Who might look into a stay at the new Aloft Orlando Downtown? Business travelers in need of convenient, stylish lodging with meeting space options. Visitors looking for choices outside the theme-park zone. And just about anyone interested in a home base that’s walkable to the myriad attractions, restaurants and bars (“staycationers,” that means you) of Orlando.
The lounge boasts modern infusion that complements the building's late-'60s elements — Photo courtesy of Tom Hurst
“The Aloft Orlando Downtown is the first Aloft property to open in Central Florida,” says Stuart Newmark, executive vice president of Yelda Management – which manages the property. “First and foremost, it brings the Starwood Hotels & Resorts brand to a market where it did not previously exist.”
It’s also an adaptive reuse development.
“As the former Orlando Utilities Commission administrative building, there were so many unique qualities that were incorporated into the design from a building that was opened in 1968,” he notes.
Aloft’s philosophy centers on the principle of "urban cool" in unexpected places. As such, says Newmark, “Guests and the public will enjoy all of the high-energy and tech-savvy elements of the Aloft brand combined with the elements preserved/restored from the past: terrazzo floors on the first level, marble walls in the lobby bank elevator and original, refinished teak wood paneling in both first-floor public spaces and the second-level guestroom corridor.”
Much like the color wash on the building's exterior, the Aloft staircase enjoys its own illumination — Photo courtesy of Tom Hurst
Rooms here are spacious. Loft-like nine-foot ceilings and stylish baths with walk-in showers are the norm. Décor is urban and sleek, and lights in the facade will change regularly, adding a new color splash to Orlando’s downtown architecture. And additional amenities abound.
Sleek decor and spacious rooms are standard at the Aloft Orlando Downtown — Photo courtesy of Tom Hurst
Mixing, mingling and billiards are on tap at the re:mix lounge. The re:charge fitness center and outdoor pool – Aloft calls them all “splash” – beckon guests for both sweat and relaxation. A grab-and-go area ensures no one need go hungry or thirsty whilst on the move. Sweet, savory and healthy options are available 24/7.
Splash is as alluring by night as by day — Photo courtesy of Tom Hurst
“Downtown Orlando continues to evolve with new businesses and entertainment venues,” Newmark points out. “The Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic; the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts [scheduled to open in Fall 2014]; the recently approved plans to develop a major league soccer stadium . . . Additionally, many trendy restaurants and nightspots have opened, and there is significant residential development in the city’s core.”
It's a buzz, he says, an ongoing renaissance of downtown that’s increasing the young professional demographic, one that’s well suited for Aloft-branded hotels. The Orlando Downtown property enjoys hosting them at its daily, weekday happy hour in the chic w xyz bar from 5 - 7 p.m., yet another element that’s helping to boost the neighborhood’s steadily climbing cool quotient.
Aloft breathed new life into a 45-year-old downtown building — Photo courtesy of Tom Hurst