Airlines

Mendoza Trip Report #2 – Element by Westin Miami Airport

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The recently opened Element by Westin hotel was our top pick for the overnight in Miami. It was close, it had a free airport shuttle, it was brand new, and only 4,000 starpoints a night! (Not to mention the Hilton had reports of bed bugs on Tripadvisor.)

It only took us about 15 minutes to make it off the plane, determine there was no restaurant open in the airport and we’d have to get delivery, and get out to the hotel shuttle area. It took us another 30 to catch our shuttle.

After about 20 minutes of watching every other hotel van pass by, including the Sheraton which came by at least 2 times, I called and was informed the shuttle ran every 20 min. Hmmm.

After another 10 minutes we finally saw the van. I love the Element’s aesthetic, but it’s delicate logo and thin font did not make it stand out compared to the other hotels, so you have to keep an eye out. We did know though, was that we had not seen that van pass by before!

The driver was extremely nice though and suggested a great Cuban place that delivered to the hotel which would be much better than Papa Johns and even came inside with us to get us a menu.

When I was booking the hotel I’d humorously “worried” about a hotel that didn’t have any exterior pictures 3 months after it had opened. As we arrived, I realized why. A tall iron fence surrounds the whole property, making it safe, but potentially visually intimidating to potential guests. Ha.

Inside the hotel was great, with tall ceilings and a huge common area. We were assigned a quiet room on the top floor overlooking the front of the building. No view, but that didn’t matter because we were arriving and departing in the dark. The halls are hip, but a little eerie, giving the sensation that they stretch on forever like a fun house.

The room itself was great, although reminiscent of a brand new single dorm room. The bathroom was huge and well-lit. The shampoo and body wash were in dispensers (much like aloft) which was fine, but I missed having body lotion. We both liked the toilet which offered a half flush/full flush option.

The kitchenette was my favorite part, with an adorable little stove and Element branded dishes. The rest of the room was standard, even a little plain, but comfortable.

 

Having been warned at check in that the Latin Cafe restaurant would be closing soon, we rushed to place our order, only to be told they had stopped delivering. We went back down to the front desk to inquire about alternatives and were given the menu of another Cuban restaurant and Papa Johns. Fortunately Sabor Latino was willing to take our order and it arrived in 20 minutes. To be so cheap, <$15 for two delivered, it was quite good.

The next morning we planned to catch the shuttle back to the airport by 6:15, so we checked out at 6AM and sampled their free breakfast right when it opened. They had a wide variety of options: English muffins or toast, a variety of yogurts, sandwiches with ham and cheese, fresh fruit, pasties, and cereal. A definite step up from a Holiday Inn. They also had a coffee/tea bar and I was impressed by the quality of the decaf coffee.

The shuttle was waiting for us until we wanted to leave and as we were the only passengers we got a ride straight to the LAN check in counter.

Next: Mendoza Trip Report #3 — MIA-(Caracas?)-SCL

Previous Posts:

Mendoza Trip Report #1 — IAD-MIA

 

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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