Driving to the Element Miami I followed the navigation tips from my phone, and as the hotel came into view I saw that it had gates around the parking lot and hotel. The surrounding area hadn’t looked so upscale or chic either. I pulled through the gates, parked and went inside to check in.
The Element Miami had been just $90 for the night before my flight, and it was much lower than the surrounding properties plus I wanted to get in a Starwood stay for Platinum requalification. The inside of the lobby was nice, as was the person checking me in. I had booked a Standard room but was pleased to be assigned an Executive Corner Suite.
After checking in, I chose points for the amenity as a Platinum, and was also provided with a bag of peanuts as a nice bonus.
My room was located on the 5th floor, near the elevator but not closet enough to hear any noise. It was also a corner room, which I always love.
The living room was clean and pretty large, and had two levels of window shades. One was an opaque cover and the other was designed to be a blackout curtain for night time. The couch was comfy too.
I found two outlets on the desk, so I set up my electronics there to charge.
Since it was a hot day I found the Thermostat right away and set it to a comfortable position. The note just above it mentioned that when leaving the room the A/C would automatically turn off as well as any lights left on. I looked for a place to put my key in so that I could keep the A/C on, but there was no spot. Calling down to the front desk I was informed it was by motion sensors so there was nothing I could do to avoid it.
I didn’t plan on using the kitchen while I was there but it was nicely set up.
There was a full sized refrigerator which I did find useful for putting a couple of bottles of water in to keep them cold.
The suite included a large kitchen table and would have been a great place for a family to congregate for meals.
Down the hallway on the way to the bedroom was the bathroom. The shower had wall-mounted shampoo, conditioner and soap which I’m not a fan of, and the shower itself seemed to be low-flow. It was clean though, and there were plenty of towels.
The bedroom had two large closets, as it was designed for a longer stay. The air conditioning vents were well-placed so the air didn’t blast out directly at face level.
The view of the surrounding area was not very exciting but I could see the city in the distance which was cool.
View of city
The area the hotel was in seemed to be industrial.
I got hungry for some dinner and went back out to the lobby, since it had one of those pantry/markets right there. I remembered the delicious salad I’d had at the Hyatt House Seattle Bellevue and hoped I’d find something similar here.
Everything seemed to be snack type food when I really wanted a good meal.
I checked the freezer, but none of the options looked good at all. In fact, it was rather disappointing. I ended up getting the car and driving somewhere to get food to bring back to the hotel.
Once I had eaten, I tried logging in to the computer so I could work for a while. The internet was extremely slow. I tried everything I could think of but it was for the most part useless. When I called down to the front desk, they actually admitted that they knew their internet was extremely slow, and actually suggested I write a letter to management. They said they had mentioned it to them many times before but nothing had been done. I wasn’t going to write a letter, and was surprised that staff felt there was nothing they could do. I closed my computer and got ready for bed.
I found the bed to be quite comfortable, and liked the bedside lamps on either side.
The next morning I went downstairs to breakfast. It wasn’t a feeding frenzy like it had been at the Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach, but there wasn’t a lot to choose from. I did notice that the most popular items were the wraps since they were great as a grab n go. There was one with bacon, egg and cheese, and another with spinach and feta. I grabbed one myself on the way out of the hotel and it was quite good.
Lobby breakfast area
Juices with ice, fruit and bread selection. I generally don’t add ice to my juice since it waters it down. In Florida though where the temperatures run hot, maybe it is a common practice.
Juices with ice
This hotel stay was a mixed bag. The location was about 1.5 miles from the Airport and there’s a free shuttle. The room was large, clean, comfortable and quiet.
There were two things that really disappointed me though. The first was that there wasn’t anything within walking distance, and they really didn’t have any good food options in the pantry other than unhealthy snacks. I suppose they figure guests will be staying longer so they will be grocery shopping, but it would be nice to have had a better selection right at their marketplace pantry. The second was the that Internet was pretty much unusable. Especially these days I rely on having fast internet and couldn’t believe that the hotel felt it had to put the onus on guests to improve it. Both the food and internet seemed to be management issues, and that is disappointing because the hotel staff did a great job of keeping the rooms clean and offering the best service they could, but ultimately it was a fail because of cost cutting at the management level.