I’m just going to go ahead and put this out there: I have discovered my new favorite hotel group.
Normally, when we travel as a family, we tend to not stay in hotels, opting instead for self-catering properties like apartments or condos. We choose to do because we can cook our own meals; we save some money by grocery shopping instead of always dining out; and the separate rooms allow everyone some comfort and privacy. Imagine all that coupled with amenities commonly offered by hotels, and you end up with Residence Inn by Marriott. After my family’s recent stay at the Residence Inn Springfield South in Springfield, Illinois, I can confidently say that the properties are ideal accommodations for a family.
Residence Inn by Marriott hotels are all-suite and are designed for extended stays, allowing travelers separate spaces for living and sleeping. Marriott’s aim is to provide travelers what they need “to thrive on the road”. I imagine that the set-up works well for business travelers, and it also works perfectly for traveling families.
Our room at Residence Inn Springfield South was a two-bedroom suite. Each bedroom had a flat-screen TV and its own full bathroom, and one of the bedrooms had a desk/working space. In the living room was a sleeper sofa, a chair with ottoman, and another flat-screen TV. The kitchen area, which was nicer than mine at home, features full-size, stainless steel appliances; a dining table and chairs; and is fully stocked with utensils, glassware, coffee mugs, bowls, plates, and silverware. As I was looking around shortly after our arrival, I said, “This isn’t a hotel room; it’s an apartment!” My mom joined me and the two kids on this trip. When it was the kids’ bedtime, we put them to bed in my mom’s room and it was quiet and comfortable enough for both of them to sleep. My mom was able to sit and relax in the living room and watch her TV shows, while I sat at the desk in my room and get some work done.
Residence Inn also provides the following amenities and comforts to make your stay enjoyable, and to make traveling with children so much more convenient:
- Complimentary breakfast. This is at the top of the list. I don’t know if I can fully explain just how important it is to have breakfast included when traveling with my kids. It’s infinitely easier to head down to the hotel lobby or other designated dining area to eat, rather than try to get everyone cleaned up and dressed and out the door, especially when your kids get up as early as mine do.
- Free wifi. It is available throughout the hotel, not only in the public areas. I place great value on free wifi as a blogger and, as a mom, it’s invaluable. When the kids are crabby and their favorite shows cannot be found on the in-room cable TV line-up, I can make them relax instantly by finding what they want to watch online.
- Indoor swimming pool. Do I really need to explain why this is such a plus? Kids love swimming pools! And an indoor pool means there’s always something to do if the weather doesn’t cooperate. We had the pool at the Residence Inn Springfield South to ourselves most of the time so it was even more enjoyable. Lucia could splash freely and no one was there to be bothered by Anthony’s delightful little squeals of laughter (who could be bothered by something so adorable anyway??). There’s also a hot tub in the pool area and an adjoining exercise room.
- Outdoor patio. An open area situated between the pool area and the lobby entrance, the patio has an array of furniture arranged around an enormous fire pit. There’s also a gas grill that guests are welcomed to use (with assistance from hotel personnel, of course). The weather was beautiful when we were in Springfield so we were able to enjoy the patio and allow the kids to run around a little bit (if other guests weren’t present).
Residence Inn Springfield South also invites guests to attend the weekly evening socials that take place in the lobby. Complimentary food is provided and the theme varies each week (it was BBQ when we were there). For guests that would like to stock the fridge and cabinets but don’t exactly want to go grocery shopping, the hotel offers grocery delivery. One last thing worth mentioning: On a whim at check-in, I asked if there was a portable crib or pack-n-play we could use for Anthony to sleep in so his sister wouldn’t have to share the bed with him. I fully expected to be told no, but was pleasantly surprised when the staff member said there was one for me to use and it would be delivered to our room promptly. It was, and it even came with a soft, fuzzy blanket.
From now on, when planning travel for my family, I’m going to check if there is a Residence Inn at our destination. If so, I won’t even bother searching any further. I know exactly where we’ll be staying.
I was a guest of Visit Springfield and Residence Inn Springfield South. All thoughts and words, as always, are my own.