AS I walked into the lobby of the Aloft Downtown Dallas hotel, I wasn’t expecting much out of the ordinary in this historic-looking, factory- type building in downtown Dallas.
AS I walked into the lobby of the Aloft Downtown Dallas hotel, I wasn’t expecting much out of the ordinary in this historic-looking, factory- type building in downtown Dallas. But I immediately did a double take. It looked like I’d wound up at a mixture of a hip nightclub, art gallery, and trendy café. Soon enough, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find I was where I wanted to be: the Aloft Downtown Dallas.
Owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the group that also has chains like Westin, Sheraton, W Group, Regis and Le Méridien, Aloft is an enjoyable change from the norm. I don’t usually wander hotel corridors to admire the interior design, but Aloft inspired me to do so. When I first checked into my room, I had to stroll around a few times to take it all in. After I sat down to relax, I walked around the room again just to see if I’d missed anything (which I had!). Then looking out my window across the street at the Dallas Convention Center, train station and City Hall, I was reminded how conveniently located the hotel is. For frequent travelers, hotels are a blur of similar designs. That’s not the case with Aloft. It is a lift for the senses.
Aloft is a “select” service hotel that does not have bellmen but caters to on-the- move business-savvy travelers who know what they want. The other primary segment of their clientele includes guests attending conferences at the convention center across the street.
The lobby has different areas to relax in: a bar, lounge and a self-serve snack and coffee area that has a “build your own” fresh and hot breakfast and complimentary coffee in the morning. All of the decor appears out of the latest interior design magazine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen rocking chairs in a hotel lobby before, but the modern-retro design made the chairs fit right in. At night, the hotel is a great place to mix and mingle by enjoying a glass of vino at the w xyz bar, or a game of pool in their re:mix lounge. Both are located in the lobby area.
There are event and meeting spaces of various sizes throughout the building. The event facilities are extremely vibrant and trendy and have been used for “After Parties” by celebrities such as Britney Spears and Jamie Foxx. The hotel is pet friendly and smoke-free. Free WiFi is available throughout the building, a pleasant change from many hotels that often charge $20 a day for Internet access. There are 24-hour business and fitness centers, an outdoor pool, onsite parking and Blink electric car charging stations. Rooms come with complimentary coffee, tea and bottled water. Standard rooms are 350 to 475 square feet with one TV. Suites are 450 to 775 square feet with a larger meeting and work area and two TVs,one in the work area and one for the bed and living area. The 42” LCD TVs have ports for connecting laptops or other electronic devices.
Aloft Hotels take part in adaptive reuse projects to provide benefits to communities in search of urban renewal opportunities, and the Aloft Downtown Dallas is no different. Built originally in 1925 as part of the Santa Fe Terminal Complex, then owned by the Haggar Clothing Co. which used the facilities to produce military uniforms during World War II, the building was renovated and opened as a hotel in 2009.
For the sustainability minded guest, there is plenty. Approximately 75 percent of the demolition debris from the renovation was reused below ground in the lower-level meeting and ballroom spaces. The hotel features natural materials including cork and sustainable wood veneers, and inshower liquid soap and shampoo dispensers replace non-biodegradable bottles to reduce landfill waste.
I highly recommend the Aloft Dallas Downtown and will definitely look for more Aloft hotels during my travels. tj
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