Michael Taylor crosses the border and hops a train to Guangzhou to check out the newest hotel in the rapidly expanding network of Aloft Hotels, which are targeted the next generaton of travellers.
The next generation of travellers are self-expressive, very comfortable with technology, and always ready to buy the latest thing. They're more into self-expression than status.
"They are very social and willing to express what they think and feel," says Vincent Ong, Senior Brand Director, Asia Pacific Brand Management, Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
"We have designed Aloft around them with 3 passion points: design, music, and technology."
I road my bicycle to the train station, crossed the border into Shenzhen, and hopped a train to Guangzhou.
About 70 minutes later I was pulling into Guangzhou East Railway Station, where I was met by a representative of Starwood Hotels and Resorts that I had met a few months earlier at a similar media function at a hotel near Shanghai.
We shared a taxi to the Aloft Guangzhou University Park, chatting the whole way. It is one of 8 Aloft Hotels in China.
The 270 room hotel is located in University Park, a sprawling complex of university campuses, a convention and exhibition centre, a performance venue, and other facilities.
Grab and Go Lunch
Because members of the media were arriving from different parts of the country at different times, we were offered an informal Grab and Go lunch at our leisure at Re-fuel, a sort of snack bar with ready made meals and canned drinks.
I pulled out my laptop and started working as a downed a salad, a sandwich, and a Coke Zero. The Wi-Fi connection proved both stable and quick.
At 4.30, we were divided into groups and taken on a tour of the hotel. This was followed by cocktails at W xyz Bar and a gourmet Cantonese fushion dinner at Yunshan Poetry Chinese Restaurant.
Following dinner, I returned to W xyz and downed a few more of those yummy signature cocktails. Almost everyone else returned to their rooms.
Aloft Hotels are members of the Starwood Hotels and Resorts group.
Aloft Guangzhou University Park, No. 66 Li De Street, Xiaoguwei, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Telephone: (86) (20) 3100-0888. Restaurant Website: Aloft Guangzhou University Park
The hotel is located in the heart of Guangzhou University Park, home to several institutions of higher learning. It is a short walk to the Ling Nan Impression Park.
The hotel is a 10 minute drive from the Guangzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre and a 50 minute drive from Guangzhou Baiyun Internaitonal Airport.
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