I recently had a business trip to Omaha, which used to be a hotel ghost town for me, at least based on my preferred chains. There used to be a Sheraton downtown, but it left Starwood several years ago. There is a Hilton near the sports complexes, and a Doubletree right downtown. There is a new-ish Sheraton on the west part of town, but its not at all convenient for me. SPG recently opened a new property between downtown and the medical center. The Element Omaha at Midtown Crossing is a shiny new building in a revitalized area of condos and shops near downtown.
The Element concept is quite new, and seems to be designed as an extended stay property, and it would be nice as that, but really, its analogous to Aloft is a cheaper version of W, in that Element is a more affordable version of a Westin. Its not a full feature hotel, no room service, etc, but food can be delivered from nearby restaurants. Element hotels are designed to be eco-friendly, with the intent of all properties acheiving LEED certification. The lobby is a very open concept, and the whole building uses a lot of natural light. The property seems to be designed like an urban condo complex.
I only had a short stay, but various room configurations are available and they all contain kitchens. Most rooms are studios, but they also have one bedroom and some conference suites. It doesn’t appear that upgrades are available based on status.
On to some room photos:
Many people give Westin high marks for their comfortable beds. I am a fan. The Heavenly bed started the branded bedding trend at hotels, and I think its still one of the best. As Element is subtitled ‘by Westin’, they have the same Heavenly beds as at Westin, but typically for much lower cost per night.
Sink with special filtered water spigot.
Bathroom has some eco-friendly touches. Low volume shower head and toilet, plus soap/shampoo dispensers.
Each Element has an rather expansive fitness center, at least for the size of the property.
As of now, there are only 9 Element properties open. They are all in the US, with others scheduled to open in both is US and beyond.
Breakfast is included, which consists of a few hot items, like croissant sandwiches, wraps, plus typical continental items like cereals, juices, and pastries. Its a decent spread, particularly for free. It is better than the typical continental spread at most lounges at higher end properties such as domestic Sheraton. I didn’t get a photo when breakfast when setup, but here is the breakfast bar area:
I enjoyed my short stay at the Element in Omaha. Its a nice, affordable place, and its in a convenient location to my customers. If there are other Element hotels where I have travels, I’d definitely stay there. If the above features are of interest you, I suggest you checkout an Element if there is one in a destination that would work for your travels.