Aloft hotels, part of the Starwood Group set out to disrupt the hotel business, or at the very least, change the way most of us experience hotel visits. Aimed at the prized millennial group, it’s starts with the keeping everything simple and tech-friendly, and the boutique chain does away with conventions such as long check in lines, stuffy concierges, and formal restaurants.
We recently stayed at the brand’s reasonably-priced NYC Financial District property, within walking distance of the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, Battery Park with it’s view of the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street and a bevy of great restaurants. From the minute you enter the lobby, you know you’re in for something different. For one thing, the check in desk is a circular space, with helpful people dressed in colorful shirts ready to check you in, give you directions, or show you how to use the cappuccino machine.
There’s food and beverages in the lobby – just add them to your room. At the W XYZ, bar behind the lobby, there’s small bites and a genial bartender, in a wide-open space with overstuffed circular couches , a pool table and plenty of places to congregate. Perfect for informal meetings with your team.
And when was the last time you enjoyed free wiFi and water in your room? Need extra towels? The helpful guy who shows at the door waves away your attempt at a tip. (We saved a fortune on tipping this trip.)
The rooms are big by New York standards, with added amenities like a six bottle wine fridge (!), a coffee maker, a good-sized closet and a roomy walk-in shower.
And if you’re too
lazy busy to call down to the front desk, just use one of the six the emojis plus your last name and room number and ‘The Hangover’ cure — Vitaminwater, Advil and a banana — will show up in no time. “Our guests can now talk to us like they talk to each other,”Paige Francis, vice president of global marketing for Starwood Hotels
Coming back to the hotel, the lobby staff greets you warmly and makes you feel like it’s your own private hotel. Next trip? Definitely booking with Aloft.