From the Lodging Conference 2013, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide announced that its Aloft brand has reached the 75th hotel milestone with the opening of Aloft Panama, the brand’s fourth hotel in Latin America. Aloft is operating in 14 countries and is set to debut in another 10 countries by 2016. In the past six months alone, the Aloft brand has opened hotels in Miami, Chicago, Cleveland, Tulsa, Cancun, Bursa, Kuala Lumpur, and Ahmedabad. The company expects to open a total of 17 hotels by year’s end, more than tripling the number of rooms opened in 2012, with another 19 hotels to come by the end of 2014.
Like other specialty select brands that made their debut in the late 2000s, Aloft started out as new build-only and has introduced conversion and adaptive reuse models to gain entry into other markets around the world, especially Europe where this isn’t much opportunity for new developments in prime markets. “We needed the runway of new build to get going,” says McGuinness. Now Aloft is in 14 countries around the world and recently hit a milestone with 75 properties.
The brand skews to a younger audience, but it can’t do so in an irreverent fashion. For instance, he says, “It’s interesting to figure out what it is to be Aloft in Riyadh.”
In North America, the Aloft brand has reached 55 hotels with nearly 20 more in the pipeline, while Asia Pacific remains the brand’s second fastest growing market with a total of 12 hotels currently open. In the next 12 months, Aloft Hotels will add three more hotels to its China portfolio with openings slated for Dalian, Yancheng and Guangzhou, and another two hotels in India with openings in Bengaluru and New Delhi. In Latin America, Aloft will increase its portfolio to six hotels in 2014, with new hotels set to debut in Guadalajara and Merida, and the brand will also expand in the Middle East with the opening of Aloft Riyadh early next year.