Aloft Hotels to open in Cleveland

Starwood Hotels is branching out its boutique brand to Cleveland, Ohio. Aloft Cleveland Downtown is scheduled to open in early 2013 as part of the Flats East Bank development, which is being touted as Cleveland’s newest, upscale mixed-use complex.

The new Aloft Cleveland will offer 150 guest rooms, all featuring the typical tech amenities and including a social environment for guests to mix and mingle.

Aloft Cleveland Downtown will be part of the $275 million first phase of the Flats East Bank project – a project that will include a 450,000 square foot office tower, as well as retail shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, a riverfront boardwalk and 14 acres of parks and green space. The hotel will provide access to nearly 3,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, perfect for business meetings and social gatherings.

The hotel is being financed by the Cleveland International Fund which has raised $20 million in funding and commitments for the hotel project. Aloft Hotels currently operates more than 40 hotels around the world.

[via BusinessWire]

Starwood to open seven hotels in NYC this year

New York City is getting a few new addresses.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced its plans to open seven more hotels in New York City, upping the hotel’s portfolio by 50 percent in the Big Apple. Starwood currently operates 12 hotels in New York City across six of its nine brands, and expects to have 18 properties open in the city by year’s end, including the local debut of the Aloft and Element brands.

From Starwood:

“While nearly 80% of our future hotel pipeline is outside of the United States, we have more hotels in New York City than any city in the world and we will open more hotels right here in our backyard than anywhere else, which speaks to New York’s enduring stature as the most global gateway city in the world,” says Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen.

Coming soon: Aloft hotels in Harlem and Brooklyn and Starwood’s first Element hotel in Times Square.

In addition to the new brands, Starwood’s Sheraton hotels is making a splash in the big city. Of the seven hotels opening, Sheraton will debut two New York hotels including the Sheraton Brooklyn New York Hotel the Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel. Starwood’s most popular brand, the W, continues to operate four hotels in NYC including its landmark W New York and W New York-Times Square.

Harlem welcomes Aloft; first new hotel in more 40 years

Starwood’s budget brand Aloft will make its New York debut this summer, opening up a stylish hotel in Harlem. The Aloft Harlem will be the first Aloft property in New York City and the first hotel to open in Harlem in more than 40 years.

Aloft was created to offer guests an urban-inspired hotel at a budget price. The Aloft hotels feature stylish guest rooms, up-to-date technology and public spaces for guests to mingle and make plans. Currently, there are more than 40 Aloft hotels open around the world since the brand’s launch in June 2008, but New York was a market the hotel was eager to tap.

The 124-room Aloft Harlem will open in August 2010 with easy access to Columbia University some of Harlem’s most frequented tourist attractions, including the legendary Apollo Theater to the acclaimed Studio Museum. The Aloft Harlem hotel is steps away from the 125th Street subway station, which means guests can be in downtown Manhattan within minutes.

To celebrate the pending opening, Aloft held a job fair at the Apollo Theater. Aloft partnered with recruitment firm NYC Business Solutions to draw local candidates to mix and mingle with senior managers, participate in contests, giveaways, and interview sessions.

In addition to the Harlem hotel, Aloft will also open a second New York property in Brooklyn. Set to welcome guests in October 2010, the Aloft Brooklyn is located just next to Flatbush Avenue and Fulton Mall, and offer 176 loft-like guest rooms, as well as a roof terrace bar.

Aloft Hotels seeks next big music act

Now that American Idol has ended what will aspiring singers do? Never fear superstars, Aloft Hotels has you covered (if you can sing).

Aloft is launching “Project Aloft Star” in an effort to find the next great musical artist.

Project Aloft Star, which kicks off June 7, will be a virtual battle of the bands with one winner kicking off the main stage at “Live In The Vineyard” in November alongside bonafide stars including Lily Allen, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat and Macy Gray. Additionally, Aloft will send the winning artist or band on a tour of Aloft hotels throughout the United States.

The contest will take place on Facebook and the top three bands will be chosen based on a combination of votes from Facebook fans, Aloft guests, and Live In the Vineyard artists. Think you have what it takes to rock the hotel world? Sign up on Aloft’s Facebook fan page and submit a video of an original acoustic performance. The first round of voting will take place during the submission period, from June 7 to July 31. After the top three vote-getters are determined, a second round of votes will happen from August 10 to September 10. The final winning act will then be announced on September 15, and will go on to play at the “Live in the Vineyard” concert the weekend of November 13.

Aloft is the 2010 presenting sponsor for Live in the Vineyard, which takes place in California’s Napa Valley every April and November. Before you dismiss the event as an amateur karaoke night, take another look: performers include the likes of Melissa Etheridge, Train, Tonic and VV Brown.

Aloft Hotels expands global presence in 2010

Aloft Hotels
, the newest brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, announced it would expand its overseas presence in 2010. The hotel plans to open 10 new properties in 2010, half of them internationally.

Aloft is planning to open three new hotels in India and one in Brussels, in addition to adding hotels throughout the U.S., including two New York City properties – one in Brooklyn and the other in the heart of Harlem.

Aloft was created to offer a low-cost, high-style option for travelers. The Aloft brand has been testing out new technology that aims to ease the hotel check-in process, including introducing wireless check-in service at its Lexington, Massachusetts hotel.

Since launching in June 2008, the Starwood brand has opened 40 hotels worldwide, including China’s Aloft Beijing Haidian and Aloft Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.