Aloft Opens Door to "Smart Check-In" at More Hotels

After Hugely Popular Pilot, Unprecedented Automatic Check-In Program Using RFID Technology to Launch at Five More Aloft Properties in 2011 alofthotels.com

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 11, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- After a smashingly successful pilot, Aloft Hotels will roll out its pioneering automatic check-in at five more hotels worldwide, it was announced today.

Aloft's Smart Check-In, the hotel industry's first such program, will let guests zoom to their rooms at Aloft Harlem, Aloft Brooklyn, Aloft Dallas Downtown, Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park, and Aloft London by the end of 2011. Smart Check-In made its debut at Aloft Lexington (MA) last year.

Tech-savvy Aloft is the sizzling style-at-a-steal brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) that's rocked the hotel industry since launching in 2008. With nearly 50 properties now open worldwide, the brand has enjoyed the fastest ramp-up in hospitality-industry history. Designed to appeal to the digital generation, Aloft brings urban-influenced, modern, open, and vibrant design at an affordable price point.

Running on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, Smart Check-In caters to a new generation of guests on the go who are more interested in high-tech than high-touch service. Technology has been a vital component of the Aloft brand's DNA from day one, when the "first" Aloft hotel made its debut in virtual reality on Second Life.

Here's how Smart Check-In works: Select Starwood Preferred Guest(R) (SPG) members who opt to participate receive a new enhanced SPG / Aloft-branded RFID keycard. On the day of a planned stay, a text message is sent to the guest's mobile device with their room number. Once at the hotel, guests can skip the check-in line and go straight to their room, where their keycard will unlock the door - giving guests control of their check-in experience in the palms of their hands. A video tour of Smart Check-In is available for viewing at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iCSAsm7DGs&feature=channel_video_title.

"Aloft guests never settle for a traditional hotel experience, and they've embraced the Smart Check-In revolution with tremendous enthusiasm," said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. "For our associates, freedom from traditional check-in procedures means they can spend more time engaging with guests and enhancing the social atmosphere that's made Aloft such a huge hit."

The SPG / Aloft-branded RFID keycard may eventually act as an all-access pass throughout the Aloft stay, allowing guests to purchase cocktails and bites at the hotel's buzzing w xyz(R) bar, sundries at the re:stock retail kiosk and snacks at re:fuel by aloftSM, the Aloft brand's deli-style, grab-and-go pantry. The pilot program partner is VingCard Elsafe, a cutting-edge security technology leader for the hospitality industry.

Smart signature features have made Aloft one of the most successful launches in hospitality industry history. Savvy guests can surf their tablets, work on laptops via fast and free hotel-wide wireless Internet access, shoot a game of pool, or grab a drink with friends in the always-happening re:mix lobby and lounge. The re:chargeSM fitness center and splash, the indoor pool, give travelers options to de-stress and re-energize, while re:fuel offers sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages 24 hours a day.

Aloft features intuitive, high-tech features throughout its public spaces and guest rooms, ensuring guests are always plugged in and connected. All Aloft hotels feature CAT-6 high thru-put wires which means that all hotels are wired to accommodate tomorrow's technologies. Guest rooms provide a calm oasis that is combination high-tech office and entertainment center, thanks to the plug & play, a one-stop connectivity solution that links multiple electronic gadgets at once such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops, to a 42" flat-panel HDTV-ready television for optimal sound and viewing.

About Aloft Hotels

Created to shake up the staid, traditional select service segment of the hotel industry, the Aloft brand delivers style at a steal with urban-influenced, modern, open and vibrant design - and a social guest experience - at an affordable price point. In the same way that W Hotels broke through the clutter of conformity in the upscale hotel arena more than a decade ago, Aloft is shaking up the industry for the next generation of traveler. Aloft hotels are geared toward savvy, design-conscious consumers who grew up with the democratization of design. Building on its tech-savvy DNA, the brand recently pioneered the industry's first "keyless entry" automatic check-in program at Aloft Lexington in Massachusetts. With nearly 50 hotels open in the two years since Aloft first arrived on the scene and nine more opening in 2011, Aloft can be found everywhere from Abu Dhabi and Baltimore to Dallas and Beijing and everywhere in between. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com.

Aloft Hotels, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, which offers a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. To hlearn more, please visit www.spg.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1051 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element SM. The company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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