We happened upon this hotel by accident. I really like it. It's like the wiser, more sophisticated, but more suburban older sister of Aloft's (also in the Starwood group). No doubt that's what they were aiming for. It has the same contemporary finishes and space planning of an Aloft. The rooms have a very nicely designed kitchenette, so in a sense it's more like a loft than an Aloft room. Unlike her hard-partying younger sister, Element does not have pool tables, a lobby bar, or funky IKEA-like outdoor loungers. Instead, she has mid-century inspired furniture, a more practical business area, and a sundry store where guests can buy a TV dinner and a bottle of wine to enjoy up in their rooms. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
This is also my first time in a hotel where "green" is a pretty aggressive part of its branding. My card key has a drawing of a bicycle on it. "Ride!" it says. "You got it!" I said to the card key. Books scattered about the lobby lounge have titles like "New Sustainable Home Designs" and "365 Ways to Save the Earth". But Element is too classy a hostess to be tyrannical about it. She stops short of stocking only toilet paper with 100% recycled content, and the Nissan Pathfinder parked in the space designated for fuel-efficient and low-emitting vehicles was there the whole weekend without being towed.
Joking aside, the property is clean and well maintained. The fitness center actually has machines you'd find in an up-to-date gym. The pool is small but the hot tub is a nice feature and the translucent roof makes the space airy and bright. The staff is still figuring things out but is not incompetent or unfriendly. The breakfast buffet had only sandwiches with eggs, cheese, and ham. They were happy to make one for us without ham when we asked.
The biggest bonus for us is that they don't charge a pet fee. We initially looked at hotels in the area that were cheaper. But because they charged a pet fee of either $50/stay or $20/night, it puts them within the price range of the Element. Though I am disappointed, now that I've read others' reviews, that we weren't offered a dog bed and no one told us about the Wii, I'm still glad we booked here instead.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Element Ewing Princeton is near central NJ destinations like Merrill Lynch, Johnson & Johnson, and Sesame Place. Our eco-friendly hotel has guest rooms with full kitchens and 2,100sq ft of event space ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Element Ewing Princeton Hotel Ewing