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The Element Amsterdam hotel reviewed – a new Starwood brand hits Europe (Part 1)

This is my review of the new Element Amsterdam hotel.

The amount of new hotel concepts today is overwhelming and, in order to stand out, hotels need to find their niche.

Element By Westin is an extended stay hotel brand focusing on the environment by working towards being an eco-friendly sustainable hotel.

The brand was first introduced in America and opened its first European hotel in Frankfurt in 2014. Element Amsterdam followed in April 2016.

As I had to travel to Amsterdam for my CityJet flight review, I asked Starwood if I could take a look so that HFP readers could learn more about this new brand.  The hotel provided me with two free nights.  As usual, Head for Points paid for all of its incidental costs.

Inside Element Amsterdam

The key point to make up front is that Element Amsterdam is not in the historic city centre.  Located inside the shopping mall Gelderlandplein, it is a 10 minute walk from the business district Zuidas. Travelling into the city centre requires a train or bike ride.

As an extended stay property, the hotel consists of 160 studios and suites, all with a fully equipped kitchen, free breakfast and free wifi throughout the hotel.

Even if you don’t need to be in the immediate area, this hotel is worth considering because it is considerably cheaper than downtown hotels and you get a LOT more space for your money.

If you have Starwood Preferred Guest or Marriott Rewards points, Element Amsterdam is also an interesting redemption option at just 7,000 SPG points per night – compared to 20,000 points per night for the W Amsterdam in the centre.

element-hotel-amsterdam-exterior-shopping-centre

Getting there

Schiphol Airport is about 30 minutes away. I took the train to Zuid station (around 8 minutes) and walked 10 minutes to the hotel. I only found out about the free shuttle bus from Zuid station to the shopping centre Gelderlandplein on my second day:

element-by-westin-amsterdam-free-bus-transfer-station-to-hotel

Check in

Element Amsterdam is literally inside and on top of the shopping centre Gelderlandplein and the entrance is next to the shopping centre entrance.  The area outside is a bit busy at times, however the reception area was never overflowing with people.

Check in was quick and easy and only left me a tiny bit confused when the receptionist starting speaking in German and I didn’t notice at first ……

element-by-westin-amsterdam-reception

My suite

My room was a one bedroom suite overlooking the shopping centre with a fully equipped kitchen, dining table and sofa corner.  It was a very impressive set up – far bigger and nicer than my London flat!

element-by-westin-amsterdam-room-kitchen-table-tv

The kitchen had two hotplates, a microwave and a fridge. There was also a toaster, plastic containers for those who love to plan their lunch in advance and a Nespresso machine – although there were only two capsules for free and one of them was decaf.  Additional capsules can be purchased next to the reception for €1 each.

element-by-westin-amsterdam-room-kitchen

It was incredibly rainy for the two days I was in Amsterdam as the picture below shows. This was the rain-drenched view out of my window  over the roof of the shopping centre:

element-by-westin-amsterdam-room-view-rain

This is the sitting area in my room. The lamp shade is made of cardboard – part of their environmental approach – which you can’t necessarily see immediately.

element-by-westin-amsterdam-room-tv-corner

The bed was a large double, super comfortable and the pillows were just the right thickness.

element-by-westin-amsterdam-room-bed

The bathroom had a spacious shower with a rainfall and a shower head.

Shampoo and shower gel by Pharmacopia were attached to the wall with the shampoo being a combined conditioner. Looking at my hair after I washed it, the quality of the products was pretty good.

element-by-westin-amsterdam-room-bathroom-bathtub

The empty space next to the sink was large enough for my make-up selection.

element-by-westin-amsterdam-room-bathroom

The hairdryer was great with temperature regulation and, for once, no button that needed to be pushed down – yes I will continue mentioning hairdryers. I also appreciated the socket in the bathroom (one thing I will never get used to in the UK) as I believe bathroom mirrors were invented for make up and drying hair.

element-by-westin-amsterdam-room-bathroom-hairdryer

Studio room

This is a picture of a studio room which is smaller than the one bedroom studio I received.  The facilities are identical, apart from the sofa, albeit squeezed into a smaller space.

element-by-westin-amsterdam-studio-room

The Element Amsterdam hotel also provides free bicycles if you want to explore the area the Dutch way – which is what I did.  I really wanted to cycle to the city centre to see how long it took but as it was raining heavily I ended up taking the train. Public transport is very good in Amsterdam but the ticket machines don’t accept cash and you need a credit card in order to buy a ticket.

In Part 2 of  my review of the Element by Westin Amsterdam I look at the restaurants, gym and meeting spaces – you can read it by clicking here.  If you are reading this via our daily emails, you will not have received Part Two so you have to click through.

I made a short video of the hotel which will give you a better feeling for how smart it is inside.  If you can’t see the video, click here to visit the Head for Points YouTube page where you can watch it, and where you can subscribe so you are notified of future videos:

The Element Amsterdam website is here if you want to find out more.  Part Two of my review is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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I review the Element Amsterdam hotel – a new Starwood brand hits Europe (Part 2)
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Comments

  1. I really appreciate the plastic containers for take aways. Kudos to the Westin group. I generally have to carry my own when I travel & stay at accommodation with kitchen facilities.

  2. How long until someone drops a switched on hairdryer into that sink while it’s full of water?

    There is a good reason why we don’t have sockets in UK bathrooms (and no doubt why hotels tend to avoid having hair dryers that be left switched on)…

    • UK is pretty much the only country that doesn’t allow bathroom sockets though …..

      • Both our UK bathrooms have hairdryers. They are away from water, were fitted by a qualified electrician and fully compliant with UK Regs. They also have integrated shaver points. They’re directly wired into the wall – not a socket.

      • the real harry says:

        yep Continentals think we’re a bit daft – one of the best & most logical places for your washing machine is in the bathroom, something never seen in the UK – how crazy is that!

        • the real harry says:

          having said that I was pumping out the water in our plunge pool out at the real harry Towers this summer – using an immersible pump naturally wired to the mains with the electrics underwater – and jumped in to clean the sides a bit lol

          not my smartest move :)

        • Most UK bathrooms are far too small for a washing machine, unless you want to climb over it every time you want to wash your hands. But my spare bathroom has both space and plumbing for a washing machine.

    • You know, it’s quite common (i would say normal) everywhere else to have sockets in the bathroom and have the washing machine as well. In most of cases we were thought in school (architecture) that this wasn’t happening in UK and US for legal reasons.
      If someone would drop a switched on hairdryer here would be able to go to court and claim it wasn’t stated anywhere that it wasn’t supposed to be in contact with water. In the Continental Europe nobody would ever think this possible.
      Same reason why in the US every car mirror has stated ‘objects in mirror are closer than they appear’ so that the car producer may not be sued for damages later.
      Funny but true.

  3. I recently stayed in Element at Miami Airport – whilst not in the best of areas ( it is situated where the old car rental depots were) it was more than adequate for an overnight rest after a LHR-MIA flight. They had the drinks reception with beer, wine soft drinks and snacks and also a small breakfast selection – we paid $80 – tax for a one bedroom studio which for the airport was good value. They also had a free shuttle bus not only to the airport but also the car rental hub.

  4. Sounds like a nice hotel, but I would have thought the whole point of going to Amsterdam is to spend more time in the nice and interesting parts of the city, rather than in your hotel. You say it’s cheaper than central hotels – how much cheaper is it, generally, or can’t one really say? I know that you can get the Mercure Canal District for around 100 euros – sometimes less in a sale – and that is in a lovely area that really gives you the Amsterdam experience – and is within walking distance of most of the sights.

  5. I know I am wasting my time here but in four day’s time I will be staying at the best hotel I have ever experienced. It cannot be bought with points nor does one receive them. Pounds can be far cheaper than points. There are 17 swimming pools on five levels. Anywhere one sits, a waiter appears immediately. Lunch and dinner are available from the stunningly presented buffet or the a la carte overlooking the sea. The architecture is unique and represents a lifetime’s work from the husband and wife architects who were the original owners. 24 hour bars, included imported drinks, included room service through the night, included mini-bar etc. etc, etc. £23 per night for solo occupancy of a double room on an ultra all-inclusive basis. Crystal Sunrise Queen, Side. Sometimes it is best to realise that points are a con.

    • the real harry says:

      big room, then? :)

    • Well done you. If you look a bit deeper at this site, it does explore getting the best value for things and of course sometimes that is paying cash.

    • Probably correct about wasting your time if you summarise with ‘points are a con’ on a website named Head for Points. Its a bit like commenting ‘babies are a waste of time’ on mumsnet.com.

      Are you writing your TripAdvisor review before you go (like you did once before), or this time waiting till after the stay? :-)

      • the real harry says:

        somebody on this site explained how you can buy the cruises for 75% off by going thru American broker – hope you did just that, Tim :)

        • the real harry says:

          not many where you are not expected/ obliged to give massive tips :)

          • the real harry says:

            Zoom to the future:

            It’s 2022

            Raffles & Mrs Raffles are soon to hit 50

            Mrs Raffles got her payoff too!

            They decide HFP will now review cruise ships – hey we don’t do freebies but we’ll reluctantly take an all-expenses 5 week jaunt (or three) as we always pay incidentals, not that we’ll be paying any!

            HFP got sold for several squillion 2 years back but Raffles retains editorial control & can now ban bad posters – ooh er missus

            Next stop Barbados :)

          • Sounds good to me!

    • Honestly I hope you have a nice time – but the pics on google don’t do it for me. It’s a bit big for a start. And we don’t all share the same aesthetic. Enjoy.

    • the real harry says:

      OK we all want to know how you did it for under £25 a night :)

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