06 June 2010

Blog Tour - Residence Inn

DH has some vacation coming up super soon - he's taking it around his birthday in a few weeks. We're trying to take advantage and plan some fun activities during it while staying close to home to save money. Living here in Port Orchard though, means we're kind of stuck - unless we want to head up via Olympia (about an hour drive) our only choices to get anywhere like Seattle is either by ferry (which sets us back about $20ish each way) or cross the bridge through Tacoma (only $4, but more driving). I don't mind the cost when I can justify it, but it also makes my frugal self want to cram more into each day to make the most of each day. We were thinking of maybe getting a hotel room, so we could do more without having to drive all the way back here and not paying extra travel costs - I know, we'd spend more to get the hotel room than those fees, but we'd have more time for fun things. And honestly? I admit it would be nice to have someone else make the bed for once. LOL ;)

Anyways, Mom Central contacted me this week and asked if I was interested in participating in the Residence Inn blog tour. I've stayed at a Residence Inn years ago - when we crossed through enemy territory into Michigan (haha! My veins bleed scarlet and grey!). It was a nice hotel, so when I read that there has been renovations throughout all their locations, I was curious and wanted to know more. I remembered that they had kitchens, which would help us save money on our little trip. (No, I didn't get a free hotel stay for this - though, it would have been nice, wouldn't it? lol)

I headed over to Residence Inn's website to check out the locations and see where they were located around here. With over 600 locations through the US and Canada, I was keeping my fingers crossed that maybe there was one close to some of the activities we were thinking of visiting. I was pleased to see that they also offered a AAA discount (I'm stuck paying for AAA because as you might know it's a regular occurrence that DH locks the keys in the car lol but that's about all we use it for, so it's nice to get something else out of it sometimes!) There wasn't any in downtown Seattle though, but one in Bellevue - and I love the mall there, so that might work. ;) (It's an hour plus drive for us to visit, so it's a very very rare treat to go there) I will admit that the price was a little higher than I was expecting - $169 a night. They do allow pets, which is something I was looking for, but I will be very honest, I choked when I saw that it was $100 per stay at this location! Ouch! I've paid the pet fee at plenty of other hotels, and I have never paid over $40. For $100, I expect my dogs to be welcomed with open arms AND have their own beds and welcome baskets. (Sorry, Marriott, but it's true.) Yup, it's cheaper to visit the pet hotel in our case, lol.

Here's the rundown on some of the features of a lot of the locations:

-Free hot breafast daily (which saves most families of four at least $10 if you get the bare minimum at a fast food restaurant, and at least $30 if you hit up a place like Denny's or Bob Evans!)

-Free Internet access (a must for most of us these days, right?)

-Each room has a kitchen with microwave, stove or cooktop, dishwasher, and dining table with stools, so you can prepare your own meals. If you're visiting family, or staying longer than a night, I'm sure this is something you'd be looking for, too! It's like an apartment away from home!

-The living area has a pull out couch, and it's separated from the bedroom(s) by a door! This gives Moms and Dads a bit of privacy on your vacation. ;)

Plus, most locations have the all important swimming pool - I'd definitely be looking forward to that as part of our hotel stay myself! (I miss having a pool from when we lived in an apartment)

So are you planning to stay in a hotel this summer? What do you look for? Do you look for the hotel that's closest to where you are visiting, or the best rate? Is there a must have amenity for you? (for us, it's breakfast!)

“I wrote this post while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Residence Inn by Marriott and received a chance to win a weekend stay at a Residence Inn to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”


moreismoremom said...

Aside from the very important aforementioned amenities, I like a hotel that offers Pay Per View Movies in my room.....some show blockbusters that are still in theaters (but not the Marriot in Indianapolis)! Now, that's a vacation!

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

Yes, that definitely is a GREAT plus!! :)