-savvy, on-the-go travellers, who want no fuss in their hotel and are definite about the services they need to function such as the latest business tools, quick but tasty meals and a warm and friendly environment.

aloft Beijing will feature 186 loft-like rooms and suites with nine-foot-ceilings and oversized windows for more natural light, spacious bathrooms, a signature bed and plug-and-play connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgets such as PDAs, mobile phones, MP3 players and laptops, capable of being linked to the large flat-screen HDTV-ready monitor for optimal sound and viewing.

The F&B concepts will vary from what business travellers are used to. These spaces are envisioned to be more flexible, perhaps a snack corner by day, a bar at night; a nook offering grab-and-go items 24/7 has been allocated. Vivid colour schemes and stylish furnishing are combined to encourage networking and interacting.

Even the reception area has been re-imaged into the “Aloha Desk” where guests can always expect to be welcomed and their concerns addressed by the staff, who are trained to respond to a demanding clientele.

The starting rate at aloft Beijing is CNY500 (US$71). For future reservations, log onto www.starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels

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