News for the Hospitality Executive
aloft Brand Expected to Reinvent the Select Service Market
Out: Traditional Furniture and Polyester Comforters on the Bed.
In: Custom Furniture and Duvets on the Bed
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.- July 7, 2008 - Ten years after Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) shook up the hotel industry with the launch of W Hotels, the innovative hotel giant will again reinvent hotel design with the debut of its newest brand, aloft hotels. Created to shake up the staid, traditional select service segment of the hotel market, aloft is designed to deliver urban-influenced, modern and vibrant design and an energetic guest experience at an affordable price point.
Conceived by the same team behind W Hotels, which broke through the clutter of conformity in the upscale hotel arena, aloft was inspired by the idea that the select serve market was ripe for reinvention. The design process began in 2005 when aloft hotel’s leadership team conceived of an urban-inspired, high-tech, environment with high ceilings and open, multi-functional spaces which would give travelers high design at a more accessible price point. Over the course of two years, the team would challenge and redefine the conventions traditionally associated with the select service space. The result is open, light and vibrant, multi-functional spaces that speak to the needs of today’s highly social, self-sufficient traveler, without sacrificing on style or quality.
aloft was inspired by the ongoing democratization of design and an emerging segment of high style, low cost brands such as Mini Cooper, Target and West Elm. Featuring loft-like guest rooms, a buzzing bar scene in the open lobby, an urban-inspired grab-and go café and industrial design elements throughout, aloft hotels are a far cry from the conventional cookie cutter hotel brands that populate the select service space.
“Today’s savvy, design-conscious consumers understand that great style can be both accessible and affordable,” said Brian McGuinness, Global Brand Leader for aloft hotels. “Generation X and Y travelers who grew up with MTV, iPods and IKEA expect great design wherever they go, whether it’s Rogers, Arkansas or Rancho Cucamonga, California.”
Starwood had enjoyed a successful partnership with David Rockwell and
Rockwell Group in designing the first-ever W Hotel—W New York and the soon-to-follow
W Union Square, not to mention Rockwell’s impressive designs for the Academy
Awards’ Kodak Theatre, Nobu Fifty Seven and the Broadway musical “Hairspray.”
As a result, Rockwell was selected to collaborate on the new hotel concept.
socialization, featuring a sunken living room with a two-sided glass fireplace
Select service hotels (example brands include: Hilton Garden Inn, Marriott Courtyard) have traditionally been defined by the fact that they are completely unmemorable – dim lighting, low ceilings, heavy traditional furniture and polyester comforters on the bed. aloft strove to reinvent the select service market, designing hotels to appeal to business travelers and consumers within each locale that are open, energetic and visually engaging.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties.
Rockwell Group is an award winning, cross-disciplinary 250-person architecture
and design practice founded by David Rockwell. Based in New York City,
Rockwell Group specializes in hospitality, cultural, healthcare, theater
and film design. Projects include Imagination Playground; the marketplace
interior concept for the JetBlue terminal at John F. Kennedy International
Airport; Adour Alain Ducasse at the St. Regis New York; the Elinor Bunin-Munroe
Film Center; the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame at the Time Warner Center; Town
restaurant and Chambers hotel (New York City); W New York, W Union Square
(New York City) and W Vieques (Puerto Rico); the Broadway musicals “Hairspray”
and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”; the Academy Awards’ Kodak Theatre; and numerous
restaurants located internationally including New York restaurants Nobu
Fifty Seven, Country, Bar Americain, as well as Gordon Ramsay’s Maze in
London and Roppongi Hills in Tokyo.
|Also See:||Select-service Hotels Financial Performance / June 2008|
|Starwood Targeting the Select-Service Hotel Category with a New Brand - aloft; Wants 500 Properties by 2012 / September 2005|