Friday, August 10, 2012

ALOFT HOTEL---STYLE AT A STEAL AT RM 900 PER NIGHT?

KEE@FSWMAG.COM

THE SMALL SO-CALLED HOTEL BRAND ALOFT CLAIMS TO OFFER 'STYLE AT A STEAL' ROOM RATES BUT SURELY RM 1,250 A NIGHT IS NOT DAYLIGHT ROBBERY FOR HOTEL GUESTS?
Aloft Suwon Aug 2012.jpg
The new Aloft hotel in Suwon, South Korea which opens in 2014

I have never heard of Aloft chain of hotel since I am so highclass  I only stay at 5 to 7-star hotels. Not that 6 or 7 star hotels actually exist as most countries and people recognise 2 to 5 star hotels only. But grand palatial hotels like Burj A-Arab, Emirates or Dhara Dhevi in Chiangmai claim to be 6 or even 7 stars though I must say they deserve it, being grander than my 1,600 sq ft condo.

However, Aloft claims to be 'style at a steal' but I must say on behalf of all you penny-pinching people that their rates are quite LOFTY! But you get 40% off on the next night! 

I cruise their website but the new hotel in Suwon is not listed as only ALOFT hotels in Canada and USA are available. So I check the hotel prices for New York as this is the only city that comes to mind when I think of USA as New York is Planet Earth's most spectacular city built by homo  sapiens.

Aloft New York City is located in Brooklyn, not Manhattan where the action and shopping are and starts from US$ 359 a night! That is around RM 1,100 or RM 1,200 depending on exchange rates! Surely this is not a steal. And if you want a city view, that is another US$10! 

Mind you, there are taxes and charges you must pay so the total for the cheapest room is US$ 415.60 which is around RM 1,250 to RM 1,300 per night and breakfast not included and you still must find your way to 5th Avenue in Manhattan which costs more and takes time! I am sure I can get some ho hum hotel in central Manhattan for RM 1,300 a night. To me, a steal in New York is RM 500 a night.

I look at the rates of other Aloft hotels and discover it starts from US$ 135 (RM 405) in ulu Norwalk in Connecticut but that is not even Aloft but its  sibling, Four Points hotel, also a cheaper brand under the Starwood Group which also owns Aloft, Le Meridien, Four Points, Westin, The Luxury Collection, W, Sheraton, St Regis and Elements! Aloft is a division of W Hotels so it gets even more confusing. Why not settle for one brand catering to the lower cattle class instead of several like Aloft, Elements, Four Points etc?

Also The Luxury Collection and St Regis are super high end while Le Meridien and Sheraton are 4 to 5 stars? And all are under one umbrella group Starwood.

Anyway, the latest Aloft is at Suwon in South Korea.



ALOFT HOTELS TO DEBUT IN SOUTH KOREA WITH ALOFT SUWON
Aloft Forges Ahead with Global Brand Expansion, Signing Deal to Launch First Hotel, Aloft Suwon, in South Korea in late 2014.


Suwon, South Korea – August 9, 2012 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced today that it plans to debut the Aloft brand in South Korea in late 2014, signing an agreement with development partner Youngshin HRD. Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of OKHOW Co., Ltd. The hotel, Aloft Suwon, will be the first Aloft hotel in South Korea, adding to the brand’s global expansion plan and growth momentum in Asia Pacific that has been building up in recent years.

“We are pleased to partner with Youngshin Hrd., Ltd. to bring the Aloft brand to South Korea for the first time,” said Stephen Ho, President, Asia Pacific, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “While Starwood has maintained a long-standing presence in South Korea since the opening of the Westin Chosun Busan, this signing marks an important milestone in our overall growth strategy to expand the Aloft brand. Aloft Suwon will add to ten existing Aloft hotels in exciting cities throughout the Asia Pacific region.”

A game-changer since its 2008 debut, Aloft Hotels and its vibrant “style at a steal” brand proposition is geared toward the next generation of travelers, pioneering initiatives in music, design, and technology; and providing modern comforts and a fun social guest experience at an affordable price point. The Aloft brand has consistently garnered high guest satisfaction scores since its launch, with select hotels ranking among TripAdvisor's 2012 “Top 25 Trendiest Hotels in the US and around the world.” In addition to new developments, the Aloft brand’s global growth plans include conversions and adaptive-reuse projects.

“Aloft Hotels has emerged as a popular choice for owners and developers as the hotel brand that fills the void in the mid-market hotel category,” said Matthew Fry, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development, Asia Pacific, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Because of the brand’s vibrant design and a social guest experience offered at an attractive price point, Aloft properties have quickly grabbed market share wherever they have opened. The next generation of traveler has taken to the Aloft brand, and a broad range of travelers continue to discover what it has to offer.” 

Aloft Suwon is located in Yeongtong-dong in the heart of historical Suwon, the provincial capital of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. Suwon is a major industrial center, housing Samsung Electronics’ digital city and a large factory complex; it is also home to 14 university campuses. Located about 60 kilometers from Incheon International Airport and 30 kilometers from Seoul, the hotel is well connected by various modes of transportation. It offers easy access to numerous sights, including the impressive UNESCO World Heritage site of Hwaseong Fortress, the Suwon business district, and local government offices. 

“Suwon is known for its living history and dynamic culture, as well as its busy commercial and residential sectors. We are honored to attract Starwood, owner of premier hotel brands, to the area. It is very special that Aloft Suwon is launched for the first time in South Korea and outside of Seoul, adding spark and character to the Suwon cityscape,” said Kyoung Sub Kwak, CEO of Youngshin Hrd, Ltd., subsidiary company of OKHOW. “We will endeavor to develop the most iconic building and create the most excitement in the hospitality industry, leaving guests amazed.”

Slated to open in October 2014, Aloft Suwon is part of a mixed use development that also consists of retail and residential spaces. The hotel occupies the 4th to 11th floors, featuring 120 guest rooms, including 114 standard rooms and six suites, in a modern, fresh, and fun setting. It also boasts a 404 square meter meeting and function space, and two food and beverage facilities, including the buzzing signature lounge and bar, and an all-day dining restaurant. Other amenities include a 275 square meter recreational facility, with a well equipped gym, and it is situated adjacent to an 854 square meter spa that provides signature rejuvenating treatments.

For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com/suwon


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About OKHOW
Younghsin HRD. Co., Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of OKHOW Co., Ltd (“OKHOW”).
OKHOW has been trying to make innovations throughout businesses with the developments of hotels & resorts and their M&A, tourism-related consulting and building acquisitions. We are a creative company, which develops new domestic / international business projects, cooperating with other international hotel brand chains, and have cultural tourism industry as a company’s ability to grow. OKHOW has launched the world's leading hotel brand with the introduction of the brand recognition and operation that is intended to improve the efficiency. We suggest success indices to projects of your business plan through a clear business plan analysis and a reasonable review and make effective solutions and alternatives. For more information, please visit www.okhow.co.kr
Aloft Suwon Aug 2012.jpg
About Aloft Hotels
With more than 60 hotels in 10 countries, Aloft has changed the hotel landscape by offering “style at a steal” everywhere from Baltimore to Beijing to Bogota to Brussels – and everywhere in between. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com.

Aloft, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, which offers a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. To learn more, please visit www.spg.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,112 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.









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