Location: Rancho Cucamonga, California

Overall Rating: 8/10

Aloft hotels are one of Starwood’s more budget options. They have a hip, trendy feel that targets a younger demographic. Featuring bright colors, open lobbies with pool tables, grab and go food, and uniquely named amenities, Aloft hotels have a consistent feel and a recognizable branding. The brand was originally launched in 2008 as “a vision of W hotels,” and it took off quickly. My wife and I actually stayed at the original Aloft hotel at Montreal Trudeau airport this past winter, a realization I came to after the fact.

The Aloft Rancho Cucamonga is the third Aloft hotel at which I have stayed. Located a quarter mile off of I-10 in Rancho Cucamonga, the hotel provides easy access to the LA/Ontario Airport. It is a 50 minute drive from downtown Los Angeles, disregarding the traffic (which is something you should not do). It is also 45 minutes from Disneyland, and 25 minutes from both UC Riverside and University of Redlands. With LA area traffic, however, all bets are off.

The hotel has 136 rooms, all of which have either one king bed or two queen beds. As an SPG category 2 hotel, it would require 4,000 points per night on weekdays and 3,000 points per night on weekends. However, the rate is often under $100 per night, so paying cash may be the better way to go. My stay was for work, so I paid with my SPG American Express and was reimbursed.

The lobby was a happening place when I arrived. There were several people at the XYZ bar, more scattered in the lobby seating, and a group playing pool. The front desk was friendly and I was quickly checked in and headed to my room. As an SPG gold, the kindly placed me on the top floor. There really isn’t the potential for a room upgrade at an Aloft hotel since all rooms are essentially the same class.

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The standard king room was virtually no different than those at the other two Aloft hotels I have stayed at. Ignoring the view out the window, I would honestly not be able to distinguish one from the other. Luckily, I have found that I really like the layout and style and am perfectly happy with the consistency among the hotels.

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The bathroom area is nice. I really like the tiled, oversize shower. Like the Four Points hotels, the Aloft uses in-shower dispensers for shampoo and body wash. Reading some other blogs, I have found that some people are bugged by this, but I really don’t care. I actually think it is great because it reduces waste. The only thing you obviously can’t do is pack up the extra toiletries for future trips, if that is your thing.

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The desk area is fairly small, but completely adequate. Like a few other Starwood hotels I have been to over the past year, the wired internet was not connected. I really don’t understand why the hotel puts the ethernet cable on the desk if it doesn’t work. This is one of the few things that has bugged me.

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Aloft is one of the Starwood brands that offers SPG keyless. My wife and I utilized this on one of our previous stays, but even then I ran down to the front desk to get a backup key. I did not bother on this trip, and I am actually glad I didn’t because I was given the strangest key card ever. I’ve never had one that is completely blank. So odd.

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I did appreciate the reading material provided. It was right up my alley. My brother in law bought me a subscription to National Geographic for Christmas, and I have really enjoyed it.

The pool and fitness center are open 24/7, as well as the re:fuel grab-and-go eatery. Unlike my other stays, I did not buy any food at re:fuel, but I did utilize the gym. It was decent, but nothing special. A lot of hotels close their gym and/or pool facilities during the night, and I appreciate that the Aloft keeps theirs open 24/7. Around-the-clock access seems to be a major feature of their facilities.

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Amazingly, the view wasn’t terrible. The hills off in the distance had a certain beauty to them, but this was sometimes impacted by the serious haze over everything. Made me glad that I don’t live here.

Overall, I had a nice stay. The hotel met my needs and got me some bonus Starpoints in the process from the SPG Take Two promotion. The features, room layout, and consistency offered by Aloft hotels are all positives. I am not crazy about the branding, but neither does it bug me. The main plus is that Aloft hotels are typically a cheaper  SPG option both near airports and in city centers, and I will keep considering them in the future.

Header image courtesy of Hotels.com.