Hotel Aloft Brooklyn Hotel 3 star
Easyexperts
216 Duffield Street · Brooklyn, New York New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

We were very much looking forward to visiting the then fledgling Aloft Brooklyn as our previous New York experience of the 'no-frills' version of W Hotels from Starwood in Harlem was a huge success. The ambitious brand, which is expanding globally at a rate of knots, aims to seduce those new media types in their late 20s and 30s who like to work had but also play hard. And this property is certainly a place where both ambitions can be achieved. Located in Downtown Brooklyn, it has some great amenities, funky, spacious and functional guestrooms, a great rooftop bar and the advantage of being able to share some amenities with the Sheraton (also Starwood) next door. Throw in a great staff, easy access to Manhattan and the rest of Brooklyn and a great vibe and the Aloft Brooklyn becomes the savvy choice for those young (at heart) travellers looking for an alternative to Manhattan or a true New York experience. Such a good product.

One for the young crowd, the Aloft, once again, lives up to its hype, this time in Brooklyn. Fun staff, modern, functional rooms and an unbeatable rooftop bar, this one is a no-brainer if you want to be in Brooklyn.

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    • Hotel Aloft Brooklyn

      Aloft Brooklyn   -   © Franck Prignet / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Aloft Brooklyn

      Aloft Brooklyn   -   © Franck Prignet / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 6.0 /10

    At 216 Duffield Street, the Aloft Brooklyn is in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn. There is plenty of shopping and eating opportunities in the area as there are too in the neighbourhoods of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and Brooklyn Heights, the latter of which is more residential and slightly more upmarket. There are not tourist attractions in the area per se, however staying here will give you a far more authentic New York experience and most people from New York actually live in Brooklyn. If you do want to head to Manhattan (or other parts of Brooklyn for that matter) then there are several subway stations in close proximity to the hotel. Atlantic Terminal is around 15 minutes away by foot while the start of Brooklyn Bridge is perhaps a little further and is a great way to reach Manhattan, arriving at City Hall. JFK is 14 miles away, La Guardia 10 miles and Newark 15.

    Accommodation 7.70 /10

    All of the 176 guestrooms at the Aloft are appointed in exactly the same fashion. There are technically two room types, although the only difference is that those which are slightly larger have two large single beds. Every room has a city view which means that they look onto the street and not an interior courtyard or the like, with those higher up the building enjoying some rooftop views. Dressed entirely in white (aside from the multi-coloured bolster cushions), the beds are raised off the ground and so provide extra storage space underneath. Above the bed, integrated into the tall wooden headboard, is a black and white panoramic photo of Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and that, sadly, is your lot in terms of art. Opposite the bed is an ottoman either side of which are two wooden surfaces, one of which serves as a desk (phone, lamp, dial-up internet). On the wall is a large flatscreen television and the only other electrical item in the bedroom is the retro Big Ben alarm clock beside the bed.

    Behind the bedroom is the bathroom which is separated into two parts. The first of these contains a bowl-like wash basin against a large mirror with Bliss toiletries on the one side and a safe, tea and coffee facilities, magazines and open hanging space on the other. Then, through a sliding door, is the walk-in monsoon shower (also with Bliss toiletries, but in dispensers this time) and loo. The whole room is very functional and there is space to move around in without it being too big.

    Overview 7.70 /10

    The Aloft is housed in a modern high rise of some 24 floors with an all-glass frontage above which the rest of the building is set back. Inside, the lobby is one of those great multi-purpose spaces of which we are fans with seating areas, a work space, a play space and both a grab 'n' go and a bar (more of those latter two in 'Food and Drink'). The welcome from behind the round reception desk is always an event at the Aloft and you will be made to feel at home instantly. After the Check-in procedure, which is a breeze, you can then hop into one of the three elevators which serve all floors and above which is a ticker tape of rolling news from around the world. To the right of the entrance is a space with a pool table and work space where you can plug in your laptop and make use of the free wifi. On the walls of this space is some art by local artists which can be bought and which rotates every four months or so. Behind the desk and in front of the lifts are two seating areas - one with four colourful armchairs and psychedelic cushions on a funky rug and another with four egg-shaped pod chairs. Between the two spaces is an electric fireplace. A presentation case to the left displays all sorts of products and supplies available for purchase while at the back of the lobby is the business centre where guests can surf the net on a complimentary basis on the iMacs or iPads. Other features of the lobby include the various flowers and plants, the exposed piping on the ceiling and the recycling bins which guests are encouraged to use.

    For those who would like to keep up their workout schedule there is a modest fitness room at the hotel with water and towels supplied. Otherwise, if relaxing is more your thing, then you can head over to the Sheraton side of the block and make use of their swimming pool and sun deck. The pool is heated and has a retractable roof although being located on the second floor there are unfortunately no city views to be had.

    The hotel as a whole is in excellent condition and is clean, tidy and well maintained. Access to the rooms is quick and easy and the corridors are well lit and wide.

    Food and drink 7.20 /10

    Although there is no restaurant at the Aloft, there are two options if you fancy something to eat. In the reception area to the left-hand side is Re:fuel, the grab 'n' go store which can be found in all Alofts. Here you can purchase snacks and drinks throughout the day including hot breakfasts in the morning, sandwiches, bagels, salads, snacks and hot and cold beverages. On the opposite side of the hall is the W XYZ bar, which although is not in a space of its own, does have a cracking atmosphere at night, completely changing the feel of the lobby at night. As well as cocktails, wine and beers, the bar serves snacks and has music events from time to time.

    Arguably the real pull of the hotel, however, is the rooftop lounge on the 24th floor of the hotel. Despite its height, the space is very intimate, thanks in large part to the low and coloured lighting as well as the seating niches and flower arrangements. However good the music is and however delicious the drinks and food served here, what we love most of all are the stunning views of the city - Brooklyn, lower Manhattan, Long Island Sound, the Statue of Liberty and the Barclays Center.

    To know

    Part of the Starwood group, the Aloft brand is marketed as a less glamourous but more affordable version of one of their other well-known brands, W. The target market is those young entrepreneurs who work in marketing or new media and who are fashion savvy and expect features such as free wifi and a good nightlife. The members of staff at the Aloft, who more often than not have no hotel experience, are not interviewed and hired in the conventional way - they are instead auditioned and picked based on their personality rather than on their qualifications. The result is a team that thinks outside the box, without all those pre-conceived ideas about the hotel industry which we find ever so refreshing.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access

      (17 adapted guestrooms)

    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym

    • Animals allowed

      (35lbs limit)

    advantage

    • Friendly staff
    • Fun, contemporary and functional design
    • Rooftop bar with stunning views
    • Heated swimming pool (at Sheraton next door)
    • Great Brooklyn location
    • Sun deck (also at Sheraton)

    disadvantages

    • No restaurant
    • Distance from typical Manhattan attractions

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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