Shaking things up, Aloft Hotels celebrate German debut with the opening of Aloft Munich. Speaking with leading members of Starwood Hotels and Resorts while also experiencing the tech-savy brand for himself, Hamish Kilburn reviews the power of music in hotel design…
Whether it’s walking through the Englischer Garten, surfing the freak wave on the Eisbach hundreds of miles from the nearest beach, or watching the skaters in Nymphenburg park gliding in the setting sun, the beautiful city of Munich reflects tradition with a modern twist. It’s a contemporary metropolis full of incredible architecture, fashion, music and adventure.
And so, it comes with little surprise that Starwood Hotels and Resorts have decided to launch its German debut of Aloft hotels in the Bavarian city. Speaking at the launch event of Aloft Munich, Thomas Willms, Senior Vice President and Regional Director – East and Central Europe of Starwood Hotels and Resorts said, “From a company’s perspective, Munich is a fantastic city. Starwood Hotels and Resorts have several brands here already: Meridian, Sheraton, Westin and Four Points. So we were lucky because Aloft is a music driven brand and the location for this hotel is perfect.”
Imagined by Rockwell Group, Aloft Munich is located opposite the main train station. Just a short walk, the shops, bars and major clubs; it couldn’t be more central to the life and soul in the popular metropolis. Starwood’s tech-savvy brand shakes up conventional hotel concepts and offers an urban-influenced, music-driven and energetic guest experience. Markus Schreyer, Regional Director of Marketing – East and Central Europe at Starwood Hotels and Resorts explains, “If you look at the core elements of the brand, music and the social prospect it creates has a strong fate with the destination of each property. We have a strong music audience as well as them being tech-savvy people that are familiar with an avid users social media. Munich has a particularly strong music scene. There is a strong fit with our target audience and Aloft is a great platform for emerging artists and talent.”
Design that inspires
Surrounded by light-open spaces, the hotel’s design has been carefully crafted to encourage guests to mingle and socialise in the downstairs communal area. Created with its grown-up sister W’s DNA, the brand is current, fresh and leads innovation. By day the Re:mix Lounge (lobby area) has a calm, easy-going notion that offers a relaxed morning workspace. But the atmosphere changes after hours as I soon found out for myself. When the sun goes down, a hip and sassy gig venue comes to life where singers, beat boxers and affluent DJs take over. The Re:mix Lounge appropriately features urban-inspired design with exposed ceilings, industrial architecture and modish furniture throughout making sure that authentic music and quirky layout is the focus of guests experience.
Although Aloft is a select-service brand, it offers quality that has made it a leading mid-market hotel brand. Each loft-like room is large, spacious and gives guests a place to chill out and unwind. The 184-stylish rooms are injected with soft palates and subtle personality. Each feature large walk-in showers with rainfall shower heads as well as state-of-the-art technology, extending the brand’s message to innovate and be ‘different by design’. Willms explains, “It’s sassy as well as savvy. It’s a seven-day-a-week destination with live music auditions three times a week.”
Aloft Munich offers a place for self-expressers who want to discover. Convenience is key and the Grab n Go service is a simple yet comfortable deli for guests on the go, which encourages them to mingle and communicate while relaxing and enjoying the experience.
Celebrating its 100th hotel to open by the end of the year, Aloft is the fastest growing hotel brand worldwide, and in my opinion, it is also one of the funkiest. Since the first property opened in 2008, the owners of the brand have listened to the demand and created a place where talent can be heard and social mindsets can network and hang out together. With all Aloft hotels worldwide featuring a synonymous style, the playful brand has already and will continue to adapt with future trends to fit the needs of its á la mode guests.
One ambitious yet brilliant intention that is on the cards is the first robotic butler, appropriately named A.L.O Botlr. Starwood Hotels and Resorts are preparing to roll out the little helper worldwide by 2016.
The hotel marks the debut of Aloft in Germany and with its buzzing ethos and personality proving popular with the locals, you can expect many more to follow. “I would like to thank Arabella Hospitality SE for putting their trust again in Starwood and advancing the entry of Aloft in Germany,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “Aloft meets Germany’s demand for mid-scale hotels in both urban and industrial areas that bring life, innovation and personality at a great value.”
Aloft has done it again. This time welcoming the Bavarian city of Munich to its fast-growing portfolio to provide curious-city travellers a fresh experience where music is home.