A newly rebuilt and rebranded hotel across the street from the University of Arizona is quickly booking meetings and conferences, and is already full for parents weekend this fall.
The staff at Aloft Tucson University, 1900 E. Speedway, is putting the finishing touches on the 154-room, seven-story hotel. The 75 employees are undergoing training in preparation for the April 4 opening, said Craig Martin, the general manager.
The latest makeover of the 42-year-old hotel involved gutting the building, tearing down the adjacent conference room and moving the swimming pool.
In the lobby, the circular check-in desk will have panels that change with the seasons - as will the pillows and decor in the bar and lounge area, known as "w xyz" Martin said.
Artwork by local artists will hang in the lobby and rotate seasonally, he said.
"It gives us a chance to touch the community," Martin said.
Room service will not be available at first, he said, but will be added in the future. A first-floor kitchen offers breakfast, lunch and dinner options for dining in the lounge or to go up to a room.
The hotel's "backyard" has funky furniture and lighting and aims to be a hangout spot for young professionals, Martin said.
Up to 120 people can take a seat in the executive conference room, available for large meetings or presentations. Wi-Fi is available propertywide.
The rooms are about 380 square feet and have one king-sized bed or two queen-sized beds. Rates average $124 per night, depending on the season.
The hotel, owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, closed on April 1 for its latest makeover. For more information, visit alofttucsonuniversity.com or call 908-6800.
Did you know?
The hotel was called Plaza International when it opened at Speedway and Campbell Avenue in 1971 at the former A.J. Bayless market location. It became the Four Points Sheraton Tucson University in 2001 and is now Aloft.