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How Aloft is putting savvy into hotel design


Traveltalk editor Jon Underwood reviews the new Aloft Fort Worth Downtown

There is one inherent danger when hotel designers decide to tear up the rule book. The result can be an unmitigated disaster, a hodge-podge of weird and wacky ideas that no-one in their right mind would call home or homely.

 

 

The new Aloft Fort Worth Downtown has taken this brave gamble: they haven’t so much thrown the rule book away as fed it through a shredder!

 

But I am pleased to report that the end result is an innovative, chic and delightfully different boutique property that will resonate with families, young travellers and those who just like to stay somewhere ‘outside the box.’

 

From the moment you arrive at the podium-style check-ins (no formal desks here), you know you’re staying somewhere different. The site used to be an office building and while the designers have kept the urban, industrial look they have also opened up the frontage with large, floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the foyer a light, accessible and welcoming feel.

 

 

This was also a deliberate tactic to entice passing locals to use the hotel bar and social spaces, which are a feature of the property. The idea seems to be working.

 

“Locals are coming to our hotel for Happy Hour or just to hang out, because you just can’t miss us walking by on the street,” said Julianna Viertel, Director of Sales and Marketing.

 

“Being in a former office building, we give downtown Fort Worth a different, funky feel. We’ve been so blessed to be busy from day one.”

 

Indeed, the 180-room hotel has only been open since last September. I was lucky enough to stay in one of the 24 Ultra Savvy Suites, which occupy the corners of the six storey property and are proving extremely popular.

 

 

At 65 square metres, the size is already large, but these suites also offer the option of an adjoining room, making them ideal for families, wedding parties or friends on a weekend break. The colours used in these rooms are bright and bold, with curved feature walls in red, blue and purple.

 

The main suite offered panoramic views across the north east of the city with a dividing wall allowing occupants the added bonus of a lounge space separate from the sleeping area. The bed was large and comfortable with a choice of pillows, while the bathroom was well designed and spacious.

 

Dining at Aloft is again slightly off the wall, with Re:Fuel  providing a 24-hour ‘pantry’ of muffins, fruit, yoghurt, soft drinks and hot snacks for breakfast or lunch. Dinner is simple bar snacks (try the Korean taco - yummy!) which can be enjoyed while playing pool or enjoying a board game in the Re: Mix lounge, which features displays by local artists and also hosts live music. There’s also a gym and indoor swimming pool for those wanting to exercise body as well as mind.

 

 

“It is considered a boutique hotel but we want people to enjoy our relaxed feel. We want you to go up and enjoy your room but come back downstairs and take advantage of the social spaces, watch the big screens or listen to live music,” added Julianna.

 

“We are known as being social and savvy, so we have social spaces where we encourage people to be together and enjoy each other and the city.”

 

Qantas flies from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth six times per week, with return Economy fares starting at $1,255.

 

 


Written by: Jon Underwood
Published: 4 March 2019


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