aloft Hotels

Aloft Hotels is Marriott International's brand for today's modern traveler looking for a vibrant social scene at an affordable price. It is the loftier W Hotel brand's jaunty kid sibling, offering scaled-down modern style, service and amenities at a much lower price point. The Aloft brand debuted in 2008 and parallels InterContinetal Hotels' less popular Indigo brand and compares favorably with Accor's Mercure affiliates, the latter stepping into a similarly stylish footprint in Europe and the U.K.

Aloft's cornerstone is its edgy, design-conscious format that coaxes brand loyalty with a colorfully stamped standardization that includes trendy bars with occasional live music and menus at all meals—the Aloft brand doesn't support a full-service dining room. LEED-recognized green policies are in place, and much like its W siblings, catchy lingo hatched on Madison Avenue elicits an esprit de corps with hip travelers the world over. At each hotel, loosey-goosey linguistics disguise the obvious: re:fuel translates to food; re:charge decodes the sign on the gym; and re:fresh refers to housekeeping.

The average-size accommodations are just as arty, edgy and tech-savvy as the limited common areas. And while each affiliate takes interior design into its own hands, all of Aloft's guest quarters boast Plug and Play connectivity units that allows guests to connect their laptop, smart phone or MP3 player to the TV. Laptop-size safes, spa-quality toiletries in mostly shower-only baths, coffeemakers and a lack of room service are also common.

Locations vary from airport to downtown, but the demographic is the same: twenty-, thirty- and fortysomethings in search of value, high-strung design, a built-in social scene and free Wi-Fi.

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