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I spent most of this week out of town for work and away from Baby C…..I hated that part, but I’ll save that for another day. Anyway, one of the nights I spent at an Aloft hotel. Aloft is a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest points program and as such, is one of my back-up hotels when the Westin I normally stay at is unavailable. Even though I was by myself on this trip, I am going to do the review from the point-of-view of a family traveling with small kiddos, since that is the way I know how to travel best!
I stayed at the Aloft Austin in the Domain in Austin, Texas. This hotel is just about spitting distance from the Westin at the Domain that I reviewed in this post. It is a nice, new, trendy hotel. The lobby, bar, and pool table all look like they are ready and waiting for a party!
I’m pretty sure that the elevator was operated by a small, underfed hamster. It was seriously the slowest elevator I have been in in a very long time. Every time I rode it and there was another person in the elevator, that other person always commented about how slow the elevator was. Of course, what else is there to talk about in an elevator?
Once you got to your room, the hip and trendy vibe continues. The beds are very comfortable, there is a mounted flat screen tv on the wall, and there is a complimentary view of the parking lot.
The bathroom is where things get pretty dicey for families with small children. First, there is no bath tub. Second, there is no sink that could double as a bath tub for a baby. The sink is a fancy-schmancey sink that would not at all be functional for trying to bathe that overworked hamster, let alone a human baby. The bathroom (and whole room for that matter) really has a college dorm feel to it. The soap and shampoo even comes out of dispensers in the shower. I kind of felt like I should wear my flip-flops in the shower like I did back in college. Not because the room was dirty, but just because it had that college feel to it.
There were some aspects of this hotel that would be good for families. Namely, the pool is only 2.5 feet deep, so even my 18 month old could toddle around in it effectively (though not sure how “big people” are supposed to enjoy it!). The snack bar area was also pretty family-friendly. There were many drink and snack selections right down stairs next to the check-in area. The prices were not too outrageous for hotel prices. If you are Gold or Platinum with SPG they give you a coupon for a free drink at the real bar or at the snack bar.
While there is nothing wrong with this hotel, I don’t think it would be right for my family to stay there. It is fine for me for a night or two while away by myself for work, but not one that would be easy to stay at with small children. As I mentioned, it also just has a vibe to me that screams college party – trash can punch at midnight! Woot woot!
Okay, now for the good stuff………the free SPG points! While I was checking into this hotel on Facebook and Foursquare for my 250 points per check-in (read more here) I stumbled across a post on their Facebook wall from July 11th that if you like them by July 31st you can get 250 free SPG points! Login to Facebook and go here to like them! I know it’s not as exciting as the 1000-3000 SPG points that other properties offered, but it’s still not too shabby for just 2 minutes of your time! You do have to let them know that you “liked” their page and then email your SPG number to firstname.lastname@example.org – for some reason if you copy and paste her email address from the Facebook page it doesn’t work. Not sure why, but just get it from here or type it in yourself manually. I liked them and sent in the email about 3 days ago and have not received the points yet. However, with most Facebook SPG promos I’ve done it did take a week or two for the points to post, so I’m not worried quite yet.
So, there you have it! Let’s hope that this Facebook point promo doesn’t blow-up quite as quickly as other recent ones have. My advice is to do it quickly so you don’t miss out!
EDIT: As usual, this type of thing blows up quickly – they are pulling it at 10AM Central on 7/22/11. Hurry!!