The Gap Year Grows Up: aloft Hotels Joins the Rising ‘Time Out’ Travel Movement That’s Spanning Generations

With 100+ Hotels around the World, aloft to Help Hyper-Connected Global Travelers Get the Most Out of Their Gap Year Travels, Whenever and Wherever the Journey Occurs

Starwood’s Leading-Edge Brand Embarks upon Cross-Country Tour with Gap Year Author Andrea Wien; Launches Exclusive Gap Year Rates for Explorers of All Ages

STAMFORD, Conn. - March 17, 2016 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Taking a cross-country or cross-continent Gap Year? aloft Hotels is ready for your arrival. aloft Hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.’s (NYSE:HOT) innovation incubator for today’s savvy global traveler, is jumping in front of the Gap Year movement, which has been steadily gaining momentum around the world. For years, the go-to accommodations for Gap Year travelers have been stodgy hostels, but as more and more people of all psychographics have been embracing Gap Years, the demand for an elevated, yet affordable option is rising. Enter, aloft. Starting today, the leading-edge hotel brand is embarking on a cross-country adventure with Andrea Wien, aloft Gap Year Ambassador and author of “GAP TO GREAT: A PARENT'S GUIDE TO GAP YEAR” in addition to introducing Gap Year rates, exclusively for travelers to take advantage of the aloft brand’s impressive global footprint and innovative mindset.

“We always say that aloft Hotels doesn’t appeal to one demographic, it appeals to those of a similar psychographic— those early adopter, perpetually curious travelers who want something different,” said Paige Francis, Vice President of Global Marketing, aloft Hotels. “These travelers are the ones taking time off to find themselves or in some cases, lose themselves in local cultures and experiences. They love staying with us on these journeys, and fortunately, because of our impressive footprint, Gap Year travelers can find us just about everywhere.”

aloft + Andrea Wien Ultimate Gap Year Tour

To celebrate the movement, aloft is hitting the road on a cross-country Gap Year adventure with Andrea Wien, author of “GAP TO GREAT: A PARENT'S GUIDE TO GAP YEAR.” The tour kicks off today at aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station (Portland, OR), followed by stops at aloft San Francisco Airport, aloft Denver Downtown, aloft Austin at The Domain, aloft Houston By The Galleria, aloft New Orleans, aloft Tallahassee Downtown, aloft Birmingham Soho Square, aloft Nashville Cool Springs, aloft Asheville Downtown, aloft Chapel Hill and aloft Boston Seaport. Andrea will document her journey via social media offering Gap Year tips, tricks and her picks for making the most of each city. Follow along on Twitter, Instagram and Periscope. The more than 6,000-mile journey will wrap at the newly opened aloft Boston Seaport and Element Boston Seaport dual-branded hotel complex at the end of April. Please visit alofthotels.com/experience for more information and join the conversation with #aloftGapYear and follow @aloftHotels on Twitter and Instagram, and Facebook.com/aloftHotels.

aloft Introduces Global Gap Year Rates

Bid adieu to the antiquated post-grad hostel. As the number of people across all psychographics tap into the Gap Year movement, there is an increasing demand for an elevated, yet affordable lodging option. With the aloft brand’s forward-thinking programming, killer design and great rates, its 100+ hotels in dynamic destinations around the world offer the perfect home-base for anyone taking a Gap Year. Because of this growing traveler trend, starting today, aloft is introducing a Global Gap Year Rate which offers 40% off the second night for any two day booking and a complimentary copy of GAP TO GREAT: A PARENT'S GUIDE TO GAP YEAR. The rate is perfect for short, quick stops, or for longer stays, which reap stackable benefits (e.g., a four-night stay receives two nights at 40% off each). The more you stay, the more you save. Rates are bookable at alofthotels.com/gapyear.

The Changing Face of the Gap Year Movement

Historically, Gap Years have been rights-of-passage usually dominated by those between high school and college or between college and graduate school. However, over the years, as travel has become more accessible and the economy has improved, other demographics (and even more so, other psychographics) are jumping on the sabbatical bandwagon. Now, Gap Years are taken in-between jobs, after a major life event or by the silver haired post-retiree, pre-launching their next chapter passion project. What was once painted as a way for young adults to learn independence has now branched out, but one common theme rings true – the desire to explore the world, see other cultures and have authentic experiences while on the road. For more information, head to http://www.americangap.org/.

About aloft Hotels

With over 100 hotels in 18 countries around the world, Starwood’s aloft brand delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For today’s (and tomorrow’s) connected, curious and communal evolving global traveller, the aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com/experience. aloft, like all brands within Starwood's portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, the industry’s richest loyalty programme. To learn more, please visit www.spg.com

SOURCE Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Contact:

Ashley Chapman
aloft, Element & Four Points
Global Public Relations
212-380-4015
Ashley.chapman@starwoodhotels.com

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