DURING THE WINTER AND SPRING OF 2013-14 I FOUND MYSELF VISITING SMALLER CITIES. NOT FOR BUSINESS REASONS, THESE TRIPS WERE CANVASSING VARIOUS PARTS OF THE COUNTRY WITH MY DAUGHTER CHECKING OUT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES THAT SHE WAS CONSIDERING (HER COLLEGE CAREER BEGAN IN AUGUST OF 2014).
IN MOST CASES THE BEST CHOICE AVAILABLE FOR ACCOMMODATIONS WERE RESIDENCE INNS.
On business or leisure RI was never a first choice. I wrongly thought of RI as an Embassy Suites type of operation. I reserved RI only when my first choice was unavailable (for whatever reason).
Now, my daughter is happily in college (New York) - and I am finding myself reserving more and more RI as my first choice, even in major cities.
Why? What am I giving up I asked myself. ROOM SERVICE! (which I take advantage of rarely).
What are the advantages? I ALWAYS GET A SUITE (WITHOUT ASKING) Not a normal hotel suite, but a mini-apartment. I have a table to eat at. A nicely equipped kitchen - a small living room and a desk to work at. Add to that Marriott bedding, breakfast served in a dining room (yes with waffle machines) and if you are around, a complimentary cocktail hour (mostly wine) every afternoon- The only "unknown " is the size of the suite.
On a recent trip to Portland I decided to test out the service of shopping for groceries prior to my arrival. I was scheduled to arrive at the RI around midnight and didn't want to look for a place to eat knowing I would be tired and hungry. I contacted the RI, asked them if they would provide certain groceries. Upon arrival everything I asked for was in the room ready for me.
The next evening I had no plans (which translate into "no local business associate offered to take me to dinner"). All that was necessary (as to work) was to prepare for a conference the next day.
I called the front desk for a recommendation for a family style Italian place (in other words "casual pizza and spaghetti place" ) for dinner - they immediately handed me a menu and suggested I stay in my room as the restaurant delivers.
About ninety minutes later I was sitting comfortably at my kitchen table, sipping a glass of Chianti while enjoying my Chicken Parmigiana.
Two weeks later I found myself choosing accommodation in Chicago - it was to be a 3 night stay and I went (first choice ) to the availability on the Marriott site and reserved a suite at an RI and have been doing so about 50% of the time now.
It should be noted that I have never (as of this date) had a negative experience. Never have met poor service at this brand which are mostly franchises (franchises allows for the highest possibility of poorly trained staff) .
I should also note that I always receive the cliche "thank you for being a Platinum Premiere" etc etc.....
The reason for this description of my new choices is simply to let the community how much RI has (when utilized) made my life a little easier when on the road. It doesn't take a genius to know that when comfortable your productivity increases.
I welcome opinions pro or con of this brand as well as any stories of those that have made similar decisions to stay at RI's more often instead of FS properties.
Finding yourself "not tool friendly" is usually due to your astrological sign!
I would have to agree with your assessment (very scary, but I'm up for it). Most if not all of my RI stays are very very good. Love the kitchen and grilling aspects as well as having a good sized refrigerator for juices, food, wine, milk and even leftovers from a restaurant.
Yes, you don't get all the points as you would from a FS Marriott nor a CL and those are nice perks for sure. I find myself in some locations which don't have FS properties close by so a RI is perfect.
I have enjoyed most of the RIs I've stayed in, but would offer one warning. Some are old properties, with smaller rooms and very dated furniture. I would not go back to the RI in Tucson, Arizona, nor an RI we stayed at in Denver. In both cases, the website photos provided a deceptive idea of the properties. That said, the newer RIs are very nice and we enjoy them.
I agree that there is a noticeable difference between the older and newer RIs.
I had never been a fan until I started reading some reviews here. Then I cancelled a reservation I had for a Marriott on the beach for a RI about a block off the beach. We ended up with a 1 bedroom suite and we were all much happier I think than had we stayed at the M, even knowing we'd have an amazing ocean view. I'm becoming a fan.
Absolutely love the new RI, particularly the Residence Inn Fort Myers at I-75 and Gulf Coast Town Center: Fort Myers Extended Stay Hotels that opened last summer of 2014 and we stay at often.