WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. unveiled its new extended-stay hotel brand: Element, a brand extension of Westin Hotels & Resorts. The Element name, new logo and website were unveiled last week at the 2006 Lodging Conference in Phoenix.
“With Westin, we recreated the upper-upscale segment in the hotel industry,” says Starwood’s Chief Executive Officer Steven J. Heyer. “Strategically, Element fits into this mold. It is about creating a new category from the ground up. We know that Starwood’s guests are hungry for a new kind of extended-stay experience, and Element fills this white space in our portfolio perfectly. The name Element really gets at what we are aspiring to—a new approach that will offer guests a brand experience, not just a hotel.”
Element will feature several signature flourishes that evoke nature. A multistory window-wall will flood Element’s lobbies with natural light. Public spaces in the hotels will also include a tranquil water feature and design touches inspired by nature. Element will also incorporate an outdoor haven, with a courtyard and patio where guests are invited to socialize and relax by an outdoor fire pit and barbeque. During their stays, guests will discover smart design features that will make their stays easier, from modular furniture designed to encourage multitasking and productivity, to swiveling flat-screen televisions.
“The name Element really evokes the spirit of the brand,” says Sue Brush, senior vice president of Westin Hotels & Resorts. “This brand is about smart design, features inspired by nature, and creating space where guests can be ‘in their element.’ We asked our associates for ideas for the name, and two independently suggested Element, which we feel describes the brand’s attributes beautifully.”
To bring the Element brand philosophy of “a space to live your life” to fruition, Starwood eschewed traditional hotel design shops and partnered with leading residential architect, Costas Kondylis, and interior design firm AvroKO, considered innovators in smart space living. The result includes large kitchens with stainless steel appliances, custom-designed closets, in-room offices and gourmet pantries.
Element is inspired by the Westin hotel brand. Guests will sleep in the famed Heavenly Bed and experience the large, state-of-the art fitness facilities for which the brand is well known. Westin was the first hotel chain to go smoke-free in North America, and every Element hotel will open smoke-free as well. Other touches will remind guests of Westin, from the signature scent in Element lobbies to the renewing touches spread throughout the hotel.
One million Starwood guests stayed in an extended stay hotel in the last year, enough to support more than 150 Element hotels nationwide. As a result, even before its name was unveiled, Element has been attracting significant developer interest. In fact, Starwood anticipates that there will be 500 Element hotels worldwide. Plans call for the first Element to open in Lexington, Massachusetts in early 2008.
The Element growth strategy targets locations in proven markets—urban centers, corporate business parks, airports, resorts and lifestyle centers. The brand will be introduced in major destinations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America, and North America.
Go to Element.