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TRAVEL & FOOD (51)

Aloft is Alift for the Senses

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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.

AS I walked into the lobby of the Aloft Downtown Dallas hotel, I was not 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 had wound up at a mixture of a hip nightclub, art gallery, and trendy cafe. Soon enough, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find I was where I wanted to be: the Aloft Downtown Dallas.

Aloft is a self 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. 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 with re-used demolition debris, natural materials and built-in liquid soap and shampoo dispensers.

 
     
 
     
 
     

Sassy and Savvy Stay in U.S. Capital

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Sassy and Savvy Stay in U.S. Capital

Aloft National Harbor & Aloft Dulles North

FOR a trendy stay while visiting the historic U.S. capital, consider the Aloft National Harbor or Aloft Dulles North hotels. The hotel chain’s core values are sassy, savvy and space. Sassy stands as a contrast to stuffy hotels. Savvy is because all the hotel staff (not just the bell captain or concierge) are knowledgeable of the hotel and city. Space? Well, the hotel’s public areas are just that: extremely spacious and not cramped. The hotel chain provides incentives to join in its sustainability practices. Guests who skip everyday room cleaning receive $5 towards the Re-Fuel station (food) or Starwood points. If you need a little extra motivation while on the go, stop by the Re:charge 24/7 fitness center and download easy-to-execute a-workouts onto your laptop, iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, Treo or other handheld device.

Travel to Southern California

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San Diego and Orange County


TJ’S hotel reviewers and their bicultural families headed out to Southern California to scope out some of the best places to stay and the fun things to do in San Diego and Orange County. After arriving at LAX, our families headed 45 minutes south on the 405 Freeway. First stop: Orange County. We stayed at many hotels and ate at many restaurants. Here is a list of some of our favorite things to do and places to stay in Orange County:

Travel to the Hollywood, Scottsdale & New Orleans

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Travel to the U.S.A.

Universal Studios, Hollywood, Scottsdale & New Orleans

TJ’s hotel reviewers headed to California, Arizona and Louisiana to experience the best places to stay and most entertaining things to do. Here are a few of our favorites.

Travel to Las Vegas & Portland, OR

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Travel to Las Vegas and Portland, Oregon

TJ’s hotel reviewers headed to Las Vegas and Portland to experience the best places to stay and most entertaining things to do. Here are a few of our favorites.

Where to Stay in Tokyo

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Where to Stay in Tokyo

Chic Boutique: Hotel S Roppongi

If you like the personal touch and prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of big hotels, the Hotel S is a stylish choice. Located just a short walk from Nishi Azabu crossing and near the Roppongi District of Central Tokyo, the lodging doubles as a designer hotel and residence with serviced apartments that share restaurants, a library lounge, and meeting spaces with a relaxing ambience for their international trendsetting clientele. The rooms are available in a variety of unique themes and designs such as Luxury, Japanese Style Room–Zen, Hanging Garden, Patio Room, Hollywood Twin and Four Cube. They range in size from 17-45 square meters. The bilingual staff are personable and helpful.

Where to Stay in Seoul

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Where to Stay in Seoul

Park Hyatt Hotel, Seoul

The Park Hyatt Hotel, Seoul is full of surprises–starting with the check-in area located on the 24 floor, at the top of the hotel. Adjacent to the reception area, guests in the lobby lounge can view the fashionable Gangnam District through the glass surrounding the indoor swimming pool. “The most spectacular views in any hotel are on the top floor,” said Janet Lim, marketing communications manager. “In most hotels, these views are only available to those who have access to the executive lounge or the expensive lounge bars, which normally dominate the upper floor of the hotel. Here the views are available to everyone.”

Where to Stay in Toronto

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Where to Stay in Toronto

Here are Tokyo Journal’s recommendations on places to stay in Toronto’s buzzing entertainment district. They are all within close proximity to the CN Tower, Rogers Centre (SkyDome), Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the Hockey Hall of Fame, as well as Toronto’s impressive theater scene, The Second City improv theater, Roy Thomson Hall, the Distillery District and fantastic restaurants for all cuisines and budgets.

Food Allergy

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Educating the World about the Deadly Danger of Food Allergies

Interview with Food Allergy Research & Education CEO John Lehr

Potentially deadly food allergies affect one in 13 children in the United States, or roughly two in every classroom. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is a nonprofit organization that works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including those at the risk of life-threatening anaphylaxis (an extreme and often life-threatening allergic reaction to an antigen). Tokyo Journal International Editor Anthony Al-Jamie met with FARE CEO John Lehr.

Japan Tourism Agency Award for TJ Featured

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Tokyo Journal Receives Commissioner Award from the Japan Tourism Agency

 

On October 2, 2017, the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) held their 9th Annual Commissioner Award. The government agency, which operates under Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, is responsible for promoting the rapidly growing tourism industry in Japan and overseas.

Tokyo Journal was one of four recipients to receive the prestigious award. Tokyo Journal, established in 1981 as Japan’s oldest English magazine and sold in bookstores, was acknowledged for their extensive coverage of Japanese travel and culture. The English magazine, distributed internationally, introduces readers to a variety of subjects relating to Japan and Japanese culture including:

* Popular tourist destinations
* Japanese entertainment
* Japanese cooking recipes
* Fashion trends

Tokyo Journal’s articles represent Tokyo’s diversity, covering a wide range of topics for a global readership, from Japanese pop culture to Buddhism. Japan is teeming with the latest trends, innovations and discoveries – ideas Tokyo Journal communicates in an entertaining and informative way to encourage travel to Japan.



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