The Element by Westin in Downtown Philadelphia is my answer for 1) a staycation when you just need a change of scenery without the big to-do of travel or 2) when you are traveling and need a home-base where you can relax with your family. This checks the boxes for both options. It’s also a pretty new space! The Element opened in 2021 and was developed by Conshohocken-based Chestlen Development. It’s also very eco-friendly with minimal single-use plastics and disposable waste, recycling bins, and guestrooms featuring carpets with up to 100% recycled content.
Check in was easy and each floor can only be accessed by guests staying on that specific level. Look at the spacious room! The desk, floor space, full kitchen, and lounging area- all just what I needed to feel like I was at home. I live just outside of Center City and work from home full time. Sometimes I need a new view to stay focused and get stuff done. If you feel the same way, the Element will help get you back on track.
The bathroom was also far more spacious than my own and even though I was just staying overnight, there was more than enough counter space for all the products I just had to bring along. If you don’t travel lightly or if you’re traveling as a family, the bathroom got you! Since the Element focuses on sustainability practices, you’ll find dispensers of shampoo and body wash, rather than the small individual use plastic bottles you see in most places.
But first, some coffee. Your room comes with to-go cups if you want to wander around the city, or ceramic mugs if you want to relax on the couch. I got a lot of work done thanks to this set up! Filtered water is available in all guestrooms via a handle on the kitchen faucet too, again reducing the use of plastic throughout the hotel.
My husband joined me later in the day after work and just in time for the hotel’s daily (Monday through Thursday) Sky Lobby happy hour. This is free for guests of the hotel and includes local wine and beer, as well as snacks like bread and cheese. There’s plenty of space to relax a bit in the lounge and chat with one another. We left our four-year-old at home (with supervision!!!), but the Element is totally kid friendly. The kid corner provides games and books they can enjoy while you have a glass or two…
We spend a lot of time in Center City, so I opted to check out the hotel’s dining options and relax in the room instead. Element’s Restore To-Go program. The Sky Lobby does have a convenience store with grab and go food, snacks and drinks, but Restore-To-Go offers a full menu of made to order meals. We got a couple sandwiches and a hummus platter. There’s a kids menu too.
After dinner, we went next door to a show and had some drinks, but staying in with a movie on the king-size bed would have been equally exciting! The 12pm check out was helpful too. I had time to enjoy all of the breakfast options at the complimentary buffet. There’s something for everyone and a lot of it! I personally loved the chia pudding and the fancy coffee. You can even get a handy to-go tray if you’d rather enjoy breakfast in your room.
Before ending my wonderful stay, I got cozy, watched some Parks and Recreation while I got more work done (and had another cup of coffee), and got ready for the day. Though I am downtown a lot to cover events in the evening, I rarely have extra time to do shopping and run errands. I did some shopping, picked up lunch at Reading Terminal Market (a must if you’re nearby) and crossed a few other things off my to-do list.
If you’re staying at the Element for a longer period of time, you can rely on their business services, fitness center, and guest laundry services for daily needs. Their Bikes to Borrow program also encourages guests to experience Philadelphia’s culture and experience its history, art, and nearby bike trails. Another great program offered by the Element is the The Love that Dog program which includes a dog bed, treats, water bowls, eco-friendly clean-up supplies, and more.
I’ll be recommending this to anyone who is visiting Philadelphia (connecting rooms are available) or needs a change of pace. It’s central to so many things, easy to hop on the Broad Street Line or local buses to get anywhere. Most of the city is walkable, if you aren’t already familiar! If you’re in need of some city recommendations feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to help you plan a getaway around the Element.