by: Ilya Vedrashko
Starwood Hotels and Resorts has been building an SL model of its upcoming Aloft hotel and last week the word got out that the place was open for visitors.
Since the company itself has been blogging in great detail about the project's progress at virtualaloft.com and YesButNoButYes beat me by a week to the pictures, I'll only write about a few small things I found peculiar about this particular branded build.
There are quite a few floors in the hotel but the elevators are not running (the button looked pushed). I don't think you can really go up beyond the first floor at all. Wonder what the empty space looks like, though.
Another nice touch: a recent copy of the SL Business magazine.
Interesting choice of magazine textures: Ready Made and Real Simple (both fixer-upper magazines). Besides, the guy who lives next door wears the same shirt. Or maybe this guy booked two rooms. Or maybe Aloft gives away Gap-looking shirts as pajamas.
If you read Business Week, you'll find out that "for Starwood, opening aloft in Second Life is a way to test-market the hotel's design and rapidly prototype the evolving concept. For instance, staffers will observe how people move through the space, what areas and types of furniture they gravitate towards, and what they ignore."