I booked this hotel through a Priceline Secret Hotel deal and got a great price.
I was overnighting in Miami before a morning flight and just needed somewhere to rest my head.
I really didn't have many negatives at all from my stay. I do agree with an earlier reviewer that from the outside, the property does look a little like a low security prison. The building exterior is very plain, which normally would just look cool, but the fact it is in a semi-industrial area with 8 foot metal fencing with sliding gates to access the property just gives a gloomy first impression. I also arrived after dark and the street the hotel is on is poorly lit and rather grim. As my GPS unit directed me onto the street, I thought that my device had messed up, as there is no way a hotel could be here, on a dark, narrow back street facing semi-industrial units, but there it is.
In the daylight the next morning, the location looked a little better, just a little. Then you realize HOW convenient the location is. The rental car center is at the end of the street, literally a 2 minute drive. Bonus points for that.
It is an airport hotel, not a Mexican beach resort.
Check in was fast, although the check in clerk really didn't converse much with me, just giving me the keys and pointing me to the elevator. I am not needy, but I am used to being asked if I need a wake up call and having the free breakfast and how to access the internet explained. Not a big deal. I was asked to fill in a registration card for my vehicle parked in the outdoor lot... I have no idea if there was a charge for parking or not.
behind reception is a small store, selling snack foods. It was very overpriced, $3 for a small bottle of soda. They do have a freezer with microwave meals in for purchase, but the selection was very poor. I arrived after the free buffet at night and there were no other food options and no food outlets local to the hotel.
The room was great. Oversized, small kitchenette with a microwave, fridge and basic utensils. Enough to get by. The decor of the room was nice, very modern. You could definitely see that it was a Starwood property. I recently stayed in an Aloft and some of the fittings were identical.
I would say there Starwood has three children. W Hotels is the Reality TV Star. All about the looks, image and exclusivity. Aloft is the wannabe hipster and then Element is the Yuppie business man. There is a good connectivity between these three brands. If you don't like the new modern style of hotel, you will likely not enjoy element.
The bed was WONDERFUL. Nice and soft. The pillows were a little soft for my liking, but OK. Internet was free and no access code was needed, so you could connect multiple devices. The speed was OK, but not lightening fast. But totally acceptable for free hotel wifi.
The bathroom was great. HUGE shower with nice Kohler fittings. Enough room in the shower for three people if the urge took you!
There were two packets of earplugs on the nightstand along with a note explaining that this is an airport hotel and as such, you should expect jet noise. And you got jet noise! I am not a light sleeper though so it did not affect my night at all.
The only one negative with the room was the fridge was VERY noisy, every half an hour or so it would shudder and make a high-pitched noise. I forgot to mention this at check out. (Room 555 if the hotel is reading this).
I would advise odd numbered rooms, such as mine, as they have a partial lake view and they overlook the hotel's terrace and pool. Nicer than the street view from even numbered rooms.
The free breakfast was very impressive. Toast, bagels and muffins, a couple of different kinds of breakfast burritios, danish pastries, juices and coffee (Although the coffee was undrinkably strong). It was a great start to my day of travel. Kudos to Element for that. Considerably better than any other free hotel breakfast I have had anywhere.
Overall, I was very happy with my stay and would not hesitate to use the Element brand again, but I understand why it may not appeal to some.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just outside of Miami International Airport on picturesque Lake Palmer, we offer all of the amenities you need to thrive on long stays. ... more less
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