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Leading hotelier Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) is set to introduce an Aloft-branded property in New Orleans, La. Christened – Aloft New Orleans Downtown. The hotel is slated for a 2015 opening and will mark the brand’s entry into the state.

Aloft New Orleans Downtown, will be owned by Baronne Complex LLC — a unit of HRI Properties — and will be managed by HRI Lodging. Positioned in the heart of New Orleans’ commercial district, the 188-room hotel will be built by converting a 30-story building and an adjacent plot of land into a multi-use complex.

Starwood’s mid-scale and contemporary lifestyle brand, Aloft, has been riding on a high growth trajectory since its launch in 2008 and has already forayed into North America, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, India, Southeast Asia and China. Aloft goes well with the modern travelers who seek a unique experience.

Additionally, the brand’s affordable price point in the mid-market hotel category is another reason for its increasing popularity. The company currently boasts more than 75 Aloft-branded properties worldwide. Aloft has seen solid growth last year as it debuted in various locations including Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Suwon-city, South Korea. Recently, Starwood announced that it will debut the brand in Louisville, Ky. in Apr 2015.

Starwood is consistently trying to expand its global presence like other hoteliers Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Snapshot Report) and InterContinental Hotels Group plc (IHG - Snapshot Report). In Jan 2014, the company declared that despite the sluggishly recovering worldwide economy, it signed 152 hotel management and franchise deals in 2013, reflecting a 16% year-over-year increase.

Starwood currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). A better-ranked stock in the hotel industry is Marriott International, Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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