Hotel Review: Element Miami International Airport

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Driving to the Element Miami I followed the navigation tips from my phone, and as the hotel came into view I saw that it had gates around the parking lot and hotel. The surrounding area hadn’t looked so upscale or chic either. I pulled through the gates, parked and went inside to check in.

The Element Miami had been just $90 for the night before my flight, and it was much lower than the surrounding properties plus I wanted to get in a Starwood stay for Platinum requalification. The inside of the lobby was nice, as was the person checking me in.  I had booked a Standard room but was pleased to be assigned an Executive Corner Suite.

DSC04113Lobby

After checking in, I chose points for the amenity as a Platinum, and was also provided with a bag of peanuts as a nice bonus.

DSC04114Peanuts

My room was located on the 5th floor, near the elevator but not closet enough to hear any noise. It was also a corner room, which I always love.

DSC04119Room layout

The living room was clean and pretty large, and had two levels of window shades. One was an opaque cover and the other was designed to be a blackout curtain for night time. The couch was comfy too.

DSC04118Living room

I found two outlets on the desk, so I set up my electronics there to charge.

DSC04122Desk outlets

Since it was a hot day I found the Thermostat right away and set it to a comfortable position. The note just above it mentioned that when leaving the room the A/C would automatically turn off as well as any lights left on. I looked for a place to put my key in so that I could keep the A/C on, but there was no spot. Calling down to the front desk I was informed it was by motion sensors so there was nothing I could do to avoid it.

DSC04120Thermostat

I didn’t plan on using the kitchen while I was there but it was nicely set up.

DSC04121Kitchen

There was a full sized refrigerator which I did find useful for putting a couple of bottles of water in to keep them cold.

DSC04136Refrigerator

The suite included a large kitchen table and would have been a great place for  a family to congregate for meals.

DSC04134Kitchen table

Down the hallway on the way to the bedroom was the bathroom. The shower had wall-mounted shampoo, conditioner and soap which I’m not a fan of, and the shower itself seemed to be low-flow. It was clean though, and there were plenty of towels.

DSC04129Wall-mounted shampoo

DSC04131Bathroom

DSC04133Bathroom

DSC04130Bathroom

The bedroom had two large closets, as it was designed for a longer stay. The air conditioning vents were well-placed so the air didn’t blast out directly at face level.

DSC04127Bedroom closets

The view of the surrounding area was not very exciting but I could see the city in the distance which was cool.

DSC04140View of city

The area the hotel was in seemed to be industrial.

DSC04139View

I got hungry for some dinner and went back out to the lobby, since it had one of those pantry/markets right there. I remembered the delicious salad I’d had at the Hyatt House Seattle Bellevue and hoped I’d find something similar here.

DSC04115Pantry

Everything seemed to be snack type food when I really wanted a good meal.

DSC04141Snacks

I checked the freezer, but none of the options looked good at all. In fact, it was rather disappointing. I ended up getting the car and driving somewhere to get food to bring back to the hotel.

DSC04142Frozen foods

Once I had eaten, I tried logging in to the computer so I could work for a while. The internet was extremely slow. I tried everything I could think of but it was for the most part useless. When I called down to the front desk, they actually admitted that they knew their internet was extremely slow, and actually suggested I write a letter to management. They said they had mentioned it to them many times before but nothing had been done. I wasn’t going to write a letter, and was surprised that staff felt there was nothing they could do. I closed my computer and got ready for bed.

I found the bed to be quite comfortable, and liked the bedside lamps on either side.

DSC04128Bed

DSC04123Bedroom

DSC04124Bedroom

The next morning I went downstairs to breakfast. It wasn’t a feeding frenzy like it had been at the Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach, but there wasn’t a lot to choose from. I did notice that the most popular items were the wraps since they were great as a grab n go. There was one with bacon, egg and cheese, and another with spinach and feta. I grabbed one myself on the way out of the hotel and it was quite good.

DSC04112Lobby breakfast area

DSC04144Breakfast wraps

Juices with ice, fruit and bread selection. I generally don’t add ice to my juice since it waters it down. In Florida though where the temperatures run hot, maybe it is a common practice.

DSC04143Juices with ice

This hotel stay was a mixed bag. The location was about 1.5 miles from the Airport and there’s a free shuttle. The room was large, clean, comfortable and quiet.

There were two things that really disappointed me though. The first was that there wasn’t anything within walking distance, and they really didn’t have any good food options in the pantry other than unhealthy snacks. I suppose they figure guests will be staying longer so they will be grocery shopping, but it would be nice to have had a better selection right at their marketplace pantry. The second was the that Internet was pretty much unusable. Especially these days I rely on having fast internet and couldn’t believe that the hotel felt it had to put the onus on guests to improve it. Both the food and internet seemed to be management issues, and that is disappointing because the hotel staff did a great job of keeping the rooms clean and offering the best service they could, but ultimately it was a fail because of cost cutting at the management level.

Element Miami International Airport

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Good To Go

+ Suite was large, clean and quiet
+ Staff was friendly, and gave an extra Platinum amenity bag of nuts

Good To Know

- Internet is almost unusably slow, and staff is aware but says management has done nothing to improve it
- Nothing is within walking distance, and food choices in the pantry/marketplace are limited to unhealthy snacks
- Hotel is gated, and located in industrial area

How many Magic Stars did this hotel stay earn?

 3/5 Magic Stars
  1. Christian
    Reply

    At least it was cheap. And now you can say that you’ve seen the Miami river (the canal off to the left in your picture). Tough to believe, but the area has actually gotten better. One thing that really puzzles me is if the A/C works through a motion sensor, how are you supposed to keep your room cold while sleeping?

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Lol Christian, I’ll check off the box next to the Miami river on my list of places seen, I didn’t know what body of water that was. 🙂 I have no idea how that air conditioner worked, but thank goodness it stayed cool at night. It’s a puzzle indeed. Thanks for reading!

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