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The Aloft Hotel in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St Paul in Minnesota is the latest addition to the Aloft brand promoted by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. There are about 20 Aloft hotels, mostly in the US, but there is also a property in Beijing and another in Montreal.
The hotel was developed in conjunction with 900 Washington Hotel LLC, an affiliate of Sherman Associates Inc, in the new, trendy mill district of the downtown area of the city on Washington Avenue South. The project was announced in April 2007.
The new 155-room hotel opened on 7 August 2008. The building is located along the bluffs of the Mississippi River near main attractions such as the Guthrie Theatre, Gold Medal Park, the Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome and the Mill City Museum.
The hotel has formed a focus for Sherman Associates’ redevelopment of the block; the hotel will share an interior landscaped plaza, which contains the hotel’s outdoor pool, with the new dual five-storey tower Zenith condominiums, which are under development.
The new-build, five-storey hotel was designed by ESG Architects, which was responsible for the exterior and interior design. The building contractor was BOR-SON. Wischermann Partners assisted Sherman Associates with hospitality development consulting services and negotiated the licence agreement with Starwood Hotels Worldwide. David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group was also involved in the design of the public spaces of the hotel.
The Aloft hotel in Minneapolis has 155 rooms available in two configurations; either as a 290ft² king room with a king-sized platform bed or the larger 330ft² room with two queen-sized beds. There is also an Aloft Suite with 748ft² of floor space (living room and bedroom), dining table and extra-large double bathroom. The Aloft rooms have a loft style with 9ft-high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, the signature platform bed, free Wi-Fi access, office and entertainment centre, plug-and-play connectivity for iPods, PDAs, mobile phones, MP3 players and laptops, 1.1ft³ refrigerator and ice-maker, 42in HD plasma television, in-shower bliss spa bath soap and shampoo dispenser with radio, large shower with rain-soaker showerhead, workspace area for business, individual room climate control and beverage facility with hot drinks and bottled water.
The public areas of the hotel for guest convenience include:
- A 2,000ft² meeting area and business centre
- An indoor and outdoor pool (splash) with an environmentally friendly saline additive in the water rather than chlorine
- A 24-hour re:charge fitness centre and gymnasium with cardiovascular (stationary bikes, treadmills, stairclimbers and elliptical trainers) and strength machines, free weights, a stretching area and PumpOne workout programs that can be downloaded to handheld devices
- A re-mix communal lobby area and wxyz bar
- Re:fuel one-stop food area providing drinks, sweet and savoury healthy foods and snacks 24 hours a day
The hotel’s public spaces are designed and decorated to attract guests from their rooms to socialise and work on their laptops while having a drink or meal. The communal lobby and wxyz bar area has full wireless internet access, a pool table, four LCD panel TVs and also tech gadgets for sale, including flash drives, MP3 players and headphones.
The hotel also offers preferred parking for hybrid electric vehicles. There is an automated check-in kiosk with touch-screen interface that can dispense room keys and even provide check-in and boarding passes for flights from the airport.
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