A Review of the Aloft SoHo Square, Birmingham
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I finished my SPG Gold Status Challenge with a stay at the Aloft SoHo Square hotel in Birmingham (actually in the suburb of Homewood) on Friday night, June 14. I had promised my now-three-year-old daughter that we would go on a trip together soon, so we overnighted at Aloft.
This is a very interesting chain that describes itself as “a vision” of W hotels. I’ve never stayed at a W and therefore don’t really have much to compare it to there, but it’s a self-consciously chic place. Our room was very modern and very comfortable; it reminded me of some of the rooms I’ve stayed in on trips to Europe. The bathroom had a sliding mirror dividing the toilet/shower area from the sink; this was an interesting use of space that really separated the toilet and shower from the rest of the room. The room was divided in such a way as to section the bathroom off from the sleeping area. This gave the room a very large feel even though the room really wasn’t that big. The extra outlets on the nightstand were a very nice touch as one thing I hate in a hotel is having to find power outlets for everything.
We spent a good bit of time in the lounge/bar area on Friday night and the entire morning Saturday in the lounge, at the gym, and in the pool.
There is a lot of stuff within walking distance of the hotel given its location; there’s also a steakhouse at the hotel (Michael’s) that participates in the Skymiles Dining Program. If you’re a Delta flyer (like me) and if you have an SPG Amex (like me), you can double-dip. The lounge/bar area is spacious, comfortable, and inviting: in addition to the pool table, they also have board games, magazines, and other reading material. It’s a great place to go…not necessarily heels first, but at least heels up. In this case–the heels of the my new New Balance running shoes.
There is also a patio/smoking area next to the hotel that is basically a room with one glass wall and no ceiling. I expected it to be claustrophobic, and it might be if it’s packed. It’s actually quite comfortable, though.
The gym was nice but small, and the complementary bottles of water were great to have. The pool was pretty small, as well, but we had a very good time there. I opted for the Breakfast Package. I expected a standard hotel buffet breakfast–or something comparable to what I’ve experienced at other Starwood properties. Instead, I got a breakfast voucher for basically up to $7 worth of stuff. I got a banana and a generous serving of scrambled egg whites and bacon, and Taylor Grace got Froot Loops. It was good, but I’m not sure it was worth the difference between the normal rate and the breakfast rate.
That stay got helped me clear the bar for SPG Gold status, and it also means I’ve now stayed in all three of Birmingham’s Starwood properties. In order, I’d rank them Westin, Aloft, Sheraton, which (not coincidentally) is how they ranked price-wise.
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