Aloft Tucson University

 
Old Apr 6, 13, 3:29 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Programs: AA 2MM - UA 1P / Hyatt Diamond - SPG Plat / Hertz 5* - Avis 1st
Posts: 3,733
Thumbs up Aloft Tucson University

SPG has purchased the old Four Points University facility at 1900 East Speedway Boulevard, Tucson, Arizona 85719 and remodeled it into an Aloft.

Executive Summary: A decently done downtown hotel in the style of all the other Alofts and W's and Hyatt Place hotels. A HUGE improvement over the old Four Points, which was a dump.

Points: 4,000 per night as of this review, so it is very easy on the SPG account.

SPG recognition: They were working through the birthing pains of opening a new hotel, and there were ten or so Starwood corporate IT staff hanging around training and trouble-shooting the process. This was because we stayed on the first day, and because we had multiple rooms and used awards I expected our process to be as long as the Asian couple and New York types in front of us, but they already had our keys made in an envelope, and they handed them to us cheerfully and speedily despite the snide comments / passive abuse from the aforementioned guests. So well-prepared and cheerful, but no special things.

Service: We asked the front desk and reception folks for help on a couple of things in between checking in and out, and they were uniformly polite, helpful and friendly. Check-in was still working out the kinks / receiving unfriendly comments from guests checking in before us, but served us with speed and a pleasant demeanor. Check-out was incredibly fast and painless. I rode in the elevator with the new GM Craig (or Greg?) Martin, and he was very welcoming as well.

Rooms: Sleeping area well laid out for both rooms with double beds and king-sized beds. Shower / toilet / sink / storage also demonstrated a good use of space for the small footprint. I wonder about some of the material and design choices in terms of long-term durability in the shower area, but there were no shoddy workmanship issues. Big flat screen TVs, but we didn't use them.

Beds: Not the heavenly bed. A firm mattress and very new, almost scratchy sheets and heavy duvet and formless pillows.

Bath Amenities: Bliss True Blue Marine stuff, with the shampoo/conditioner and bodywash in dispensers located in the shower. Ironing board and iron in the bathroom.

Fridge: A small refrigerator located under the sink contained two complimentary bottles of water. The bathroom also contained a coffee / tea maker with pods.

Gym: Free weights, five treadmills, exercise balls, yoga mats, etc. The treadmills had plug-ins for iPods.

Pool: A tiny fire pool smaller than my garage, but with lots of hipsters and so on hanging around the outdoor gathering area at night, the available space behind the hotel was mainly taken up with tables, stools, comfy chairs, torches, outside bar, etc. for mingling and talking.

Wireless: Free, speedy.

Bar: They have a bar in the lobby called WXYZ which is trendy. They also have a food station / self-serve restaurant called re:fuel in the lobby. We didn't use either, but they were well-lit and in significant use by others. In between was a cubist lounge with square furniture, square seats, square fireplace, but groovy people talking and drinking.

Billiards: A small pool table is also in the lobby. I won no money from either my companions or strangers. Beside the billiards table was another elevated table with comfy seats and multiple power and internet points that got heavy use from people that I assume were guests.

Parking: Free parking in front of, behind, beside and under the hotel.

Driving: The surface roads in the city of Tucson and in South Tucson are in poor condition, traffic moves slowly, and the traffic lights may or may not be synchronized. In any case, driving from the center of Tucson where the hotel is to the destinations around Tucson (Sonoran Desert Museum, Sabino Canyon, Pima Air and Space Museum, Aqua Caliente, Titan Missile Museum, Mt. Lemon, etc.) may require more time than a drive of equal distance in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, so give yourself a little extra time.

Location: Right on Speedway. Traffic noise in the rooms facing the street did not seem to be an issue. Music from the neighborhood or stores on the back side rooms started at about 5:30AM and was audible, although this may have been a one-off thing. Right next to Miss Saigon for delicious lunch / dinner pho, as well as several other places serving food, beer, ice cream, etc. A very short drive to Bobo's for breakfast.

Well done, Starwood, on ridding the system of a terrible Four Points and replacing it with this Aloft. I will never be sufficiently hip to really fit into your Eclectic, Relaxed, Casual, and Abuzz bar and lounge area, but this is a very good option for the center of Tucson.
Wilbur is offline  
Old Apr 7, 13, 9:18 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 37
I would like to go back to Tucson one day and revisit the old main!
willywuua is offline  
Old Feb 17, 14, 9:48 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Programs: AA 2MM - UA 1P / Hyatt Diamond - SPG Plat / Hertz 5* - Avis 1st
Posts: 3,733
Here is a ten-month checkup for the Aloft, based on our stay this past weekend.

Points: Still a good deal.

SPG recognition: Standard, nothing special.

Service: The Alabama Women's Softball Team and the Arizona Diving Association divers were playing and diving at UA, so the hotel was full of young folks being energetic, but the desk staff were never phased or less than pleasant and patient.

Rooms: No evidence of shoddy workmanship issues, everything seems to be holding up well.

Beds: No change.

Bath Amenities: Still fine.

Fridge: No change.

Gym: In very good condition, obviously well maintained.

Pool: Very popular with the young divers.

Wireless: Free, speedy.

Bar: Busy.

Billiards: Still popular.

Parking: I wonder if they have re-striped the parking spaces to add more, as the parking spaces seemed fine for those drivers in a Honda Fit or similar mini-car, but not big enough for a dually truck or a full-sized SUV. The folks driving expensive German sports cars were also taking up two spots to prevent door rash.

Driving: Campbell Road has been resurfaced, otherwise the roads are still pretty rough.

Location: Hotel has not moved.

Again, well done Starwood on capturing a central location with a well-run hotel.
Wilbur is offline  
Old Feb 17, 14, 2:57 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: STL
Programs: MR Plat Premier, IHG Spire, Hilton Diamond, Southwest CP
Posts: 623
Great update - I may have to stay here from now on instead of the Marriott University Park. (although that is incredibly close to Gentle Ben's...my favorite haunt on campus)
arizonawildcat is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: