I was looking forward to trying out the relatively new Element chain, but it did not impress me much. It seems the place is focusing way too much on being 'hip' and not enough on maintaining standard necesities. For example, the room I got had a full kitchen, but had almost no pots, pans, cooking utensils etc. It had 4 plates and four glasses, but only three butter knives, one fork and one spoon. It really would be impossible to actually cook anything in the full kitchen with the supplies provided.
The bathroom had no soap for the sink for my first three nights. When I finally asked at the desk if no soap was somehow the new hip/green thing to do, they said no and handed me a bar of soap saying that they had actually run out of soap and just got a box in??? There was also no trash can in the bathroom, which basically meant that all my bathroom trash ended up in the toilet.
I was also not impressed with the fact that the 'hip' stlye meant that there was no place to put anything. There is no dresser or counter in the bedroom, just some drawers in the closet. So with no where to put things, all of my stuff ended up lined up on the floor along the wall.
The breakfast food was pretty good, although I am usually in a hurry and like to grab stuff to go. But here there was nothing to grab for the road... no yogurt, no cereal boxes, no individually wrapped pastry etc. So if you want to eat, you pretty much have to sit down and eat it there. The dinner was much worse. Each night they put out a hot dish and a salad. The salad was good, but the hot choices that I witnessed were quite gross, to say the least. Mostly I saw people flock to the free beer and ignore the nasty food.
On a positive note, the bed was very comfortable and the pillows were great. The shower was also good. I also really liked the TV channel selection which included at least 50 channels.
But overall I did not really like the place and wouldn't choose it again. I get the feeling that the hotel is experiencing financial issues, which would help explain some of the shortfalls with the food, soap, etc. I agree with the review below that suggests that Starwood should do a surprise inspection of this place, and I don't think it would do very well.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Element is Starwood's premiere extended stay hotel brand. Element Arundel Mills is located next to Arundel Mills Mall, minutes from BWI Airport & just a short drive into Baltimore and Washington DC. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Element By Westin Arundel Mills Hotel Hanover
- Element Hotel Arundel Mills