After years of trying, it looks as if the Aloft hotels brand could finally be gaining a foothold in Atlanta. At the onset of the Great Recession, Georgia was slated for at least four Aloft hotels — touted as a cheaper, "little sister" version of the hip W brand — that was to include locations in Savannah, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Alpharetta. Five years later, visible construction just recently started at the former downtown Days Inn at Baker and Spring streets, where the city's first Aloft should welcome guests early next year. Now, as the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports, the retail masterminds at Simon Property Group want to build an Aloft hotel next to Phipps Plaza, which has become a hotbed for proposed apartment projects.
The first newly constructed hotel on Peachtree Road in years could rise from 1.7 acres that Simon owns at Peachtree and Wieuca roads, a stone's throw from the Nordstrom department store, the newspaper reports. Insiders said developers are still trying to secure a construction loan for the project, but Buckhead's lodging industry is among the healthiest in the city.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide has long been interested in bringing its Aloft brand to Buckhead. Tomorrow's News Today reported in 2008 the company planned to open its first location at the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont roads — ostensibly in place of the Rooms To Go store at that corner. The projected opening date was June 2010.
Do you have experience with Aloft hotels in other cities? We're curious to know what the Aloft experience is like, and how it differs from the W experience, beyond price.