Less than a year after premiering the Aloft brand in Latin America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) forges ahead with its expansion plans to open four new Aloft hotels: Aloft Panama, which will debut in 2013, Aloft Merida and Aloft Asuncion slated to open by 2014, and Aloft Montevideo in 2015. “Aloft is taking Latin America by storm,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “The brand continues to develop a fiercely loyal following and experience strong momentum as it enters new markets around the world. We are excited about the brand’s growth in the region over the next two years.” The expansion of the Aloft brand in Latin America is part of Starwood’s accelerated growth strategy. The company is strengthening its existing portfolio of 71 hotels in the region by 25 percent with 17 new Starwood properties already scheduled to open by 2016. “This is an exciting time in Latin America as we continue to see economic growth, rising personal incomes and a growing middle class,” said Osvaldo Librizzi, Co-president of the Americas, Starwood Hotels and Resorts. “The expansion of Aloft into these key markets is yet another milestone in our overall development strategy and is an important step in strengthening our position as the leading hotel operator in Latin America.” The Aloft brand’s momentum began when the brand made its debut in Latin America in December 2011 with the opening of Aloft Bogota Airport. Only three months later, Aloft San Jose in Costa Rica made its debut reinventing the local landscape with their bold design and a buzzing social atmosphere – all at an affordable price point. Both hotels earned certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Shortly after, Starwood signed a deal to build Aloft Panama City. Now, Aloft is slated for further expansion in three more important markets.
“The Aloft brand is a key part of our aggressive expansion strategy in the region,” said Ricardo Suarez, Vice President of Development & Acquisitions for Starwood in Latin America. “When Aloft premiered in Latin America, it made a bold statement by providing a true alternative to the existing select service products in the marketplace. We’ve seen strong guest and developer demand for this brand and its momentum clearly demonstrates that the region is ready for the next-generation Aloft hotel experience.”The Aloft brand is a game-changing hotel concept with smart technology and a unique social atmosphere that has made it a worldwide hit. Every Aloft guestroom will feature soaring nine-foot ceilings, bold industrial touches, ultra-comfortable signature platform beds with plush bedding, and plug-n-play docking stations which link tablets, laptops or music devices to the room’s 42” LCD TV. Aloft hotel’s cool initiatives in music, design, and technology have made it a must-have brand for the next generation traveler. Guests will be able to meet and mingle with friends at the buzzing w xyz® bar, happening re:mix™ lounge. Select properties will also have a rooftop “backyard” for social gatherings. The hotels also feature the hugely popular Aloft signature amenities, including re:fuel by Aloft®, its 24/7 pantry for self-service light meals and snacks with healthy options, and re:charge™, 24/7 gym, as well as relaxation at the hotel’s pool at selected properties.
- Starwood currently operates 24 hotels in Mexico. Aloft Merida will mark the entrance of the eighth Starwood brand in the country making it yet another milestone for the company. Aloft Merida will be located in the prestigious area of San Antonio, a corporate and shopping destination, just minutes away from the city’s Country Club, Golf Course and the Merida International Airport. Aloft Merida will have 136 rooms and 530 square feet of meeting space.
- Paraguay’s economy is growing as the country evolves into a relevant business center in Latin America; as its capital, Asuncion is the cornerstone of this transformation. Aloft Asuncion will meet the demands of this growing economy, providing an alternative to business and leisure travelers as well as a social gathering place for local professionals. It will be steps away from the World Trade Center (WTC), an important real estate complex featuring mixed-use real estate development, including corporate offices and conference spaces, food and beverage outlets, support services, and entertainment options. The hotel will feature 120 loft-like rooms and 614 square feet of meeting space.
- Montevideo is the main economic, political and industrial center of Uruguay, an important country in Latin America. Aloft Montevideo will be located in the heart of Montevideo’s business center minutes from downtown, providing business and leisure travelers a unique option. The hotel will feature 100 loft-like rooms and 2,267 square feet of meeting space, designed to accommodate business and group travel to this important business destination.
- Aloft Panama will offer business and leisure travelers easy access to downtown and local attractions. This new urban development boasts an ideal location across from the Atlapa Convention Center, 15 minutes from the Tocumen International Airport and 10 minutes away from the financial center. The hotel will be built in two phases. The first phase, with 126 rooms will open in 2013 and the second phase with 186 more rooms will debut in 2016.