Starwood Hotels Expands in Iraq

Aloft Erbil will comprise 200 guest rooms featuring the brand’s signature high ceilings, oversized windows and an ultra-comfortable platform bed as well as large walk-in showers with complimentary Bliss Spa products. The hotel will also feature an all-day dining restaurant, the brand’s signature re:mixSM and w xyzSM lounges, providing guests with buzzing, atmospheric public spaces where they can mix and mingle, read the paper, work on laptops, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends.

The re:chargeSM fitness centre will offer an opportunity to re-energise and the unique re:fuelSM by Aloft will introduce a convenient deli option for guests on the go, with an array of food and drinks available 24 hours a day. For meetings and presentations, the hotel will offer creative spaces equipped with the latest audiovisual hardware.

Located in the new part of the city, approximately 10 minutes from Erbil International Airport, Aloft Erbil is situated along the new ring road offering guests easy access to the city and its key attractions such as the historic Citadel and Sami Abdul Rahman Park, the largest green area in the region. Located in northern Iraq, Erbil is the capital of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region and is emerging as the country’s commercial hub.

“We see great opportunities to grow our Aloft portfolio in emerging markets across the Middle East, such as Iraq, where there is a strong demand for affordable yet stylish and cutting-edge hotel brands,” said Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development, Europe, Africa and Middle East Division, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

After opening its first hotel in 2008, Aloft has since grown to over 60 hotels strong in countries such as the United States, Canada, China, India, Thailand, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Starwood has plans to open its 70th Aloft hotel next year. The company currently operates Aloft Abu Dhabi in the Middle East with plans to further expand the brand in key markets of the region such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The signing of Aloft Erbil marks Starwood’s third hotel in Iraq following the signings of a Sheraton hotel and a Four Points by Sheraton hotel earlier this year. All three hotels are scheduled to open in Erbil in 2015, marking the company’s re-entry into the country after more than 20 years.

(Source: AMEinfo)

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