BETHESDA, MD.—Element by Westin, Marriott International’s brand that has redefined the longer stay experience with a nature-inspired design philosophy that is clean, modern and bright, is launching a new set of hotel experiences that create inclusive opportunities designed to inspire connectedness among today’s modern nomads and their circle of friends, family and colleagues, both near and far. The initiative celebrates Element Hotels making history with the launch of its new room concept, Studio Commons. The room type is the first in the industry to blend the convenience of a hotel with the flexibility and comfort of a home, giving travelers the best of both worlds while on the road.
The rooms are designed for groups looking to spend time together in a more private setting, while still enjoying all the benefits of a hotel room. Anchored by four private guestrooms, travelers can cook, collaborate and relax together in shared kitchen and living room areas, allowing them to live as they do at home without having to compromise space, comfort or amenities. The Studio Commons layout debuted at the new Element in Scottsdale (Ariz.) in June 2019, followed by Boulder (Colo.) in July 2019. Additional Studio Commons units are expected to be rolled out at Element Hotels opening in Sedona (Ariz.), Sacramento (Calif.), Ontario (Calif.) and Minneapolis within the next year. Studio Commons is slated to be featured at all new Element Hotels signed after the first quarter of 2017.
Study Points to Growing Trend Among Travelers Craving Connections
As Element innovates its offerings for today’s travelers, the brand released findings from a survey conducted which showed that Americans are craving connection now more than ever before and are seeking out alternative ways in which to bring their family, friends and colleagues together for quality time through shared experiences.
- More than a quarter of Americans (27 percent) live in a different city than their childhood or college friends and family and depend on trips to see each other.
- Over one in five (21 percent) Americans are in search of inclusive, intergenerational travel experiences that create closer bonds and lasting memories.
- Twenty-three percent of Americans search both hotel and home rental options when looking for lodging options.
- One in three Americans prefer to spend their savings on shared experiences versus material goods.
Element Hotels’ Studio Commons packages are designed to encourage quality time among guests and their circle of friends, family and colleagues, ultimately bringing them closer together to form a bond through inspirational group travel experiences. The packages currently available at Element Boulder Superior include:
- Community Cares—Guests who book the Studio Commons unit will have the opportunity to make an impact in the community by volunteering at a local animal shelter. Additionally, a special donation will also be made in the group’s name.
- Get Cooking—Studio Commons guests can enjoy a fun night in with an interactive cooking class led by a local culinary expert utilizing the space’s fully-equipped kitchen. Travelers will craft a full-course meal while learning tips and tricks that they can take home with them.
- Explore the Great Outdoors—Studio Commons groups can opt for a day of team building while connecting with nature through outdoor adventures in the Southern Rocky Mountains’ Front Range. Activities can be customized according to the group’s preferences, such as horseback riding, hiking or zip lining, to name a few.
“We all know that humans are inherently wired for connection. As a brand that has always been focused on helping travelers stay in their element while fostering a sense of community, Element Hotels’ new communal room concept enables travelers to come together and celebrate what’s most important to them—the relationships in their lives,” said Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Element Hotels, and Vice President, Distinctive Select Brands, Marriott International. “Whether you’re taking part in a group bike ride or cooking a meal with your group in our fully equipped in-room kitchen, we hope this will give all our guests the chance to slow down, reconnect with the ones who matter and remind themselves about what they value as important.”
Program Piloted in Los Angeles
Prior to this official roll-out, Element Hotels piloted its Studio Commons concept at Marriott’s first-ever pop up innovation lab in Downtown Los Angeles. Underscoring Marriott’s goal of continuously innovating the guest experience with an eye on design and technology, the interactive model hotel experience allowed the brand to crowdsource real-time feedback from industry professionals, hotel guests, associates and the general public.
“Element Hotels is always looking for ways to continue to innovate in the longer stay space, so this new design concept is an exciting next step for the brand,” said Aliya Khan, Vice President of Design, Global Design Strategies, Marriott International. “Through our research we learned that Element’s guests value being able to replicate their home environment while traveling, so separating their sleep and work spaces were particularly important with this new offering.”
Element’s Studio Commons communal rooms are designed to appeal to a variety of different needs throughout the year—whether that be friends and families traveling together to celebrate special events such as a family reunion, graduation, birthday celebration or a bachelor/bachelorette party, or coworkers looking to collaborate on a project. The Studio Commons communal spaces range from 600 to 650 square feet, while each of the four adjacent guestrooms range from 250 to 280 square feet. Guests staying in the Studio Commons rooms will be able to take advantage of all of Element’s signature hotel amenities such as fully equipped in-room kitchens, all-natural saline swimming pools, 24/7 Motion Fitness centers, a Bikes to Borrow program, the complimentary Rise breakfast and Element’s signature Relax evening receptions which include complimentary wine and beer.