Overview of the Element Hotels brand

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

  1. MSPeconomist
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    Element Hotels is a new division of Westin which opened its first properties several years ago. There are about a dozen Element Hotels so far in North America.

    These are extended stay properties designed primarily for business travellers who stay more than several nights, in some cases as long as several years. They are essentially fully furnished and fully serviced apartments in a limited service, approximately four-star hotel. In a sense, the entire hotel is club level as a complimentary breakfast buffet with hot and cold food is available every morning in the lobby while evening appetizers and beverages are offered Monday through Thursday early evenings, including wine and beer depending on local laws. (There might be differences across different locations regarding these details.)

    Element Hotels are intended to compete with the best of the other extended stay properties, such as Residence Inn by Marriott and the Hilton family Homewood Suites. They seem to be the most upscale chain available in this category. The quality level in enhanced by the fact that these are all so new.

    Element Hotels exhibit modern design in soft soothing Westin shades of while, tan, and green. I consider the design to be sophisticated and appealing to most age groups.

    The Westin brand is both present and absent in Element Hotels. It's present in the signature Westin bed. However, I was disappointed to find none of the larger Westin-labelled bath towels, even in suites. Another disappointment is the lack of bathrobes, even in suites. (I think of the provision of nice bathrobes as a convenience and luxury that I expect to find in upscale properties, club level rooms, and suites.)
     
  2. boxedlunch
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    Stayed at the Element outside of Denver, CO last summer during a relocation road trip w/the Mrs. and the dog. The hotel has a low-key contemporary living vibe. Complimentary cocktails during the evening check-in hours were a nice touch. Better breakfast than your standard freebie hotel fare (the burritos were tasty!). Frankly, everything about the staff and facilities exceeded my expectations. Granted, I only paid about $95 for the one night :) The only downside I can recall was the shampoo/soap dispenser in the shower and that there aren't more Elements to enjoy.
     
  3. Astrophy
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    I've been to four elements so far and I think they are a good value for the money. I would recommend this brand. The rooms are fairly large and I enjoy having the small kitchen. There are some drawbacks..

    Negatives:
    - Very low flow shower head.
    - The sensor that will turn on an exhaust fan in the bathroom every time you walk into it.
    - The new elements are going with filtered water taps instead of bottled waters in the rooms.
    - Every single room I've stayed in at an element hotel (10 stays over 4 properties) have all had noise issues from the refrigerators cycling, it can at times be very loud having a full sized refrigerator in a regular sized room.
    - Every element that I've been has ignored the do not disturb sign and had housekeeping knock or walk into the room
    - Usually only one person working the front desk, which can lead to lead to lengthy lines at peak times
    - Rooms for some reason tend to have a higher amount of wear, not sure if this is coming from extended stays
    - This is a huge pet property, expect to see at least 2-10 dogs walking the halls/lobby each day. They have never asked about any pet allergies, I would expect with such a high number of reservations with pets that they should ask guests if they prefer not to be placed on a pet friendly floor.
    - Mediocre HDTV, not that large and takes about 3 seconds to change a channel
    - Of the 4 elements I've stayed in they each have a million scent machines set on the maximum setting, the hotel outside of Baltimore literally started to smell like a pool.
    - Hybrid/Electric parking spot that usually has someone's hummer parked in it =P
    - I don't remember seeing any type of "make a green choice" program

    Positives:
    - Fairly large rom for the price and nice beds, suites are decently priced
    - Free bikes, breakfast, Mon-Thurs dinners and beer, Wii to play in the lobby
    - Great beds (much more comfortable than the Aloft)
    - The gyms so far have been very large and well stocked
    - Kitchen with full sized fridge is nice for extended stays
    - Pet friendly (if you travel with pets)
    - Staff seems more relaxed and friendly
    - Unique decor and comfortable lobby
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    This property has AAA rates around $70 for a room and $80 for a studio.
     
  5. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Weekend rates, AAA rate for a randomly-picked midweek night in mid-may is more like 140+
     
  6. Astrophy
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    I've gotten the Omaha Element for $69. I just call the hotel and ask them if they can book all my future reservations at this rate and have never had a problem.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    Remember that these properties have special rates for long stays. If your company doesn't have a corporate arrangement in place, call the property. You might need to talk to their sales manager.
     
  8. mattsteg
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    Was that after staying with them a few times or right from the get go?
     
  9. mattsteg
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    As a primarily 1-night hopper that particular avenue for negotiation isn't particularly open.
     
  10. Astrophy
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    The $69 rate was from my very first stay to present.
     
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