The lobby is a fun gathering place for hotel guests. // © 2013 Starwood Hotels & Resorts
There aren’t many hotels in Cancun that allow you to stand on the roof and take in a panoramic view of the Hotel Zone. At the Aloft Cancun, which opened this year, it’s easy — thanks to the spacious rooftop deck, which has a swimming pool, bar and lounge chairs.
Enjoying the sunset from the roof was one of the most striking visual experiences I had during my two-night stay at the new Aloft Cancun. The property, which marks Starwood’s debut of the brand in Mexico, aims to combine a cool, social ambience with value prices in the Hotel Zone. The hotel’s central location, within walking distance of restaurants and nightlife and located across the street from a ferry dock, makes it a good choice for clients looking to experience the excitement of the destination. Because the hotel is not located on a beach (guests can walk across the street to gain access to the public beaches) prices can be as low as $69 during the off season. Business travelers should also take note of this property: It’s the only hotel directly connected to the Cancun Center convention facility.
Aloft’s tag line, “a vision of W Hotels,” hints at the brand’s style-conscious modernism. Aloft is a value-oriented variation of sister brand W Hotels & Resorts. And Aloft does indeed tend toward the contemporary, with bright, cheery decor that is especially visible in the lobby, which is designed to be a place to socialize. Comfortable chairs dot the public area, while a pool table and the W Xyz bar provide additional leisure-time options. Guests looking to stay productive or surf the Internet can use either of two computer terminals for free, or plug in their own device and use the free Wi-Fi. The lobby bar sometimes hosts special events — during my visit, a Halloween party attracted a variety of revelers.
For the most part, the Aloft experience in Cancun is consistent with the brand’s properties in the U.S., in terms of decor, services and amenities. One noteworthy difference (in addition to the rooftop pool and deck) is the restaurant. While the U.S. properties eschew on-site dining venues (aside from the convenience-style, self-service shop in the lobby), Starwood has graced the Aloft Cancun with a stylish, full-service restaurant called Nook, which serves contemporary Mexican and international cuisine.
Guestrooms at the Aloft Cancun are reasonably sized for the price level, and come equipped with amenities such as free Wi-Fi access, coffee makers, work desks and wall-mounted flat-screen televisions. A retro-cool alarm clock sits next to each of the guest beds, which are covered with white bedding, accented by colorful striped pillows. Most of the bathrooms are decorated with retro-modern wall decals and glass shower stalls.
Vacationers looking for an international hotel brand and value prices in Cancun’s Hotel Zone will certainly feel comfortable at the Aloft Cancun, as will business travelers looking for the closest possible hotel to Cancun Center. And clients who appreciate this hotel’s approach to hospitality should take note: Aloft properties are set to open in Guadalajara in 2014 and Merida in 2015.