Chains With a Twist
Two brands are bringing boutique hotels to the masses.
The London-based chain of swish private clubs has begun a major expansion, setting aside some of its rooms for non-members. Industrial design, Cowshed Spa services, and screening rooms are staples across all nine properties.
Newest opening: Soho House Berlin. Guests enter the late-Bauhaus building through a lobby spray-painted by Damien Hirst with a massive shark. sohohouseberlin.com, from $128.
This Starwood spin-off has grown at warp speed since its 2008 launch, popping up in India, across China, and in U.S. college towns like Chapel Hill, N.C. By the end of 2010, Aloft will have 48 properties around the world. Bright, modernist interiors mesh with a Gen-Y mentality: Aloft has close to 15,000 Facebook fans and the first-ever virtual hotel in Second Life's cyberspace.
Newest opening: Aloft Brussels Schuman. The brand's first European location opened in September, next to the European Parliament. aloftbrussels.com, from $110.