Starwood brings eco brand to Asia

The lobby at Element Suzhou
The lobby at Element Suzhou

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced plans to launch its new eco-friendly brand, Element, in Asia.

The US hotelier has signed an agreement to manage a new-build Element hotel in Suzhou Science & Technology Town (SSTT) – a new eco-friendly development zone in eastern China’s Jiangsu province.

Set to open in mid-2015, the hotel, Element Suzhou Science & Technology Town will fit in with the lakeside area’s environmental credentials. Launched in 2008, the Element brand’s unique selling point is that all of its properties aim to be certified by LEED – a programme designed to measure buildings’ environmental performance.

The launch of Element also now means that all of Starwood’s nine brands are present in the Asia Pacific region.

“We are delighted to introduce the Element brand in Asia Pacific with this hotel in China,” said Qian Jin, Starwood’s president for Greater China. “Chinese travellers are open to, and seek out, innovative and affordable hotel brands, and Element’s arrival not only completes Starwood’s brand line-up, but also echoes the growing consciousness of sustainable development in China.”

Element Suzhou will feature 190 modern rooms, all with swivelling flat-screen TVs, desks and “spa-inspired” bathrooms with rain showers. Facilities at the property will include a business centre, 24-hour fitness centre, indoor heated swimming pool and meeting rooms, plus a restaurant serving healthy cuisine.

“The Element brand with its trailblazing eco-wise proposition,” said Robert Zhang, vice president of acquisitions & development for Greater China. “We expect this new property to become a flagship Element hotel, re-setting the bar on hotel innovation and sustainability in the region.”

Starwood currently operates one hotel in Suzhou, the Four Points by Sheraton, but is planning to open a further six properties in the city by 2018. For the Element brand, China will become its fifth country, following the US, Canada, Germany and Oman.

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