The transformation of Calgary from its traditional “Heart of the New West” homely image to a trendy globally connected hub started several years ago as major international players from Eastern Canada and British Columbia, south of the Border, and across the Oceans started to open up their local digs in Cowtown (Calgary).
With any major trans-formative movement in cities, one of the first visible signs of proof of change begins with its urbanscape. This is often pioneered by entry of trendy hotel operators. Calgary witnessed its first with the opening of Hotel Arts in the Beltline, which was followed shortly after by Hotel Le Germain in Downtown.
The third and newest entrant in this trendy boutique hotel concept is Starwood Hotel’s ALOFT brand, which launched its first signature brand in Western Canada, ALOFT Calgary University (I always thought Vancouver had the first. One down for Calgary!)
The trendy theme and fun(k) factor is prevalent throughout but what I liked about it is how it slowly intrigues the viewer through the play factor while unraveling its inner naughtiness like a professional entertainer.
The signature pink hues and geometric shapes are the primary theme in here. Even the fitness training room has it.
The fitness space mimics a nightclub vibe with pulse pounding beats and neon lights that flow through color hues with the beat.
The rooms feature work by local artists on a rotational basis.
A modern urban space must not only enable dialogue but also create it by engaging in stories. One brand that does this really well is the Fairmont Group, through its heritage, old world glamour and mystery. On the contrary, ALOFT is able to engage the curiosity through fun, play, imagery and seduction.
Nothing is always what it seems. A bar transforms to a corporate meeting space, the pool transforms to a dance hall, the fitness space blends in to a nightclub! There is something amiss here. Indeed. The funk has arrived in town. ALOFT is here!
All views expressed are this author’s own.
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Category: Arts & Design