Am I the Only Guest at The Element Frankfurt Airport?
I went to great lengths to be able to fly Lufthansa’s First Class product from Frankfurt to the US. I even went as far as to fly on a red-eye in coach across the Atlantic (actually wasn’t that bad). I also spent way too much on an airport lounge sleeping room and was blessed with SSSS on my flight between Frankfurt and New York. Additionally, I had to fly Lufthansa economy between London and Frankfurt and then stay at a hotel near the airport. Honestly, it hasn’t been bad at all, just very tiring.
When I arrived in Frankfurt, all I wanted to do was get to my hotel. I needed sleep bad! After clearing customs and immigration, I waited for a half hour with fifty other passengers for the shared hotel shuttle.
I booked a room at the Element Frankfurt Airport. The rate was under $100 USD and as an SPG elite, an Element Hotel with a free shuttle is a no-brainer. My only concern about my stay at the Element was a long line to check-in to the hotel. The shared airport shuttle (shared between roughly four airport hotels) was packed to the gills. This was super concerning. After the first two stops, only a handful of passengers had gotten of the shuttle. I expected that when we reached the Element, fifty percent of the massive hotel shuttle would flee the bus for the hotel. A few minutes after departing the Holiday Inn, we reached the dimly lit Element Hotel. I got ready to fight the crowd. As the doors opened I jumped from my seat, but no one followed. I was the only guest to check-in.
The Lobby Resembled a Scene from an Apocalyptic Movie
This was just the beginning of my bizarre stay at the Element Frankfurt Airport. As I approached the hotel, I noticed that not a single light was on in any guest room. It was approaching ten o’clock at night, however, I still expected to see some signs of life. I got closer and closer to the hotel and realized that even part of the lobby was dark. I entered the lobby and made my way to the check-in desk. However, no one was there. I rang the bell at the desk and waited. Three minutes passed and no one came. I rang the bell again, no one came. Finally, nearly ten minutes passed and a single hotel employee came running up to the desk.
I’ll save details for the actual review but this guy was just weird, to say the least. There might have been a culture or communication barrier between us still, the way in which the hotel agent moved and spoke was just awkward. I also enquired about where I could get something to eat to which he responded, “the airport.” Everything nearby was closed including the hotel’s on-site restaurant. I managed to get a pizza delivered but that’s beside the point.
As I walked to the bank of elevators, it became even more evident that I was one of the only guests (if not the only guest) at this hotel. When I reached the seventh floor, I was surprised as the entire floor was pitch black. It was eerie and even scary. Finally, I walked out into the dark abyss and the floor lit up. The sound of soft rock music and the site of bright LED lights filled the hallways which obviously hadn’t seen a guest in hours maybe days.
I quickly made my way to my room and closed the door behind me. I would have to call down to the front desk multiple times that night for various reasons. Each time I called down, I would have to call a minimum of three times in order to reach the front desk. When I asked to have an outlet adapter delivered to my room, I was informed that I should come down to get it. That’s bizarre. Hotel employees rarely make guests come down to the front desk to grab their amenities.
When I returned to the seventh floor, I roamed around the hallway. There wasn’t a peep from any room. The motion activated lights lit up as I walked into different hallways. When I returned to my room, I watched as another hotel shuttle pulled up to the hotel. Not a single passenger got off when it pulled up to the Element.
After a fantastic night’s sleep, I went down to the lobby around 8 AM for the complimentary breakfast buffet. For the majority of my time at the restaurant, I was the only guest dining. It wasn’t until a family of five came down to eat. I guess I wasn’t the only guest at the hotel.
Another indication that I was close to the only guest at the hotel was the type of room upgrade I received. As an SPG Gold member, I receive upgrades to preferred or upgraded rooms but rarely suites. This time, however, I was upgraded to one of the nicest rooms at the hotel. This indicates two things. One, there weren’t any other elites staying at the hotel to claim the suites and two, they didn’t sell many suites that night. If some measly SPG Gold member can be upgraded to one of the nicest room at the hotel, there’s something up.
I’m looking forward to reviewing this property. My stay has been fantastic but very strange. I later learned that the hotel was occupied by roughly thirty guests last night. That doesn’t mean they sold thirty rooms, it just means there are thirty guests total staying at the hotel. For a hotel with over a hundred guest rooms, thirty guests is insane. The front desk agent assured me that this is rare and that I should, “see the weeknight crowd.” I’ll take his word for it. Still, I feel like I’m the only guest at this hotel and I love it.
Have you ever stayed at a hotel with just a few rooms occupied? Is this a bad sign for the Element Frankfurt Hotel?