If you've yet to experience an Aloft hotel, then the Brooklyn branch is the perfect place to start. The cooler, younger sister of the W Hotel chain, Aloft properties offer an insiders stay on the city outskirts. (And on top of that they're really just pretty cool.)
The Aloft Brooklyn has everything you need to survive a fast-paced city break in style. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels.
The USP: A luxury pit-stop for people on the go, Aloft Brooklyn combines the friendly, laid back atmosphere of a youth hostel, with all the comfort and class of a four-star hotel, and the absolute latest in design technology and mod cons. In short, it's a pretty unique concept...
Book it now if: You're off to New York - either for business or pleasure - but want to avoid the chaos (and steep prices) of Manhattan hotels. It's a given that people visiting the city won't want to spend a huge amount of time in their hotel, so the Aloft Brooklyn has everything you need to survive a fast-paced city break in style. While the lobby is a hive of activity and full of friendly, helpful staff, the rooms are a calming sanctuary which will ensure you're fully recharged for the next day.
Ultra-comfortable beds and blackout blinds make for an uninterrupted night's sleep. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels.
Bedding down: Boasting arguably the most comfortable bed I have ever experienced in my life, the rooms feature lofty high ceilings (hence the name), modern en-suite bathrooms and nice technology-savvy extras (plug your iPod into the wall to relax to your own soundtrack.) Blackout blinds will ensure an uninterrupted night's sleep, and takeaway coffee cups mean you can wake up to a hot morning drink and take it with you. The Bliss spa bathroom products were also a much welcomed touch - and while it may not be to everyone's taste, I was a big fan of the 'disco lift'. For a touch more luxury, opt for a suite which features additional seating and dining areas - great if you're travelling on business and need to host an impromptu meeting in your room.
The W XYZ bar offers fun, experimental cocktails. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels.
Feed me: While the hotel doesn't have it's own restaurant, guests can help themselves from the grab-and-go 'Re:fuel' bar - which boasts everything from bagels and fresh fruit for breakfast, to hot snacks for lunch and more confectionary goodies than you could possibly know what to do with. (We particularly enjoyed the fridge full of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.) Simply serve yourself, charge it to your room and eat as you please. Ideal if you've got a meeting to get to, some sight-seeing to get on with or a shopping-related emergency to take care of. There's also a privately owned rooftop bar on top of the hotel if you fancy something a little more substantial - the in-house W XYZ bar offers fun, experimental cocktails (and less experimental champagne), which you can enjoy on the outside terrace should weather permit - but no food.
Aloft Brooklyn combines the friendly, laid back atmosphere of a youth hostel, with all the comfort and class of a four-star hotel. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels.
Easily bored: You're in New York! How could you possibly be bored? The hotel is 15 minute walk away from the Brooklyn Bridge which boasts spectacular views, or jump on the subway and it's two quick stops into Manhattan for the serious sight-seeing. Drop by the Brooklyn Museum if you're in the mood for something cultural, or take a wander through the nearby Prospect Park (created by the same landscapers as Central Park.) Failing that, there's always shopping...
What's the damage? British Airways offer three nights at the Aloft Brooklyn in New York from £719 per person, departing in November. Includes return flights from Heathrow and room-only accommodation, based on two sharing. Visit ba.com/newyork or call 0844 4930758.
Point me in the right direction: Aloft New York Brooklyn, 216 Duffield Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11201, United States; www.aloftnewyorkbrooklyn.com.
Look out for: Aloft is coming to the UK! Their first British hotel has just opened next to London's bustling ExCel centre, offering the unique Aloft experience on our own front door. Ideally located for next year's Olympics, it's a great, stylish alternative for tourists, while its location between City Airport and Docklands makes it a great new option for the business traveller.
Just opened: Aloft London is now open to the public. Photo courtesy of Starwood Hotels.