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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.
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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!
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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.
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It feels like ever since Even Hotels announced their new brand of health-conscious, fitness-oriented hotels, we've been seeing similar amenities start to pop up in other places. Now, Element Hotels, known for healthy breakfast wraps, 24-hour fitness centers, rentable bikes and en suite kitchens, are installing bike charging stationsUnlike Even Hotels and Tryp's fitness rooms, these stationary bikes will be placed in the actual fitness centers, not next to your bed. Because, really, plugging your laptop into the wall is much less exciting when you're doing it in your room.
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When the inevitable happens and you're delayed at Miami International Airport, you will now have a respectable place to wait it out--and even cook up a little dinner. Yes, it's here at last: welcome to the hotel jungle, Element Miami!
Last time we checked, there were no rooms until March 11 but today when we dropped by the website, the opening date banner was gone and lo and behold, there are rooms available tonight, from $169 a night or 4,000 Starpoints.
To mark the long-awaited arrival of the hotel, Starwood is hosting a ribbon-cutting for Element Miami next week--and we hear that Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen and other execs will be using bikes to create 'pedal power' electricity to show off the brand's commitment to green living (though we'd rather be hiking up a volcano to get in our cardio for the day).
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If there's one thing that Miami and hotel openings have in common it's that they both make you wait longer than you'd like. Especially when you need to get permits from City officials to open your doors.
The hotel's website is saying Opening February 16--but taking reservations from March 1. A rep for Element tells us it's safe to say it will be open in 'late February.' And the earliest night we could find a room is March 11, for $159 a night.
It's been a while since we checked in on the hotel habits of the POTUS but yesterday we we were psyched to see that Barack Obama stayed at a hotel that we've actually stayed at before...twice!
When visiting Las Vegas on the campaign trail, Obama eschewed the hotel casinos on the Strip and instead took over the entire Element Las Vegas hotel in Summerlin, about 15 minutes from the Strip. 8newsnow.com reports:
Onlookers were curious as to why President Obama chose to stay farther away from the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip. "This Element is earth friendly, and I think he's trying to promote that on his visit," Carol Bieganowski said.
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Yes, the hotel news keeps a-coming.
After several delays (about four), the Element Miami will open for real in a few short weeks. Just in time for all those winter storms which no doubt will leave travelers stranded at MIA!
While the date on the website says January 26, we couldn't actually book a room online until February 1. There we found rooms for $169 a night for 373-sq.ft. non-smoking room with a king bed. For a studio room with a full kitchen and about 100-sq.ft more space, that will cost you only $179 a night.
One-bedroom suites with even more space and a pull-out queen sofa are just $189 a night. And remember those room rates include WiFi and a hot breakfast everyday.
While those rates are great for a new hotel in Miami during peak season, remember, this property is closer to the airport than the thong bikinis of South Beach so plan accordingly.
[Photo: Miami Herald]
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It's slow season in Miami, so we were starting to get excited about a brand new hotel opening to cheer us up. But, well, what do you think happened? That's right--the hotel got pushed back. We're looking at you, Element Miami International Airport.
Apart from being a not-surprising-but-bummer-all-the-same moment, this news is a lesson in paying attention to the fine print. For while, the words "Opening December 8, 2011" run in big letters across the hotel's website, there is some more sobering news to be found when you click through to the announcements section.