It’s a little bit of a stretch to say Element Melbourne Richmond is part of the bustling Swan St scene. It’s over 2kms as the crow flies or the travel writers walk. You might just reconsider the bright lights of Richmond’s pubs and eateries when there’s every reason to keep you within the confines of Element by Westin’s latest property.
It seems new hotels are popping up in Melbourne weekly and now Marriott’s Element by Westin has dipped its toe into the market. The brand is known for promoting traveller’s health through exercise and wellness options as well ‘clean eating’. Aimed squarely at the corporate market, the hotel surprisingly also makes for a great staycation.
Sharing grounds with the Botanicca Corporate Park and University of Melbourne’s Burnley Campus the hotel is bordered by lush green spaces and the more bucolic end of Swan St. With the mighty No. 70 tram virtually at your doorstep, Richmond’s buzz and the CBD’s shopping meccas are just minutes away.
Reception areas are becoming more low-key by the minute. Element Melbourne Richmond is no exception to the rule. The staff greet us warmly and check-in is straightforward. The staff may not know our names but are extra-friendly throughout our stay.
Just off reception is the exceptionally homey Lobby Lounge area. Complete with a warming fire, the design is clean and somewhat Scandi-inspired. It is all very Hygge but not contrived. We soon realise the ‘cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life’ is very much what this property is all about. Views over the gum trees through outsized windows are particularly calming. Why leave when you can stay here all wrapped up in cozy contentment?
The outlook is green and the hotel’s ethos particularly so with oversized windows in the rooms and common areas plenty of natural light. The lighting is energy-saving LED and water-saving taps and fixtures. Some rooms come equipped with energy-efficient kitchenettes and there’s no need for plastic water bottles as water is filtered for your convenience. Shower water is also recycled for the gardens. Hallway lights are motion activated and air-con, lights and TV all switch off the moment you leave the room.
Take a walk around the grounds or hop on a canopied bike built for two. Head to the small but well equipped 24/7 gym. The meditation and yoga dome is ideal for a few stretches or maybe a few contemplative moments. There’s also yoga classes available.
Firstly what’s not in your room. There aren’t a half-dozen mini plastic amenities bottles. Instead, Pharmacopia Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash come courtesy of over-sized dispensers on the shower wall. The mouth wash and body lotion are still in little bits of plastic but the mouth wash could be handy in your regular travel toiletries bag.
You won’t find a mini-bar either. If you don’t want to venture out this Element Melbourne Richmond property has cleverly found another way to help you stay in. Wander downstairs to the lobby for a 24/7 snack ‘grab and go’ pantry filled with nutritious and a few less virtuous treats. Cleverly there’s also ice creams to enhance your in-room movie experience. You could Chromecast your Netflix stories while munching on a cornetto on your Heavenly bed. There are gifts to take home or you could just chill with a wine or beer by the fireplace.
Our King Balcony guest room is also decorated in the colours of the Australian bush. The pale mint wall features prints of bicycles and flora shot in the Richmond area by photographer Jarrad Seng. The King Heavenly Bed lives up to the promise and the windows and doors actually open for fresh air.
If you can’t bear to leave Spot at home Element Melbourne Richmond is more than pet-friendly. The canine-inclined can bring their furry friend along because 5 of the 168 rooms are pet-enabled. For a fee, a Doggie Heavenly Bed can be provided along with toys, a dog-friendly mini-bar and Doggie Degustation menu. The bandana is optional but all the most pampered pooches are wearing them while strolling Swan Street.
We didn’t get a chance to have full breakfast, lunch or dinner at Mint Lane. The dining space does do a Rise breakfast before transforming into Mint Lane Restaurant & Bar later in the day. We did do pastries and good coffee for a late breakfast one morning.
We thoroughly enjoyed a Four Pillars cocktail during the Relax Reception. ‘Buy 1 get 1 free’ drinks and complimentary charcuterie and cheese are just another way management gets you to stay put. Between 5 and 6.30 pm this happy hour and a half is extra popular with mid-week guests. On Friday nights, there’s a DJ and the multiple spaces including snuggly igloos to make it a relaxing spot for post-work drinks under the fairy lights.
Cleverly designed to keep guests hanging around is all part of the master plan. Element Melbourne Richmond’s rooms and public spaces are surprisingly serene. It deliberately isn’t like other hotels aimed at the business market. Zen can be a little hard to find out there in the world. Why go out when you can exercise, eat, drink and most importantly relax right here?
TML were guests of Marriott and Element Melbourne Richmond