Element Hotels are a room and hotel concept I like. A one-room apartment style space based on environmentally green concepts is a fine model for the hotel industry. The first Starwood Hotels extended stay brand Element Hotel opened in 2008. Six years later, there are only 11 Element Hotels open in North America. Element is Starwood’s smallest brand. The first Aloft opened less than a year before Element. Aloft currently has more than 80 hotels.

Element Basalt Aspen Valley opening August 2015 is in a town on Highway 82 on the way to Snowmass and Aspen, Colorado. That is fine when driving from Interstate 70. When arriving at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE), Basalt will be driving away from the ski resorts. Hopefully the distance to the ski resorts keeps the rates below $200 per night. Ha-Ha. The press release states less than 30 minutes drive to Snowmass or Aspen. Highway 82 gets some serious traffic congestion at times.

An apartment style hotel with Element Basalt Aspen Valley adds to Starwood’s growth in the Aspen ski and summer resort area. Starwood Hotels had only St. Regis Aspen until a couple years back when it was joined by Westin SnowMass Resort and more recently, a second property Wildwood Snowmass. There will be four hotels in the Aspen area with the new Element August 2015.

Element Basalt Aspen Valley will have 113 rooms. The hotel will be located within the new Willis Town Center. This will be the second Element Hotel in Colorado.

Element Basalt Aspen Valley will boast light-filled studios as well as one bedroom suites featuring a fluid design of modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving and custom-designed closets. Rooms will also offer fully equipped kitchens and the signature Heavenly(R) Bed, and spa-inspired bathrooms will feature an invigorating rain shower and dual-flush toilet. Other brand signatures will include a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center, pool and outdoor hot tub, and 626 square-foot meeting room with modular furnishings, a flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology that can be customized to meet any business or social needs. Guests can stay on the move with Element’s complimentary bikes to borrow and enjoy fun and free extras including complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, the signature RISE breakfast, RELAX evening reception, and salon bar carts stocked with premium wines and beers, soft drinks and snacks, available after hours.

Starwood Press Release


Element Las Vegas in HD

I have stayed in two Element Hotels in Las Vegas and Denver. The design was almost identical for the two hotels, except Denver had an indoor pool and Las Vegas an outdoor pool.

element Las Vegas refrigerator and dishwasher

Element Hotels have kitchen cooking facilities and this Las Vegas kitchen had a full size refrigerator.

Here is my hotel review of the Element Denver Park Meadows from 2011.


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Marriott Rewards FlashPerks July 31, 2014 features Renaissance Hotels discounts for bookings over the next 24 hours from 12 noon Central time Thursday, July 31 to 11:59am Friday, August 1.

Marriott Rewards FlashPerks is a new concept from Marriott International offering discount hotel reward nights, discount package rates with added hotel stay amenities and discount offers for merchandise purchased with Marriott Rewards points.

St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel Package – 30% off Junior Suite and perks. Rates start at 525 GBP.

Renaissance Santiago Hotel Package – 40% off and perks. Rates start at $149 per night and include breakfast for two and 20 minute massage.

Renaissance New York Times Square – 30% off and perks. Rates start at $315 and include NEW York Explorer Package attractions discount.

Renaissance Aix-en-Provence – 30% off and perks. Breakfast for two included. Starts at 278 EUR in standard room. I do not see the deal here. Same room without breakfast is 179 EUR and for 220EUR there is a panoramic view room without the FalshPerks offer.

Renaissance Aix-en-Provence

Renaissance Tuscany il Ciocco Resort & Spa – 50% off and Perks

This is another offer that looks like no deal for the consumer. The FlashPerks rate is 170 EUR per night.

Renaissance Tuscany-1

  • Offer includes 50pct off Regular Rate participation in a once-in-a-lifetime cooking event with complimentary souvenir Renaissance Tuscany aprons and cooking hats
  • Stay date August 14-26, September 1-7

There are some perks that would be worthwhile on a one night stay. Then change your reservation to a lower 104 EUR rate for additional days.

Renaissance Tuscany 2

Same room without FlexPerks culinary perks is only 104 EUR per night.

Renaissance Chicago Downtown – 30% off and perks. $195 rate says:

Enjoy dinner and a show in the heart of the city at the award-winning Renaissance® Chicago Downtown Hotel. Up to 10 rooms available per night.

I thought this meant the perks included dinner and show tickets, yet fine print states $50 credit. I doubt $50 buys two dinners at the hotel restaurant.

Renaissance Barcelona – 50% off Reward Nights at 20,000 points per night. August 19-28 and September 3-6. Rates are typically 200EUR per night, so this is a good deal.

La Concha Renaissance San Juan, Puerto Rico 50% off reward nights already sold out in first 20 minutes of this FlashPerks sale.

Renaissance sold out

There are also merchandise items offered for Marriott Rewards points.


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Skift.com is one of my favorite sites for travel industry data and news. Data in tables published in an article on Skift.com last week about hotel brands Facebook page visits reveal Starwood Hotels brands get more customer engagement than any other hotel chain with over 14 million visits. Starwood Hotels nine brands receive more Facebook page visits than Hilton Worldwide hotel brands by nearly 1.5 million visits. Starwood brands have more than double the Facebook page visits of Marriott International hotel brands at 6.8 million visits. Even Hyatt brands beat Marriott brands for total Facebook visits.

Two interesting observations on the Skift piece published July 25 came from my analysis today. I checked the hotel brand Facebook pages and updated the Facebook Visits numbers in the Skift article table.

Firstly, there were some major errors in the Skift.com article regarding Hyatt brands. Somehow the numbers for Hyatt were changed along the way in the Facebook Most Visited Hotel Brands table. The Skift article overview of the Facebook data shows 7.3 million views across Hyatt hotel brands, yet a conclusion based on the Skift data neglected to catch the discrepancy between the 7.3 million and the less than 3 million visits posted in the Skift table.

Skift stated Marriott, Westin and DoubleTree are the 3rd, 4th and 5th most visited Facebook pages. My data shows Hyatt Regency is the third most visited hotel brand Facebook page.

Secondly, IHG brands were not included in the original survey. Perhaps IHG only added Facebook visits in the past week? Anyway, I checked IHG brands and found Facebook visits data.

The table below is my modified and updated version of the Skift.com table published last week. This table corrects some errors with Hyatt data in the Skift table and I have added IHG and Best Western data.

Skift Facebook survey

The Facebook visits data tells a story with Starwood and Hyatt getting as much social engagement as the much larger Hilton and Marriott hotel chains. The data is incomplete for an accurate comparison.

Facebook Likes vs. Facebook Visits

Facebook Hilton

Hilton Hotels Facebook Page has 1,216,950 Likes and 7,821,788 Visits.

Most of the hotel brand pages have more visits than Likes. But this is not always the case.

Facebook Renaissance Hotels

Renaissance Hotels has 958,517 likes, but only 510,983 visits.

Could this be why Marriott Rewards Plus Points dropped the offer for 250 bonus points for a Facebook like earlier this month?

Another problem with the Skift data and conclusions are missing hotel brands due to the Facebook page only showing Likes without Visits data.

Major hotel brands are missing from the table like Hilton Garden Inn and Ritz-Carlton which would likely push Marriott over Hyatt for total Facebook page visits, assuming the page has more visits than likes. Unlike Renaissance Hotels Facebook page with more likes than visits, Marriott Facebook has 2.5 times more visits than likes at 3.69 million visits compared to 1.48 million likes.

Facebook Ritz Carlton

Hotel brands where Facebook only shows likes were excluded from the Skift survey. This excludes Hilton Garden Inn. For some reason, the Skift article did not include any IHG brands. I included IHG in my revised table column. Carlson Hotel brands Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Country Inn do not show Facebook page visits and were excluded from the table.

Facebook Candlewood

Candlewood Suites is a good extended stay hotel brand when you want a kitchen and one-bedroom suite. Come on readers. Give Candlewood Suites Facebook page a visit to push them into double digits.

Here is my revised table update to Skift for the total visits of Facebook pages for the major hotel chains.

Facebook visits by hotel chain

Facebook Visits by Hotel Chain shows Starwood Hotels has the largest market share for eyes with one-third of Facebook visits among these six hotel chains. In the past week Starwood brands received slightly more Facebook page visits than Hilton brands.

Hyatt Hotels outranks Marriott and outpaced Marriott significantly in the past week for Facebook page views. Marriott needs to add Ritz-Carlton data to improve their count.

IHG has comparatively weak consumer engagement on their Facebook pages despite being the largest chain by number of hotels of any of these hotel chains surveyed.

Skift.com – Tracking Facebook’s Most Visited Hotel Brands (July 25, 2014)


What do a couple hundred angry Norwegian Air passengers delayed two days at LAX do to pass the time while waiting for a flight departure out of LAX to London?

Start a twitter campaign.


Norwegian twitter-1

At the same time last week that I was writing about Norwegian Airlines low fares under $500 from California to Europe, hundreds of Norwegian Air passengers were experiencing two days of flight delays for an LAX to London Gatwick flight. Many passengers slept in the LAX airport last Wednesday and Thursday night waiting for their Norwegian plane to depart for London.

Read More…

SPG Hot Escapes this week has 34 hotels in Europe and 37 in the USA. There are 56 hotels in Asia Pacific with 11 Thailand properties, mostly under $100 per night. San Francisco has a couple of hotels with W San Francisco and The Palace at affordable prices for the last weekend of August.

Le Meridien Khao Lak Beach & Spa Resort at $71 per night for the next six weeks is quite the bargain for a beach vacation.

Read More…

There are 22 Choice brand hotels in the vicinity of Oslo, Norway. The Thief, Oslo’s top ranked hotel on TripAdvisor.com, is a member of Ascend Collection and 20,000 Choice Privileges points per night. I checked periodically over the past couple weeks and I do not see any reward nights for The Thief during my trip to Norway in September, or reward availability for any date in any month at that hotel.

The other 21 hotels include 13 hotels in Comfort Inn and Quality Inn brands, two Clarions and six Clarion Collection hotels.

Choice Privileges members in the USA can book hotels in Europe within 60 days prior to arrival. This is an advantage over members in Europe who only can book hotels within 30 days of arrival, unless Choice Privileges elite.

Nordic Choice Club is another consideration for USA-based Choice Privileges members. Choice Privileges members can redeem points for hotel stays in Norway and Sweden, but will not earn points for paid stays at hotel in Nordic Choice Club.

Read More…

You must book by Friday, August 1 to take advantage of Starwood Vacation Villas 1,000 bonus points promotional AAA rate offer at 13 properties. This “AUTOP” special AAA promotion requires prepaid, nonrefundable rates for bookings by Friday, August 1 for hotel stays completed by December 18, 2014.

Starwood Villas are timeshare apartment style properties. Most resorts have a choice of rooms, up to 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom villas. These are good properties for family travelers.

Read More…

This week locals have been talking about how the humpback whales are close to shore and more visible around Monterey Bay than anyone remembers. Yesterday, for the second time this past week, we set up our chairs on the beach and watched the whale show. The humpback whales in our faces at Moss Landing beach was the closest I have ever been to whales while rooted on dry land.


Humpback whale surfaces next to beach.

This woman had a front row view as a humpback whale surfaced about 100 yards from the beach at Moss Landing, California. The woman walking out of the picture heard the fifty or so people sitting on the beach cheer when the humpback unexpectedly surfaced in front of the crowd.

While planted in a beach chair for over two hours, several humpback whales fed in the waters near the beach on the south entrance to Moss Landing harbor on Monterey Bay. Read More…

IHG Rewards Club Last Minute Reward Nights 50% off rates are available for 42 hotels this Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekend August 1-3, 2014. These offers are available for booking at 50% off award rates over the next three days through Thursday, July 31.

Looks like several North Carolina and Colorado hotels on the list. IHG Rewards Club does not mention state location in their descriptions. This list will give you an opportunity to brush up on your USA geography.

Last Minute Reward Nights (42)

Read More…

Kimpton Hotels changed its loyalty program name from InTouch to Kimpton Karma Rewards this month. Loyalty members can get instant Karma double elite credit on hotel stays booked by August 4 using the Kimpton 2014 Summer Fling rate. The special Summer Fling rate is also an up to 20% discount rate.

Kimpton Karma 2x stays credit

The new Kimpton Karma Rewards hotel loyalty program has four membership levels. Read More…

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