This week the Compensation Clinic is (literally) stopping over at Toronto’s Pearson Airport and spending one night at the Element Hotel by Marriott which turned about to be a horrendous night with almost no sleep.
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Usually, when I arrive at an airport rather late, like past 7 pm (in this case, even 10 pm), I prefer to stay at an airport hotel and go to the city the following day.
In this case, I reached Toronto a bit after 9 pm, plus the wait for baggage delivery so going into the city wasn’t much of a question, and I had a reservation for the next day at the Park Hyatt, where I could check in early.
As such, I selected the Element and paid 17,000 Bonvoy points for the night. Their shuttle runs twice per hour, and I found this to be reasonable, especially since the building was apparently new.
No upgrade was available, the room was HOT as the aircon had been blowing all day, and strangely enough, it wasn’t possible to open a single window.
When I shut the air condition off it still had a fresh air vent that made a clanking noise and didn’t really deliver cold fresh air but, again, warm air. I decided to have a technician come and shut it off entirely.
By that time we’re already close to 11 pm. Once the aircon was off I let the door open for a while and went to bed but my sleep, even after 16 hours flying and being a zombie at this point, didn’t last long as the air condition unit made a loud banging noise every 20-30 minutes. The technician explained the next day that this is a known problem.
The next noise issue came around 3am when I woke up from the fridge compressor making a rattling sound. There was no switch inside the fridge and no fuse inside the room which is often the case. As I didn’t want to mess around all night I just pulled out the entire fridge from the kitchen frame and pulled the plug.
I rested another 2 hours or so until it was time for breakfast which was quite decent for a select service brand.
After that, I spoke to the staff at the front desk. They were very apologetic and promised that it would be fixed although fixing the airconditioning noise that originates in the basement it’s probably going to be a bigger task for a company that is experienced with commercial HVAC installations.
It would be great when hotels would get back to designs of allowing at least a small part of windows to open, being unable to have fresh air in the room really drives me crazy.
The front desk manager promised 15,000 points as apology/compensation for this night which she posted manually on the same day.
While this made the night essentially free and rightly so I would have preferred a deep night’s sleep as this was one of the most exhausting trips in recent memory, flying Air Canada Premium Economy from Seoul via Vancouver to Toronto.
This Element Hotel is a mixed-use development that shares the building with another brand, a Four Points, and that’s one of the strangest combinations I’ve ever seen in the very same building. For the breakfast they had two rooms, one for Element with free breakfast and one for Four Points. Usually an owner who wants to operate two hotels right next to each other has two buildings but having both under the same roof was new to me.
For a relatively new property, I think this hotel wasn’t particularly well built as it shows deficiencies everywhere. The elevator also smelled like Marihuana which I notified the night manager of. Being unable to open windows is likely to deter smokers or common cigarettes and pot from smoking in the room – to the detriment of those of us who would like some fresh air.
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