Starwood continued its growth in the US this week with a new Aloft property in Cupertino, CA, literally right next door to Apple’s HQ.
Aloft isn’t my favorite Starwood brand; I’m more of a full-service guy. But, one of the cool things I saw in the press release was that the rooms are featuring Apple TVs. For those not familiar, Apple TV is a small box that hooks into your TV and allows you to stream a bunch of things including your iTunes content, any movies or TV shows you already purchased through iTunes, MLB games, Netflix and a bunch more. The big plus here for me is that you can key in your iTunes ID and have all your favorites right there on the TV in your room. I’m not sure what it took to get Starwood to allow the brand exception, but thumbs up for the decision!
A colleague of mine actually traveled with an Apple TV for a while when his family went on vacation to make it easier to access content they wanted to watch (and had already paid for). When I travel with my family, having access to all that content is a big plus. And, since the Apple TV fits in the palm of your hand, it’s easy to see why it might be a good idea to throw it in the suitcase.
I’ve thought for a while that hotels could do consumers a big service by finding some way to allow us to access all that content we have elsewhere. Aloft already has a media box that’s easy to plug a laptop into, so that’s a start. But, being able to plug an account into a smart TV and have all my goodies on the screen would definitely make that room feel more like home.