IAHFLYR, I mentioned on another thread that I had a four day meeting at an Aloft in Virginia. I did not stay at the hotel but a few of the other attendees did stay. I can't really say that it compared to a Marriott brand. The furniture and décor was plastic and had a cheap feel. This particular Aloft was not a very good hotel. From what I was told, breakfast was not free. One of the gentlemen that stayed in the hotel was not impressed with the room. It's my only experience with the brand, so I'm interested to see what other Insiders can share.
I stayed at an Aloft a few years ago and vowed to never stay in one again. It reminded me of my college dorm, and was worse than a Courtyard. I guess being targeted to Millennials means making large public areas, spartan rooms, and charge exhorbitant prices for breakfasts that you have to wait in line for.
My wife has stayed at the Aloft Chicago O'Hare twice for work trips. She said she liked it. She obviously didn't like it as much as a JW Marriott, but said it is decent and clean. Lots of power ports, a desk, cool color scheme, and she said the bed was comfortable. No complaints. As far as comparing it to a Marriott brand, there isn't a comparable one. We are in our early/mid 30s so if you are a road warrior over the age of 50, it probably isn't for you.
I feel like the Moxy brand is a copy of the Aloft brand. I really like(d) the Aloft, less so the Moxy. However, from the time I stayed in one brand to the other, I aged about 10 years, so my tastes might have changed. If I had to choose between the two, I'd take Aloft. However, I had to choose between an Aloft and a Renaissance, I'd take the Ren. Aloft vs. Courtyard, probably Aloft or Moxy but it could come down to price and if one was willing to throw in a free breakfast.