01: Introduction: Saying goodbye to Virgin America
02: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin (economy class) SAN-SFO
03: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin (economy class) SFO-PDX
04: Best Western Ocean View Resort, Seaside, Oregon
05: Aloft Portland Airport
06: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin Select (premium economy) PDX-SFO
07: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin Select (premium economy) SFO-SAN
I had my first stay at an Aloft hotel way back in December 2013, and at the time, I considered it to be the coolest airport hotel I had ever stayed in. It was hip, fresh, casual, and cool – a much appreciated departure from the crusty Marriotts and Comfort Inns I seemed to always find myself in whenever I was out on the road. And ever since that experience, I’ve been itching to try other Aloft properties as often as I could. It took 3 (plus) years due to the fact that I don’t really stay in hotels that often, but finally, here is the full summary of my experience at my second ever Aloft hotel stay – this one at the Portland International Airport (PDX).
I remember my stay at the Phoenix airport Aloft quite vividly, and walking through the main entrance here at the one a PDX was like taking a step back in time.
I kid you not – it was exactly the same as I remembered, with the ONLY difference being the staff at the front desk. The floorpan was exactly the same, as was the decor and food in the little self-serve “kitchen” area just off the main lobby. It was at this moment that I realized what the Aloft brand was all about: consistency. For example, every Marriott or Hyatt (or whatever large chain hotel you go into) is slightly different from one to another. But the Aloft brand, apparently, is 100% “cookie cutter” in it’s approach to setting up franchises all over the world. Hrmph. I didn’t know that. I was expecting something slightly different than what I had experienced before, and not getting that was a bit of a letdown at first.
But then the more I thought about it, the cookie cutter approach makes a lot of sense. It’s kind of nice being able to book an Aloft hotel and know EXACTLY what you’re going to get before you even arrive. Less worry makes travel so much easier…
As you can see from the pics, there’s nothing different from this property compared to the one in Phoenix I stayed in three years ago. I probably could have used the same pictures from that old trip report and nobody would have known the difference!
So now that I’ve learned that Aloft hotels are nearly identical from location to location, would I go out of my way to stay at one again? Yes and no. Yes, because I find this brand to be a fun and refreshing change from all the other boring airport hotel chains. No because that would make SANspotter.com boring and I want to try and review as many different hotel brands as possible to keep that section of my trip report archive growing!