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During our recent trip to Banff and Calgary, Alberta, my wife and I spent one night at the Aloft Calgary University. I mainly chose it because the rate was really good, it is as SPG hotel, and I like the brand in general. We’ve stayed at 4 different Aloft hotels in the past couple years and enjoyed our stay every time.
Reasons I like Aloft hotels
Aloft is marketed as a “hip” brand that tends to attract a younger crowd. While I’m not completely on board with the overall feel of the branding, I do find that I appreciate the modern design in general. The lobby and common areas are always clean and well laid out, but I can pass on the flashy colors.
Standard room amenities at the Aloft include a fridge, which is an absolute must when we travel. This honestly makes me more comfortable booking an Aloft than, say, a Westin. I find the bathrooms to be nice for a “cheaper” hotel. I *much* prefer the tiled shower as opposed to a tub. Room layouts have typically been a bit different, too (e.g. bed faces the windows, bathroom sink area has an open feel).
I also like Aloft hotels for their rates. Most are relatively cheap, both when paying cash and when using points. We’ve paid no more than about $100 per night at each Aloft, except for the one at San Francisco Airport where I booked day of. We had to spend a spontaneous second night in the Bay (plus…its San Francisco). I really should have shopped around more.
Aloft hotels basically have everything we need for a decent price. Except free breakfast. All of the Aloft hotels we’ve stayed at previously have breakfast for purchase, in the form of the Re:fuel grab & go snacks, beverages and light meals. None have offered free breakfast.
Wait…what time is breakfast?
Thus, I was completely caught off guard when the front desk staff at the Aloft Calgary University cheerfully told me that breakfast would be at 6:00 in the area past the elevators. Are you messing with me, or is this for real?!
I asked if she meant breakfast from the Re:fuel grab and go, and she said no. It was truly *free* breakfast. This is a first for an Aloft!
When I expressed my surprise, she smiled and simply said that it was a “special Aloft”. Good enough for me. I’m not complaining.
Breakfast ended up being a decent selection of hot options, toast, fruit, juice, coffee, and other items.
Nothing to write home about, but free is free. I’d put it solidly above a Holiday Inn Express breakfast.
Are there other “special” Alofts?
Now my question is, why can’t they make all Aloft hotels “special”? I’m sure there have to be at least a few more out there besides the Aloft Calgary University.
Offering free breakfast across the board would make Aloft an even more attractive brand. The only SPG brand that offers free breakfast (without status) to my knowledge is Element. It would be great to have a second one!