My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting.
- Lobby & Check-in
- Hotel Space / Ambiance
- Food & Drink
HIGHLIGHTS: Element Miami Doral
After the travesty of my previous experience I needed a new hotel. Having never stayed at an Element Hotel before, this was an easy decision. This place is clean, has great, strong, connected internet, an interesting breakfast spread, and good service. I was very pleased with this stay, with a couple minor hardware issues. Element being part of the soon-to-be-defunct Starwood chain was also a big part of it, as I plan to return to being a Starwood / Marriott loyalist.
LOBBY & CHECK-IN
This property is located next to an Aloft, much like the Aloft–Westin pairings found near many airports. Their main entrance is a nondescript slide door, and I couldn’t find exterior signage anywhere. Checkin is located directly to the right – so don’t get dropped off at the aloft or in the middle of the parking lot and have to walk through the pool area, lounge area, to make it. They forgot to ask if I wanted a drink or points, so I was able to get points the next day. This property also participates in green choice so you can earn 250 Starpoints per night you decline housekeeping service.
There is also a small pantry area behind the checkin desk with a variety of drinks, foods, and amenities for delivery by their special robot. Sounds amazingly cool and I got to see it in action (not for me, but as it exited the elevator and made its way back to the charging station in the lobby.
They upgraded me to a 1 bedroom suite, complete with full en-suite kitchen, living room desk. Internet was a brisk 30mb/s and, save one instance of cutting out, was flawless. It was easily fixed by resetting the wifi on my computer. I am so impressed with this property and room, It’s clean, modern, simplistic.
Small hardware issues were the phone not working, and the air conditioning randomly turning on. The engineers who came by simply turned off the air conditioning through the circuit breaker, and I told them not to worry about the phone.
HOTEL SPACE / AMBIANCE
Close to Dolphin mall, the largest outlet mall in Florida, this property has a complimentary shuttle at 10, 3, and 8 every day. I did not use it as those times did not work for me, but it’s a quick 10 minute ride, about ~$7 via Lyft. This hotel caters mostly to families who I saw at breakfast, as well as airline pilots, as it also has a shuttle to the airport, which takes roughly 30 minutes according to the hotel staff.
FOOD & DRINK
They gave me two drink tickets after asking nicely, redeemable at the WXYZ bar in the Aloft hotel next door. Delicious craft beers and exciting conversation was had with Marriott employees teaching me the tips and tricks of their chain.
Breakfast was interesting – with a special pancake making station, and some type of egg qiche with tomatoes. Not great, but definitely different, and not bad either.
Their gym is like a small Re:charge in an Aloft, with maybe a dozen machines, weight rack, medicine balls, etc. There was also a very cool bike that charges your devices as you pedal. Interesting concept.
It was such a refreshing change of pace to stay at a clean, functional, serviceable hotel. Enjoyable to say the least. I hope to come back soon and experience more of the Element chain. Perhaps next time I’ll be at the Element near the airport.
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