Starwood’s Director of Acquisitions and Development for the Pacific, Andrew Taylor, exclusively tells HM Aloft Sydney is just the start… there are more Aloft hotels on the way.
Andrew, it must be exciting to be bringing Aloft to Sydney. What are the plans for the Aloft brand in Australia? How many in the pipeline and where?
Yes, very exciting. We’ve been looking for a site in Sydney to showcase the Aloft brand and its full potential for some time. We see huge potential for the brand across Australia. This is our second Aloft signing following Aloft Perth Rivervale and we have more opportunities in the pipeline, which we will be finalising and announcing in the coming months.
Aloft Sydney Pitt Street marks the brand’s debut in the city and is our second signing in Australia, following Aloft Perth Rivervale. It was strategically important for Starwood to get an Aloft to the Sydney market and we are delighted to have done this in partnership with Ninety Four Feet, with Henry, Dean and Jonty Rzechta who are a great fit and representatives for the brand.
With the signing of Aloft Sydney Pitt Street, we are introducing a game changer to the Sydney hotel scene. There’s nothing that will compete with the Aloft DNA in the four star space. It’s something very different, and a new model and hotel concept that Sydney needs, and was something originally designed to fill this type of void globally.
The brand was originally created to shake up the staid, traditional select service segment of the hotel industry. It presents travellers with something completely different – social and energetic guest experience, cutting-edge design and all at an affordable price point.
With it, Aloft Sydney will also debut Starwood’s latest innovation to the Australian market – SPG Keyless. This is an exciting evolution of Aloft’s Smart Check-in— the hospitality industry’s first mobile, keyless entry system allowing guests to use their smart phone as a key and bypass front desk. This new technology is a great example of how the brand caters to the tech-savvy millennial traveller.
From the point of view of the development and investment community, it’s a strong model that offers great return. It’s dynamic, well defined and is filling a void in the market with its focus on servicing the millennial traveller, who is social on the road, tech savvy, interested in high design, and stays connected. There’s nothing else quite like it in the market currently.
As for location, 302 Pitt Street was perfect for this debut. The area is young, lively and in a great and up and coming pocket of Sydney’s CBD.
The hotel is bookended between two major retail precincts, World Square and Pitt Street Mall, close to great restaurants and entertainment options, with lots of foot traffic from the target customer – who is a creative, young at heart, entrepreneurial corporate traveller.
This particular area is currently going through a significant transformation and the Aloft Pitt Street will usher an exciting new phase for the area.
What’s it like working with 94 Feet on this project?
Dean and Jonty at 94 Feet have been great to work with. They’re both young and fresh in their approach to real estate development. They take pride in being creative and design driven, but are highly commercial at the same time which is very important. All in all, a perfect fit and somewhat ideal ambassadors of the Aloft brand and ethos.
They also have a great eye for up and coming areas and have made a dramatic entry in to the Sydney hotel sector with the site at 302 Pitt Street.