Berlin, Germany – 6 March 2007 – aloha! Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® (NYSE:HOT) and W® Hotels brand have done it again. Carrying the DNA of W Hotels, aloft SM hotels formally launched in Europe, the Middle East & Africa today at the 10th International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin.
Conceived by the same team that created W Hotels, one of the most successful new hotel brands in decades, aloft delivers affordable, stylish design, accessible technology and a refreshing new attitude to the current lodging industry. In the same way that W Hotels broke through the clutter of conformity in the upscale hotel arena, aloft will raise the bar in the select-service category, offering urban-inspired, loft-like guest rooms, leading edge technology services, and an energetic lounge scene.
“We say aloha to Europe, Africa and the Middle East with the introduction of aloft hotels, a new lifestyle brand that will redefine travel, delivering style with substance and a fun new way to play and stay,” said Ross Klein, President of Starwood's Luxury Brand Group and aloft hotels. “From Berlin to Beijing and beyond, aloft brings a sassy, refreshing oasis to a global community of business and leisure travellers."
“We are excited to be introducing aloft to Europe, the Middle East and Africa and are looking forward to offering a fresh, inspiring and ultimately more fun experience to these regions,” said Roeland Vos, President Europe, Middle East & Africa, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood® anticipates the first aloft hotels to open in early 2008, and is targeting 500 properties worldwide by 2012, with locations expected to be anytown/anywhere. With over 50 franchise deals in the pipeline worldwide, the first announced locations for the brand are:
ALOFT RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA – USA
The world’s first franchised aloft hotel, aloft Rancho Cucamonga broke ground in Southern California in January 2007 and will open in early 2008. The 136-room aloft is the hotel component of HavenPark, a $60 million master-planned, mixed-use development.
ALOFT CHANTILLY, VIRGINIA - USA
aloft Chantilly, a 131-room property featuring aloft’s loft-inspired design, accessible technology and stylish, urban attitude is scheduled to open in Virginia in 2008.
ALOFT CHARLESTON AIRPORT, SOUTH CAROLINA - USA
Located in the historic coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina, aloft Charleston is just minutes from Charleston International Airport, and is scheduled to open in 2008.
ALOFT DORVAL, MONTREAL AIRPORT, QUEBEC - CANADA
The 136-room aloft Dorval will offer travelers a refreshing new place to stay in Montreal, right at the entrance to the Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. Construction is slated to start in 2007, with a projected opening in 2008.
ALOFT TORONTO, ONTARIO - CANADA
Featuring 250 rooms, the aloft Toronto is slated to open in 2008. The hotel is located adjacent to Victoria Memorial Square Park, an area known for its lifestyle offerings, including some of the city’s best restaurants and residential projects.
ALOFT BEIJING – CHINA
Opening in 2009, the 200-room aloft Beijing will be located in Haidian district, a major information technology hub in Beijing, as well as the Haidian government district and site of major universities and research institutes.
As A Vision of W Hotels, a hallmark of the aloft concept is the loft-style guest rooms. The bright, airy environments offer generous 2.75 metre ceilings and oversized windows. A combination high-tech office and entertainment centre, each room features plug & play, aloft’s signature one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgets such as blackberries, mp3 players and laptops, all linked to a large flat panel television for optimal sound and viewing, and Wi-Fi internet connections, in addition to the guest room centerpiece -- a signature, ultra-comfortable bed -- for which Starwood's brands are well known. Large stylish bathrooms feature oversized walk-in showers and amenities created by Bliss Spa®.Exposed beams and blackened steel complete the urban, loft-like environment.
Starwood® created aloft to be both relaxing and inviting, day and night, offering a variety of social venues for guests to gather. The public spaces of aloft are designed to draw guests from their rooms with a number of social offerings. The re:mix communal lobby area and bar w xyz , provides space to grab a drink with friends, read the paper, or work on your laptop via wireless access. In the backyard ; an open-air area, guests can socialize outdoors or attend aloft events. Guests’ needs are satisfied with re:fuel by aloft ; a one-stop food and beverage area offering sweet, savoury and healthy food, snacks and beverages to grab & go, 24 hours a day. The re:charge fitness centre and splash , the indoor or outdoor pool, provides the weary traveller with another outlet to de-stress and relax. With business in mind, aloft properties also feature flexible meeting and function space and offer 100% wireless Internet access throughout the properties.
Each aloft hotel features 90 -180 guest rooms and incorporates W’s heritage: a total sensory experience, with a focus on design integrity and natural materials, as well as attention to stylistic details. Design visionary David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group, whose award-winning projects include the Kodak Theater, Nobu and the W Union Square, collaborated on aloft’s design.
Starwood has received overwhelming interest from the hotel development community since announcing the new brand concept at the NYU Development Conference in June 2005. For more information on aloft, please visit www.alofthotels.com.
Carrying the DNA of W Hotels, aloft is a new destination sensation featuring loft-inspired design, accessible technology and a stylish urban attitude. Starwood anticipates the first aloft hotels to open in early 2008, with 500 properties worldwide expected by 2012.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien and the recently announced aloft SM. Starwood Hotels also own Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodpressclub.com .