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First Look: Inside Aloft, Dublin's new hotel with WhatsApp emoji room service

The hi-tech Aloft hotel is targeting "the next generation of travellers" in the Liberties, reports Aoife Walsh

Room service you can order using WhatsApp emojis. A robot named 'Lofty'. Access to bedrooms using smartphone QR codes...

Dublin's newest tech-savy hotel is bringing guests an experience like no other establishment in Ireland, it says.

Situated in the heart of the Liberties on Mill Street, Dublin 8, the swanky establishment is part of Marriott International Inc, which now has 150 hotels open in over 20 countries around the world.

The Aloft takes the familiar structure of a hotel and turns it on it's head; the reception is on the 7th floor, and the rooms are on the floors below.

Walking onto the 7th floor, the immediate impression the 202-bedroom hotel gives can be summed up in two words: cool and millennial.

Each corner presents the perfect backdrop for an Instagram snap. The Re:Fuel restaurant features a neon sign that reads, '(This must be the place),' a nod to the Talking Heads hit, for example - one of many references to music legends featured within the decor.

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One of the bedrooms at the new Aloft hotel

One of the bedrooms at the new Aloft hotel

Aloft Dublin City - Exterior

Aloft Dublin City - Exterior

The WXYZ bar in Dublin's Aloft hotel

The WXYZ bar in Dublin's Aloft hotel

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One of the bedrooms at the new Aloft hotel

The top floor is lined with windows that look out onto the landscape, a view that reaches as far as the Wicklow Mountains. Guests can immerse themselves in the view by stepping out onto the terrace, accessible via the WXYZ bar.

And the WhatsApp emoji room service?

Guests can place an order from their rooms by texting an emoji which corresponds to a meal option on the in-room menu. For example, sending both a pizza and cheese emoji will place an order for a cheese pizza, delivered by Lofty.

Lofty is a robot.

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Officially titled 'Bottler', but affectionately nicknamed 'Lofty' by staff, the robot has the responsibility of transporting food from the kitchen to guests' rooms.

When he's not busy doing that, you might spot him wandering around reception at the beck and call of customers.

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The WXYZ bar in Dublin's Aloft hotel

The WXYZ bar in Dublin's Aloft hotel

Aloft Dublin City - Exterior

Aloft Dublin City - Exterior

One of the bedrooms at the new Aloft hotel

One of the bedrooms at the new Aloft hotel

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The WXYZ bar in Dublin's Aloft hotel

Guests can also have keyless entry to their rooms by use of a special QR code found on the Marriott Bonvoy app, and enjoy the Re:Fuel restaurant, the Re:Mix Lounge, and the WXYZ Bar, which serves food and drink all day.

The hotel is the latest hi-tech offering to hit the city - this year, The Hendrick opened as Ireland's first "street art hotel" in Smithfield, complete with self-service check-ins, while the new, 300-bed Marlin Hotel near St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre offers TVs with Google Chromecasts and automated blackout blinds.

Jonas Treffers, General Manager of the Aloft Hotel, said opening a hotel in the Liberties fits the brand because it's a "young, trendy, up-and-coming neighbourhood".

"The Aloft brand suits that perfectly," he told the Irish Independent. "It's young, it's trendy, it's all about music, it's about design. That fits so well with the Liberties."

"There's a variety of events always coming up. We've got a very exciting event that is done monthly which is called Live at Aloft with up and coming artists that we promote, that's a free event then here on the 7th floor," he added.

And the price?

Rooms tailored to "the next generation of travellers" range from €167 to €401 per night this month, according to its website (marriot.com).

"Rates vary; sometimes they are more favourable than other times, but they are quite competitive in town," Mr Treffers said.

Read more:

The Fab 50: Ireland's 50 best places to stay in 2019

 


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