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PHILADELPHIA-Starwood Hotels & Resorts is debuting the first Philadelphia-area aloft hotel. The $30 million, 136-room hotel near the Philadelphia Airport is set to open on Aug. 8, 2008.

Aloft is Starwood’s new lifestyle brand of limited service hotels, which offer most of the amenities of full service hotels but typically do not have a restaurant or 24-hour room service. “We decided to do a twist on limited service,” says Nina Timani, director of sales and marketing for the new aloft. “Clients today are busy; they don’t have time to sit down in a restaurant, especially if their stay is short. It makes it more convenient for the traveler and more cost effective.”

Located less than a mile from Philadelphia International Airport, the hotel is geared toward corporate travelers. According to Timani, the airport area is booming in Philadelphia, making it a good location for aloft.

“If you look at reports, the Philadelphia hotel market is down but the airport area is not, so there are people still coming into this area, and there are a lot of big companies nearby. It’s good for people to be able to fly in, book into the hotel, and fly out. It’s a very convenient location,” says Timani.

The hotel, which was designed in conjunction with David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group, features 87 king rooms and 49 double queen rooms with nine-foot ceilings. In addition, the hotel offers a communal lobby area with a bar, w xyz, the re:charge fitness center, an indoor pool and re:fuel, a one-stop food and beverage area that is open 24 hours a day. The hotel also boasts free WiFi and a number of bonus features for guests traveling with pets.

This is the 14th aloft hotel to open in the US, and the 16th aloft overall. More than 70 additional aloft hotels are under construction or are being planned in the US, Asia, Europe, Canada and the Middle East. Most are scheduled to open before the end of 2011.

“We hope to get some guests from Center City,” says Timani. “This is a new twist on travel. We foresee even in a declining market that there’s a client out there who wants us.

“We’re very excited about this brand,” she continues. “I think it’ll bring a lot of life to the Philadelphia market. We’ve had a lot of anticipation for our arrival and I think it’s going to do very well in this market. It has great potential.”

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