The Element Bend was among the nicest hotels I’ve ever had the pleasure of staying.
And for only being open five weeks at the time of my stay, I think it’s only a matter of time before they become one of the most sold-out hotels in Bend.
The moment the sliding doors opened into the expansive and welcoming lobby, a friendly receptionist gave me a genuinely warm welcome. In fact, all of the hotel staff I interacted with during my stay provided top-notch service.
COVID-19 and the Element Bend
This is the first time I’ve stayed in a hotel in I don’t even know how long. I certainly haven’t stayed in one since the pandemic started.
Assessment: Hotel stays in COVID times are definitely different than normal.
For one, I’m not used to other people asking me if it’s okay to share the elevator with me. I think it’s safe to say none of us ever really want to share an elevator, but with social distancing, elevator etiquette has changed.
The other is the COVID-related rules that now accompany every business.
At the time of this writing, there are only a couple of things to note in regard to COVID:
- The pool and fitness center are based on reservation only.
- You can only make that reservation on the day of your desired use.
- Up to 15 people are allowed in the pool area, so you are asked if you’re willing to share or if you’d like it all to yourself.
None of this is negative at all toward the hotel itself, of course. Let’s be real, COVID has been a headache for everybody. I’m just happy they’ve found ways to still accommodate guests and find ways to make use of amenities.
Exploring the Element Bend
The hotel’s “nature-inspired” feel comes through with the open walkways and expansive windows providing an abundance of natural light. The open design of the lobby and the accompanying rooms feel like you’re walking into a life of freedom.
The same can be said of the spaciousness and windows within the rooms themselves, as well. Checking into this hotel felt like checking into a day spa — an intentional feeling that works well.
Hotel lobbies can feel so crowded, dark, and dank. Everything in this one was bright, vibrant, and energetic. It also doesn’t hurt that its proximity to downtown makes wandering the city that much easier.
My Experience in the One Bedroom Suite
I stayed in a one bedroom suite and I wanted to move in the moment I opened the door.
First of all:
Full kitchen for the win.
And by “full kitchen,” I’m talking dishwasher, stove, refrigerator (where I left a veggie tray, drat), microwave, dishes, cooking utensils, the whole nine.
Personally, I’m not super used to that when I travel. The biggest reason I usually opt for an AirBNB when I can is because of a lack of refrigeration or even a microwave in hotels.
I do believe every room in the hotel is equipped with the full kitchens. Even though I didn’t have time to cook on this outing, having the option alone put me in heaven.
Happy Hour by the Fireside
Between 5-6:30, enjoy complimentary beer from two local breweries, or complimentary wine from two local wineries.
The beer scene dominates out in Bend, so I decided to have my first taste from the Crux Fermentation Project here at the hotel.
I wound up hitting eight stops on the ale trail the next day, but that is a whole different story.
Again, the staff here was knowledgeable, friendly, and accommodating when it came to deciding on a beer and getting some information about the brewpubs they came from. From there, I sat down right next to the firepit outside, and I was set.
And on that note, the outside (and, really, inside) seating will be a guest favorite, COVID times or not. I’m sure the outside especially will see a little more traffic during the warmer months, but the firepit did its job well on the chilly March night I spent next to it.
Rise and Shine with Breakfast at The Element Bend
In the morning, you can find a standard continental breakfast available in the lobby.
You can also, however, find a chef who makes a fresh meal of the day.
Everyone receives one meal of the day included with their room. The two breakfasts I saw had me eating a tostada with an avocado mix and an over-easy egg, as well as an egg scramble with fresh vegetables and avocado.
Both of them were impeccable, and the chef was also just as kind and friendly as everyone else I encountered.
Plus, their self-serve espresso machine may have a line, but it’s worth it for that macchiato. Or cappuccino. Hey, maybe you prefer a mocha. Or a latte. Or… well, you get the point.
Got Yourself a Fur Baby? Perfect! Bring Your Dog Along!
Sometimes finding dog-friendly accommodation can be a bit of a headache.
Fortunately, the Element Bend is more than happy to host your furry friends. They even have water bowls in the lobby for your pals to enjoy!
There are certainly a lot of dogs roaming around this hotel (leashed, of course.) I am all for the fur babies, so seeing so many happy panting faces living their best life was the nuts on the whipped cream for this sundae.
It also helps that Bend, itself, is extremely dog friendly. I know Piper had a good time out there with me, and I’m happy I got to bring her along for the journey!
Element Bend’s Location is Absolutely Ideal
If you have any interest in Downtown Bend activities, the Element is in a great location.
If you’ve heard of the aforementioned Bend Ale Trail, you can find more than few within a simple ten minute walk.
Hitting those eight stops in one day was no easy feat, I must say. I may have walked 17,000 steps and ended up passed out in the middle of eating a pizza later on, but it was totally worth it.
If you’re not much of a beer person, I spent my first dinner at San Simón just a few blocks away (and tucked right next to one of the breweries on the ale trail.)
Final Thoughts on the Element Bend
Overall, the Element Bend and Bend itself were the perfect getaway.
Apart from trying to find a way into a lease for the room, I would come back to this hotel in a heartbeat, for any purpose.
And I’m looking at you, summer months, for that purpose, because I want to get out into the Bend wilderness that I missed out on because of the snow.
But great job, Element Bend. You may be the new kid on the block, but you sure are showing ’em how it’s done.