Element Denver Park Meadows (Lone Tree, Colorado) - Master Thread

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by MSPeconomist, Apr 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    This hotel is located south of Denver, very close to the intersection of I-25 toward Colorado Springs (the Lincoln Exit) and the #470 circumferal toll road toward the airport. Outside of rush hour, it is about 35 miles or 40 minutes to the airport, whether or not the toll road is taken, The hotel is surrounded by a few new small strip malls (not at all ugly looking), some new apartment buildings, and a major hospital complex. There is also a light rail station (service to Denver), but this would be a long walk. The hotel has free outdoor parking.

    As a Plat staying one night on a cheap rate (AAA, IIRC), I was initially offered a studio room and they when I asked about a suite, a very nice one on the fourth (top) floor was found and offered without argument. The standard Plat amenity of points was offered too. I was very favorably impressed by the staff, who told me that this property recently won an award in the Starwood system. IIRC, it was the third Element Hotel to open, about eighteen months ago.

    The lobby area is pleasant with gourmet coffee available (self-service) 24/7, a breakfast area, and a sunken area in front of a fireplace. One area reminded me of an aloft-style trendy bar, but there were no drinks on the Sunday evening I stayed. There is a business center with two PCs, a printer, and FedEx supplies. The front desk told me that their Wii system was broken.
    Behind the lobby is an attractive courtyard with seating, a fire pit, and a BBQ grill. There is an up-to-date health club (24/7) and a small indoor pool (7am-11pm daily) with salt water, which is supposedly better for the environment. I didn't try the pool as the water temperature was cooler than I prefer and the pool was not suited for swimming laps as there weren't good parallel walls for turns: one end had a curved area while the other had steps the entire width of the pool.

    There's a convenient mini-store with toiletry items and food, including frozen dinners to microwave, forzen pizza, snacks, candy, soft drinks, beer ($3 for Coors, $4 for imported bottles), and wine (IIRC, $16 for a 750 ml bottle of Parraduci) which seems to be open 24/7, although of course the possibility to sell alcohol would depend on state and local laws. The hotel also has a guest laundry room with fancy new equipment. As another guest pointed out to me, a convenient feature is that the machines have a digital display of minutes remaining to the end of the cycle.

    My suite was up-to-date and attractive in a style reminiscent of new Westins with light wood furniture (and lots of white built-ins) and green/tan/ivory colors. Windows had two sets of blinds, ivory mesh and white black-out fabric. Both the bedroom and living area were small, with large high-quality flat screen TVs; the living area also had a DVR. The desk (between kitchen and living area, with decent desk chair) had lots of outlets and a high tech feature to connect other devices to the TV which I did not explore. Living room furniture consisted of a square coffee table and a large L-shaped modern sectional that I did not find at all comfortable for sitting, but it would have been a nice stop for a nap. The bedroom wasn't much larger than the king sized bed and small end tables. The TV was recessed in the wall and there were built-in storage units. The room had all the components of the standard Westin Heavenly Bed.

    A lot of space (open floor plan except for the bathroom and bedroom, which were completely separate rooms with doors) seemed to be wasted in the entry area which served as a hallway to the bathroom and bedroom. There was a storage area (with iron and ironing board) built into the wall (no drawers anywhere except in the kitchen) that had a pull out (dining?) table and two backless stools, with two more stored in the living area.

    The kitchen was attractive, trendy, upscale, and relatively large, although it did not have granite countertops. They were off-white and might have been sealed and glazed concrete. The open shelves contained service for four with stylish while square plates and modern-design flatware. The pots, pans, and other cooking equipment looked shiny and relatively expensive. There was a built-in two-burner flat stovetop, the black glass kind, a build-in large and fancy microwave, a full-size dishwasher, and a two-door freezer-on-top refrigerator. Appliances were stainless steel, GE brand (Signature line?). Everything was clean.

    The bathroom was white and attractive in a modern and almost industrial way. It was clean but not luxurious. There was only a shower, no bathtub, although the shower had a rain shower and also a handheld spray option. I was surprised to see metal frames on the glass shower door. Moreover, and this is my biggest criticism of the property--the floor unit of the shower looked cheap and school-gym-like. It seemed to be molded plastic and was already starting to discolor slightly. There was a hair dryer and three sets of towels, but no large Westin bath sheet and no bathrobe were provided.

    My other criticism, which was not the hotel's fault, was that breakfast was very noisy at about 8:30 am Monday morning with badly behaved children running around and making a lot of noise. Breakfast was a hot (scrambled eggs was all I noticed) and cold buffet. The croissants were huge and decent, but not great.

    Overall, I like this hotel very much. It gave me a very favorable impression of the Element brand, either for brief "normal" hotel stays or for longer stays as is the purpose of extended stay properties. However, be aware that there is no on-site restaurant, only nice appetizers and drinks Monday through Thursday evenings.
     
  2. mikeschu
    Original Member

    mikeschu Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    16,907
    Status Points:
    14,520
    How is the Element brand compared to Aloft? They look really interesting, so much so that I'd like to try one. However, I found that they tend to be a little more out of the way relative to being in city centers.
     
  3. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Element doesn't have the college dorm or frat party feel and these are extended stay hotels with kitchens and many suites; aloft barely has any suites.
     
  4. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    420
    I don't know that I'd compare an Element with a Westin personally. The laminant floors, soap and shampoo dispensers in the shower, pull out bed from sectional couch and full kitchen are more like a small modern Residence Inn to me. My review / experience with this hotel after several stays is as follows.

    I am a light sleeper; actually, I need the room to be dark to sleep. On my last stay at checkin I asked to be in a room in a location other than the front of the hotel. The front has uplights on the exterior of the building...fine. But the curtains in the rooms are those chain lowered/raised roller blinds over a boxed window. So light gets in around the blinds. It can be extremely annoying if you want a dark room in which to sleep. Anyway, I had reserved the largest room available; there are only four of them and they are all located in the front on one corner. Their numbers end with 16. I got to the room, turned off the lights and lowered the blinds, then immediately went back down for another room. I again asked for a room not in the front of the hotel and was told that room X08 would be fine...no lights. It was in the front of the hotel but was a larger room still. Up to the room...no dice. The flagpoles are right outside this room and their lights shine right on the window. Back down again and finally got a courtyard facing room and I'm fine.

    If you are bothered by light coming in around the cheap blinds, avoid all rooms ending with 00 through 16; all of these face the front with the uplighting spotlights. (how is all that lighting eco-friendly anyway?)

    There is a shuttle that can take you within 5 miles. This will get you to the mall or some eating places. I used it three times on my stay and it was great. One word of caution though...make your reservation the night before and then confirm it in the morning. The first day I went down to try to just hop on and was told by the surly guy at the desk that it'd have to be at blah time because there was already a run at my desired time of 7:15...the van holds at least a dozen people by the way...seems like I could have fit in with the one other person. Anyway, the next day I had my reservation at 7:15, got down there and the van was already pulling away. I flagged them down and just got in with the other two folks and got to my destination.

    I really like the managers reception at night. Two to three brands of decent beer, some munchies, two to three wines. Breakfast is good as well with healthy and filling warm and cold options.

    The workout room is good - aerobic and weight equipment.

    There is a Mexican joint that is walkable even in cold weather (I know) but not much else that I'd brave in a snowstorm. In the warmer months, there are plenty of eating options that are within walking distance.

    There is a mini-golf place right next door; never have been tehre.

    I had numerous special requests when I was staying, and the staff took care of me exceptionally well (aside from the surly morning desk guy with the shuttle attitude...I'm used to him from prior stays though).

    As a Plat, I have felt like I have got the recognition to which I am entitled...which is basically nothing at all aside from half the typical 500 bonus points and a different key card jacket.

    This is one of those Starwoods that seems to have a lot of foreign folks working at the front desk...interns maybe? I like it...makes for good dialog and stories.

    I think this hotel is ideal for anyone traveling with kids...the kitchen is great for keeping food cold or preparing it. I also saw several pets so it seems suitable for them as well. The location is good and overall service is good with the current staffing.

    I've been to this hotel about ten times; happy to try to help out if there are specific questions.
     
  5. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

    Messages:
    4,526
    Likes Received:
    8,765
    Status Points:
    7,270
    I've stayed here a few times. Agree with everything posted for the most part. Couple of small additions:

    1. A decent desk/work area in the room. Not the best I've had in extended stay, but adequate.

    2. Much better fitness center than a lot of properties in this category. Everything new, obviously, but also a really good selection. For comparison, they have more total equipment and more unique stations than Westin Denver.

    3. You'll find some nice hot and cold items on the breakfast. I remember fresh egg sandwiches on pretzel bread.
     
  6. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    420
    Each morning I was there (on last three stays) there were two choices of breakfast sandwiches. One was always w/ egg whites and the other varied. One morning it was a burrito of some kind and another it was an egg and cheese muffin. Breakfast is served in a nice open area.
     

Share This Page