BETHESDA, MD—Element by Westin has launched a new communal living room concept, Studio Commons.
The rooms are designed for groups looking to spend time together in a more private setting, while still enjoying all the benefits of a hotel room, according to the brand. Anchored by four private guest rooms, 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, AZ, in June 2019, followed by Boulder, CO, in July 2019. Additional Studio Commons units are expected to be rolled out at Element hotels opening in Sedona, AZ; Sacramento, CA; Ontario, CA; and Minneapolis within the next year. Studio Commons is slated to be featured at all new Element Hotels signed after the first quarter of 2017.
The brand released findings from a survey it conducted that showed Americans are craving connection now more than ever before and are seeking out alternative ways in which to bring their family, friends and colleagues together for quality time through shared experiences. Some of the findings included the following:
- More than a quarter of Americans (27%) live in a different city than their childhood or college friends and family and depend on trips to see each other.
- More than 1 in 5 (21%) Americans are in search of inclusive, intergenerational travel experiences that create closer bonds and lasting memories.
- 23% of Americans search both hotel and home-rental options when looking for lodging options.
- 1 in 3 Americans prefer to spend their savings on shared experiences versus materials goods.
“We all know that humans are inherently wired for connection,” said Toni Stoeckl, global brand leader, Element Hotels, and VP, distinctive select brands, Marriott International. “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. 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 rollout, 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, VP 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 sq. ft., while each of the four adjacent guestrooms range from 250 to 280 sq. ft.