So you're travelling on business for a conference in South Boston. You're planning on a five-night stay. Where should you go? The Element Boston Seaport is hoping you'll consider one of their 510 rooms (180 of which are suites). Let's take a look at what they have to offer. When you drive up to the hotel, you immediately notice that it's a bookend hotel: Aloft on the left, and Element on the right. Otherwise, it feels a little more quiet and spread out. Uber or a rental car is likely your best friend. The city in Southie is starting to percolate with the construction out here.
When you head in, you see a continuation of the grass-blade green inside. The name Element focuses on the essential elements of life; namely, earth. Their slogan is "whole living," which is supposed to connote feelings of healthiness and well-being. Greens, browns, and whites dominate the interior palette along with the expected midcentury modern, low-profile decor. In bright sunlight, the interior comes alive. At night, it feels a little less energizing inside.
Besides the abundant seating in the lobby, you'll notice a kitchen and serving area. That's for you, should you choose to stay here. The hotel has a complementary hot breakfast for guests. And on the flip side, there's "Relax" in the evening, where you're entitled to two alcoholic beverages.
Once you've had your fill, you can walk by the conference rooms, gym with free copies of Fast Company magazine, the indoor pool, and the outdoor courtyard that is a secret gem of meeting and event space. Riding on the elevator won't take long, since it's just a six-story building. Rooms have kitchenettes, living-room space, rain spa showers, and ample closets to augment their beds. Rooms range in size from about 316 square feet to 542 square feet.
So, the Element is a solid choice. But does it win in terms of character? Would it be better than an Airbnb?
In terms of uniqueness, certainly not. But, in terms of convenience, the free WiFi is guaranteed. And, most importantly, if you collect points for future stays, you can rack 'em up (or use them for free nights). As a Starwood property, the Element is linked to the portfolio including the W Hotel, Aloft, Westin ... and now even Marriott properties since the merger.
Cost-wise, it would set you back from $179 per night or 12,000 Starpoints for a standard room with a king bed, or at least $248 (with negotiable points) for an executive suite with king and sofa beds. (These are off-season prices; the Boston Marathon marks the start of the Element's season, when prices jump to a new starting point of $300 per night.)
The other bonus of staying at the Element: you can walk over to the party at Aloft across the street, get a drink with food, and charge it to your room because they're part of the same company. No wallet required on that trip. So, would you or wouldn't you? Guess it depends if you have some Starpoints to spend.
· Website: Element Boston Seaport [Starwood]
· Our Reviews archive [Curbed Boston]
Photos courtesy of The Element Hotel and April Gardner.