Harlem Gets Its First Hotel in 40 Years

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Don't expect fancy room service there. Like other Aloft hotels, grab-and-go meals will be sold in the lobby near the reception desk, a round space that feels more like an airport information kiosk than a front desk.

Some members of Starwood's loyalty program won't even have to stop by the front desk. Their membership card will be embedded with a radio-frequency chip allowing them to go straight to their pre-assigned room. It will be the first Starwood hotel to open with the system.

The room interiors carry over a bit of that sleek appeal. Bathrooms feature high-end bath products, but there's no stealing little bottles of shampoo and conditioner -- the hotel has more of an industrial dispenser inside its showers.

Besides free wi-fi, rooms come with a high-tech box that connects iPods, cameras and other devices directly to the flat screen TV. Night stand clocks are old-fashioned style with analog faces.

Despite all the sleek, modern edges, the Aloft does pay homage to the surrounding neighborhood. Besides selling Scope, NyQuil, Advil and Colgate at the front desk, the hotel offers a cookbook from Marcus Samuelsson and his new Red Rooster restaurant nearby, copies of The Harlem Reader and Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook.

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