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We knew Starwood had big plans for its health-oriented, eco-conscious Element Hotels brand, with Frankfurt Airport getting the first European outpost on a list that ranges from Flushing, Queens to Muscat, Oman.
With Frankfurt opening less than two months from now (September 1, to be exact) comes the news that London will have its very own Element as well, opening in a Boston-esque dual-brand development with an Aloft Hotel in 2017 at the Tobacco Dock area in Wapping, East London. It will be the second Aloft hotel for the city, after Aloft London ExCel further east.
Element London Tobacco Dock (the darker brown building on the right above) will have 77 studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites with kitchens, modular furniture, desks with open shelving, bathrooms with rain showers and dual-flush toilets. We’re hoping the free breakfasts, WiFi, and 24-hour fitness center will make an appearance as well.
Ever since Element Hotels came on the scene in 2008, we've been wondering, "When will they open more?" From the spacious guestrooms (most with kitchenettes) to the eco-friendly amenities (toiletry dispensers in the shower, recycling bins in the kitchen), free WiFi, fitness centers with iPhone charging bikes and the yummy free breakfasts, there's not much we don't like about Element. Heck, even the POTUS has stayed at an Element Hotel before.
Yet aside from the Element in Times Square, there aren't many Elements in the heart of big cities. While that won't change anytime soon, there are several new Element Hotels lined up for 2014 and beyond. Here's where you can expect to find Element Hotels opening in the next few years:
· Element Frankfurt Airport (Germany) – June 2014
· Element Harrison (N.J.) – May 2014
· Element Hanover-Lebanon (N.H.) – September 2014
· Element Vancouver Metrotown (B.C., Canada) - June 2014
· Element Miami Doral (Fla.) – December 2014
· Element Orlando North - July 2015
· Element Flushing (N.Y.) – September 2015
· Element Suzhou Science and Technology Town (China) – July 2015
· Element Calgary Airport South (Alberta, Canada) - July 2016
· Element Muscat, Oman - January 2016
That's right, thanks to Element Hotels in Germany, Canada, Oman and China, Element is going international in a big way.
Hotel WiFi / Manhattan Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Tryp Hotels / Indigo Hotels / Ace Hotels / Andaz Hotels / Element Hotels / Hotel Amenities / King and Grove Hotels / → All Tags
We brought you the 2013 WiFi Report last week, and today we're here to tell you which hotels in NYC you can count on for free WiFi. Here are a few of our faves…
Indigo Chelsea: This isn't the kind of place you go for a buzzing lobby scene or super luxe rooms. However, with a super-friendly staff and great midtown location, you can't go wrong. Rates from $293/night.
Ace Hotel: Sure, there's free WiFi. But with all the action going on at this hotel (lobby bar, Breslin restaurant, shops, and basement performance venue), will you actually get any work done? Rates from $289/night.
Andaz Fifth Avenue: Fifth Avenue shoppers will love this WiFi-enabled gem, where you can spend the day hitting up Louis Vuitton and Bergdorf Goodman, and then come home and play with those awesome welcome amenities. Rates from $432/night.
Hotel Bikes / Manhattan Hotels / Brooklyn / Bangkok Hotels / London Hotels / Australia Hotels / QT Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Santa Monica Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Morgans Hotel Group / Element Hotels / → All Tags
As summer nears, hotels are going to start up with the usual warm-weather offerings: rooftop bars, poolside cabanas, and those awkward tanning concierges. But as far as we're concerned, it all boils down to one question: where can we ride a bike for free?
Unless otherwise noted, all of the below hotels offer free bike rentals on a first-come, first-served basis (that means no reserving the night before!), and all bikes come with a helmet and a lock.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the public bikes at Public Chicago, and we recommend you do the same! Guests can grab a Trek Bicycle and take out for a spin down to Lake Shore and cruise along the beach's bike path—which are just three blocks from the hotel. Oh, and did we mention it's free?
In time for the first shoots of spring in London, £1-favorite Hoxton Hotel is now offering guests four custom UK-made Mango Bikes in the hotel’s colors to tool around town in. Both Sanderson and St. Martin’s Lane counter with equipment from the home of cycling, with Dutch bikes by Public J7.
Santa Barbara's El Encanto Resort has something special for adventuresome guests: electric bikes! The electric component can be turned on or off, so if you don't feel like cheating, you can pump all the way to the beach and back. But when it comes time to head back to the hotel (which sits in the Santa Barbara hills), that motor is going to come in pretty handy.
Sofitel So Bangkok offers three bikes for rent—a number suitable for the cast of Three's Company, but hey, free is free! Head across the road and pedal your heart out around Lumpini Park, the city's answer to Central Park, where you can ride along the Komodo Dragons basking in the sun on the banks of the lake.
For 12 more hotels (and hotel brands) with free bike rentals, read on!
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A new $140 million development project in South Boston will feature a double whammy hotel, comprised of a 330-room Aloft and a 180-room Element. Designed specifically for visitors of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the new Aloft-Element duplex will be located on D Street, only half a mile away from the convention center.
But in addition to cheaper rates, we also know that Aloft and Element generally tend to have a cooler, more modern feel than Westin, and will be able to offer convention visitors a lively place to get an after-work drink (w xyz bar), as well as plenty of fitness-oriented amenities (free bike rentals, in-room gym equipment).
Though there is currently an Aloft Lexington and an Element Lexington, this will be the brands' debut in Beantown proper. Though, not that Boston hasn't seen its fair share of hotel action over the past year. With the recent opening of The Revere and the newly-renovated Langham Boston, travelers to the historic city ought to have plenty of tough decisions ahead when it comes to booking a room.
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Technology has become a fundamental part of fitness these days. Often, at the gym, folks on treadmills or ellipticals seem more preoccupied with watching an episode of Real Housewives than their actual workout. And for many, a 20-minute exercise routine consists of hopping around the living room with a Nintendo Wii controller.
So we guess it's only fitting that Element has stuck to its promise of bringing iPhone-charging stationary bikes into all of its hotels. The nifty equipment was first unveiled in March at the launch of Element Miami. And now, nine months later, the "charge-as-you-go" bikes have been installed in the fitness centers of all 10 Element hotels.
Fitness centers, which, we should point out, remain open 24/7, leaving you no excuse for ever having an un-charged phone—or, for that matter, missing a workout.
UPDATE 12:58pm: Looks like Ontario isn't the only Canadian destination Starwood's got their eye on. Element Vancouver was actually announced last year. However, since it won't open until 2014, Element Ontario is still the reigning champ when it comes to the international scene.
Looks like we may have jumped the gun with that Element Frankfurt news we reported the other week. Not to say the news was incorrect: Element Frankfurt is still happening, and it will still be the brand's first European hotel.
However, before that one opens (2014 is the projected date), Ontario is set to get an Element in 2013. And since Ontario is the brand's first non-US location, this will mark Element's international debut. Sorry, Germans!
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We have made no attempts to disguise our love for Element Hotels here at HC HQ. We just wish there were more of them.
We toured the property back in 2010 when it first opened, and recently had the chance to stay at the hotel while in NYC for a super-quick jaunt. Between the location near Times Square and Port Authority, the killer views from the little but somehow-still-secret rooftop, and all the thoughtful ways the hotel caters to guests of the 21st century, we were won over again, two years later.
Hotel News / Element Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Germany Hotels / Frankfurt Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / Airport Hotels / → All Tags
Is Europe ready to balance itself out?
This week it was announced that Element, the brand that once gave out free rooms to guests who showed up with recyclable plastic bottles, is finally making the move across the pond. Starting with...Frankfurt, Germany. Though from the sound of it, Starwood is just scratching the surface, as it plans to embark on a full-blown European expansion of the eco-conscious brand.
Hope those Germans have a soft spot for smoothie stations and healthy breakfast wraps!
Hotel Bicycles / Hotel Bikes / Kimpton Hotels / Chicago Hotels / Element Hotels / Facebook / Hotel Contests / → All Tags
On Friday, we showed you Five Hotel Bikes to Ride This Summer but today, we've got two more cruisers for you to check out when you check-in.
The Allegro Hotel in Chicago, a Kimpton Hotel, has partnered with the Pedal Power charity for a special "Bike This Town" package which includes deluxe accommodations, a three-hour bike reservation for two guests, picnic lunch for two, a "Bike Survival Kit" with energy bars, water, sunscreen and cyclometers as well as a $1 donation to the local Pedal Power charity, run by 12-year-old Nicole Basil which aims to refurbish used bikes and donate them to honor roll kids in Chicago's public schools.
Not down to stay at the Allegro? The package is also available at Kimpton's other Chicago hotels--Hotel Monaco, Hotel Palomar and Hotel Burnham. Mention the rate code BIKE when booking. The package is available through September 30, 2012.
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There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Mandarin Oriental Milan is coming in 2013: The luxury brand, Mandarin Oriental have long had their eyes set on Italy but now we've got word that the MO Milano will open in 2013. The hotel will have 104 guestrooms including 34 suites set throughout three 19th century buildings on Via Monte de Pieta, a rather swank address. A GM has just been appointed for the property which is a good sign that the 2013 opening date will stick.
· Trump Lands in Miami: It's finally happened. Trump Hotels have officially assumed management of the Doral Golf Resort & Spa outside Miami. Over the next 18 months, Trump will put in about $200 million in renovating the almost-800-acre resort. The place will be fully re-branded when the new look is complete.
But Starwood is reminding us today that New Jersey is also a perfectly nice place to stay when you're looking for a quiet, efficient, clean hotel near Manhattan but not actually located in the belly of the beast. Element, which already has a hotel in Ewing, near Princeton, has announced it will open a second NJ hotel in the suburb of Harrison, which lies between Jersey City and Newark—a less than 30 minute train ride to central Manhattan.