November 11, 2009 // Franchising.com // White Plains, NY – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) and its new eco-chic brand, Element Hotels, today announced a partnership with Nintendo to provide Nintendo DS™ systems pre-loaded with Personal Trainer™: Cooking software to hotel guests. The software, which acts as an interactive culinary coach, makes it easy for travelers to choose recipes, prepare shopping lists and cook meals in the comfort of their fully equipped in-suite kitchens. This is the latest in a series of initiatives being launched by Element Hotels to cater to eco- and health-conscious travelers looking to maintain a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle on the road.
Guests at all Element hotels have the option of checking out a complimentary hand-held Nintendo DS system that comes with a copy of the Personal Trainer: Cooking software. After selecting recipes based on cooking requirements such as calorie count, cooking time or skill level, guests can view ingredients, watch how-to videos and even set an on-screen timer. The intuitive software provides help every step of the way through voice-led instructions, text, images and video. Users can choose from more than 245 recipes from a variety of regions around the world. The touch-screen controls of the Nintendo DS system let users browse recipes or mark ingredients to buy with a tap of the stylus. If your hands are busy with cooking, Personal Trainer: Cooking also accepts voice commands to continue to the next page, repeat a step or go back.
"We know that many of our guests, especially our longer stay guests, don't necessarily want to eat out every night of the week, but they also don't have the time to come up with recipes and create shopping lists," said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select brands for Starwood Hotels. "Providing our guests with this best-selling hardware and intuitive software that serves up healthy meal options at the touch of a button makes it easy for travelers to customize meals that please the palate in their own kitchens."
To further promote whole, healthy living while traveling, every Element hotel also has an on-site, 24 hour a day pantry, Restore, which features an array of all-natural and local, when possible, ingredients, pre-prepared meals, snacks and beverages. In addition to fully-equipped in-suite kitchens, guests who want to prepare a meal in the great outdoors can take advantage of each hotel's communal outdoor grilling areas. A complimentary daily Rise breakfast buffet includes signature hot breakfast wraps and sandwiches, freshly baked breads, pastries, fresh fruits and yogurts, and a complimentary shuttle service takes guests to nearby grocery stores and local farmers markets, when possible.
Element Hotels also feature a variety of on-site fitness options, including Motion, a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center, bikes-to-borrow, and a chlorine-free pool.
Launched by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. in 2008, Element delivers a no-compromise, eco-chic experience enhanced by comfortable and inspiring public spaces, modern touches and smart design. Element Hotels is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all its properties pursue the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The Element brand's green features are cleverly designed to be as aesthetically appealing as they are eco-friendly, so guests never compromise on style and comfort. Eco-friendly materials are used whenever possible and natural light is maximized throughout the hotels. To reduce waste, guest room bathrooms are equipped with amenity dispensers, kitchens are supplied with silverware and glassware instead of plastic utensils and paper cups, and filtered drinking water is available rather than plastic water bottles. Recycling bins are available in guest rooms and public areas. Element hotels conserve water and energy with low-flow faucets and fixtures, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and energy-efficient appliances. Even the ubiquitous "Do Not Disturb" sign has been replaced with an environmentally-friendly magnet.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 966 properties in more than 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.