Bethesda, Md. — Element by Westin, Marriott International’s longer-stay brand, this week announced the launch of its new room concept, Studio Commons. Blending the convenience of a hotel with the flexibility and comfort of a home, the room type is designed for groups—whether friends, families, or colleagues—looking to spend time together in a more private setting, while still enjoying all the benefits of a hotel.
Anchored by four private guestrooms, travelers can cook, collaborate, and relax together in shared kitchen and living room areas, allowing them to live as they do at home without having to compromise space, comfort, or amenities. The Studio Commons layout debuted at the new Element in Scottsdale, Ariz., in June 2019, followed by Boulder, Colo., in July 2019. Additional Studio Commons units are expected to be rolled out at Element Hotels opening in Sedona, Ariz., Sacramento, Calif., Ontario, Calif., and Minneapolis, Minn., within the next year. Studio Commons is slated to be featured at all new Element Hotels signed after the first quarter of 2017.
Element Hotels’ Studio Commons packages are designed to encourage quality time among guests and their circle of friends, family, and colleagues, ultimately bringing them closer together to form a bond through group travel experiences. The packages currently available at Element Boulder Superior include: the Community Cares package, through which guests volunteer at a local animal shelter and a donation is made in the group’s name; Get Cooking, which includes an interactive cooking class in the space’s fully-equipped kitchen that is led by a local culinary expert; and Explore the Great Outdoors, which allows groups to opt for a day of team building while connecting with nature through outdoor adventures in the Southern Rocky Mountains’ Front Range, including horseback riding, hiking, or zip lining, depending on the group’s preferences.
“We all know that humans are inherently wired for connection. As a brand that has always been focused on helping travelers stay in their element while fostering a sense of community, Element Hotels’ new communal room concept enables travelers to come together and celebrate what’s most important to them—the relationships in their lives,” said Toni Stoeckl, global brand leader, Element Hotels, and vice president, distinctive select brands, Marriott International. “Whether you’re taking part in a group bike ride or cooking a meal with your group in our fully equipped in-room kitchen, we hope this will give all our guests the chance to slow down, reconnect with the ones who matter and remind themselves about what they value as important.”
Prior to this official roll-out, Element Hotels piloted its Studio Commons concept at Marriott’s first-ever pop-up innovation lab in Downtown Los Angeles. The interactive model hotel experience allowed the brand to crowdsource real-time feedback from industry professionals, hotel guests, associates, and the general public.
“Element Hotels is always looking for ways to continue to innovate in the longer-stay space, so this new design concept is an exciting next step for the brand,” said Aliya Khan, vice president of design, global design strategies, Marriott International. “Through our research we learned that Element’s guests value being able to replicate their home environment while traveling, so separating their sleep and work spaces were particularly important with this new offering.”
Element’s Studio Commons communal rooms are designed to appeal to a variety of different needs throughout the year—whether that be friends and families traveling together to celebrate special events such as a family reunion, graduation, birthday celebration, or a bachelor/bachelorette party, or coworkers looking to collaborate on a project. The Studio Commons communal spaces range from 600 to 650 square feet, while each of the four adjacent guestrooms range from 250 to 280 square feet.