Starwood's Aloft hotel, planned for the former Days Inn in downtown Atlanta is still opening, but is significantly delayed. The hotel was announced in summer 2012 and was to open in spring 2013. Now, estimates are that the hotel will open in (late) January 2014.
The aloft downtown Atlanta will open where most recently a Days Inn operated at Spring & Baker Streets. Miramar Beach, Florida-based Banyan Investment Group, in association with Tampa-based DeBartolo Development LLC plan to pump $25 million into the aging building. Up until a couple of months ago, the hotel was operating with no branding, simply as the "Hotel ATL."
Whether because of extensive remodeling or the numerous terrible reviews the hotel got on travel site TripAdvisor, the hotel will reportedly remain closed for the duration of the renovation process.
Aloft is a relatively new limited service product from Starwood Hotels. The first property opened in 2008 near Montreal's Trudeau International Airport. Today, there are about 60 aloft brand hotels open, with about another 60 in the pipeline.
The chain originally announced as many as five locations in Atlanta, but thus far zero have opened.
Hotel locations or, "areas" as aloft calls them, were previously announced for Alpharetta, Buckhead, Savannah, The Millenium Center near Hartsfield-Jackson as well as a different location for the aloft downtown.
The previously announced downtown aloft hotel was to have been near the intersection of Centennial Olympic Park Drive & Simpson Street, across the street from The World of Coca-Cola. The hotel was planned by a partnership of Post Properties and Hal Barry of Barry Real Estate, the developer of the W Atlanta - Downtown.
Personally, I've visited aloft hotels in Portland, Phoenix, Asheville and Denver and have overall been impressed with both their interior and amenities. The properties I've visited, however, were all "new build," and built to be aloft properties, rather than conversions of existing hotels, like the downtown property .
Aloft is billed as "a Vision of W Hotels" and offers some similar amenties, with fewer luxury services like an in-house spa. The room rates are also slightly more budget friendly at aloft as they are a limited service, rather than a full service hotel.
Aloft, as a brand, has performed well in the south with four locations already open in Florida, and four more expected to open over the next 12 months. Aloft also has four locations open in North Carolina, with a fifth coming soon to Raleigh. When the four additional locations open in Florida, the Sunshine State will be tied with Texas,where aloft has 7 properties, and another coming soon, as the largest aloft markets.
Atlanta had been one of W hotels largest markets with four hotels. The first ever W Hotel opened in Dunwoody near Perimeter Mall in 1998. This property closed last year and after a short time operating as the Atlanta Perimeter Hotel & Suites, reopened this past May as Atlanta'a first Le Meridien Hotel, another Starwood brand. Atlanta remains home to W properties in Buckhead, midtown and downtown.
Are you looking forward to Atlanta's first aloft hotel? Have you stayed at an aloft in any other city? Did you enjoy it? What is the coolest amenity or gadget you've found of use in a hotel room or in the hotel itself? Please share your thoughts below.