Element Vaughan Southwest, the first international hotel within Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.‘s eco-wise Element portfolio, celebrated its official opening yesterday with a pedal-powered virtual ribbon cutting.
Its opening marks the beginning of a global expansion that will see the Element brand enter key European and Asian markets over the next few years. These include new Element hotels in Vancouver and Frankfurt, slated to open in 2014; Suzhou, China in 2015; and Calgary in 2016.
The grand opening ceremony was attended by local dignitaries and invited guests, and included remarks by Vaughan’s mayor, Maurizio Bevilacqua; Starwood executive Paige Francis, vice-president, Global Brand Management, Specialty Select Brands; John Caneco, general manager of Element Vaughan Southwest; and Joseph Sgro, general manager and partner of ZZEN Group of Companies.
Francis said Starwood was thrilled to bring the Element brand to Vaughan. “As Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to mandate that all hotels pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide,” she explained. Element is proof, she added, that it’s possible for a hotel “to offer a great green travel experience.”
At the end of remarks, a group of Starwood executives, Element hotel associates and invitees mounted bicycles, which were placed in bike generator stands. Their pedaling efforts generated enough electricity to power laptops and flat-screen plasma monitors to create a “virtual ribbon cutting” on screen. The event underscored Element’s commitment to pursuing LEED certification for each of its hotels.
Built green from the ground up, Element Vaughan Southwest has 152 rooms, including six executive suites, as well as 3,500-sq.-ft. of meeting space. Committed to delivering a “balanced living” experience for guests, many of whom are on extended stays, its design features and amenities offer tools to be productive and active as well as many “eco” elements, including:
- Common areas, naturally lit through 16-ft windows
- a patio with self-serve grills, seating and loungers that serves as an extension of the lobby
- modern guestrooms complete with the signature Heavenly® Bed, 42″ flat-screen television, well-designed work space, recyling bins, recycled tire flooring and picture mountings, and soy-based fabrics.
- specially-appointed pet-friendly rooms
- fully-equipped en-suite gourmet kitchens featuring filtered water, energy efficient appliances and cooking utensils
- spa-inspired bathrooms with dual-flush toilet and low-flow faucets and fixtures
- RESTORE, a 24-hour food pantry in the lobby stocked with ready-to-cook and grab-and-go goods
- a partnership with Grocery Gateway for food delivery
- Motion, a 24-hour fitness center featuring Element’s signature stationery bike charging station, which powers up personal electronic devices while guests exercise
- indoor saltwater pools
- complimentary Bikes-to-Borrow
- RISE, Element’s healthy and complimentary daily breakfast
- RELAX, its complimentary evening receptions
- a 24-hour complimentary business center equipped with computers, printer and fax machine
- free WiFi throughout the hotel
The meeting space rooms, which can accommodate groups up to 150, feature modular furnishings, flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology.