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July 5, 2012
I don't think I will ever be able to stay in a hotel again. That is, a "regular" hotel room. After staying in the spacious suite at the Residence Inn Treasure Island, those other hotels just won't do.
Back in May I told you all about Residence Inn by Marriott and how I had been selected as a member of the Resident Mom's Club. My membership in this exclusive club allows me to visit various Residence Inn properties so that I can tell you about them. We had the pleasure of staying in one of these awesome hotels a few weekends ago, and when I say awesome, I mean AWESOME!
We had been planning a beach weekend with some friends for Father's Day weekend, so I decided that the spacious two bedroom suite at the Residence Inn Treasure Island would be the perfect place for us to stay. It was right on the beach, and had enough space for both of our families.
We spent Friday of that weekend at Busch Gardens in Tampa (more on our fun time there to come later this week) and after a long day, we couldn't wait to check in to our "home away from home" to rest up for our beach day on Saturday. You see, rooms at Residence Inn properties are not just hotel rooms, they are luxurious suites that include fully equipped kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, and spacious bedrooms and bathrooms.
I was absolutely amazed when I first entered our suite. The kitchen was nicer than the kitchen in my house! It had a full sized refrigerator, microwave, stove, dishwasher, and cabinets full of plates and glasses.
The best part of the kitchen for me, though, was that it came equipped with a full size coffee maker and supplies to make coffee! (There was even a bag of microwave popcorn too!) I NEED my coffee in the morning and those tiny little coffee pots in standard hotels just don't do it for me. I like to have more than one cup.
The second bedroom and bathroom were at the front of the suite. This bedroom had a queen size bed, flat screen TV, and a large closet.
I was WOWed again when I saw the bathroom! Talk about nice! There was a beautifully tiled walk in shower and a large, modern sink. Everything was so shiny and clean!
Just past the kitchen and the second bedroom were the dining and living areas. I loved having an actual table to sit at. This is great if you plan on eating in your room. It sure beats sitting on the bed to eat, or eating at a small table with only a couple of chairs.The living area was spacious and had plenty of seating in front of the flat screen TV. There was a sliding glass door at the end that opened up to the patio.
I finally got back to see where I would be sleeping, and I was equally, if not more impressed than I had already been in the rest of the rooms. The master bedroom had a HUGE California King bed in it, and after our long day at the theme park, it seemed to be calling my name. Even all made up, it just looked comfortable. I was so happy to have such a large bed in there because I had this feeling we would have at least one little person in bed with us. The beds were very comfortable, and everyone ended up sleeping very well during our stay.
Are you ready to see something really cool? Check out this bathtub! It was surrounded by tile, and I loved the free-standing design. The tub was super deep and big enough for a bunch of sweaty kids, and they had a great time bathing in it. There was no time for bubble baths on this trip, but I can imagine if I were traveling for business or without kids, I could definitely relax and unwind in this large tub!
The bathroom also had a large vanity that had enough room for all of my "stuff", and another huge walk in shower. Everything was sparkling clean too!
Once we all got settled in and the kids had their baths, we pulled out the sofabed in the living room and tried to get them to sleep. They were all still so excited about the huge hotel and their slumber party, we weren't sure how long the giggles would go on. They were all pretty tired from our fun day, though, so once we turned on a movie for them to watch, their eyes didn't stay open much longer.
The next morning we got up and headed over to the free breakfast buffet that Residence Inn offers daily. Not only was there so much food to choose from, there were also so many people there! Because of the crowd, I was not able to take any pictures of the buffet line, so you will just have to take my word for it when I tell you that there was a wonderful variety of breakfast food.
We ate pancakes, waffles, eggs, biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit and yogurt. There was also a variety of cereal and pastries to choose from. We had coffee and juice, and they even supplied plastic cups with lids and straws for the kids. This was, by far, the BEST breakfast buffet I have ever been to at any hotel. The food was great!
Once we had full bellies, we came back to our suite to get ready to head out to the beach. The kids had fun sitting out on the patio while the adults got ready, and just loved being out in the fresh air.
It was a nice short walk out to the beach. It was great not having to drive somewhere, find parking, and then walk a mile with chairs, coolers, beach toys and little ones in tow. We spent a few hours playing in the sand and surf, and when the kids (and adults) started to get tired, we decided to head back in for naps.
Unfortunately, when we got back to the hotel, housekeeping had not yet made it there. This meant that we had no clean towels, since we had used the few we had the night before. The hotel was booked to capacity that weekend, so we weren't upset that our suite hadn't been cleaned yet, but we needed extra towels. We made a call to the front desk, and within minutes, we had fresh towels delivered to us.
We got the kids all cleaned up first and then settled in for some rest. Well, that was the plan, anyway. Some of us did rest up...
...while others thought it would be more fun to have a dance party.
The girls then all ended up out on the large patio and had fun just goofing off together, while the adults got ready for a night out.
We were lucky to be staying in my hometown where my mom was just 20 minutes away. She graciously volunteered to come over and play with the kids while the grown ups enjoyed a nice dinner at the Hurricane Seafood Restaurant, where I used to work. Since the hotel was booked, there was no extra parking available for guests of hotel guests, but once we explained to the front desk clerk that we would be leaving shortly after my mom arrived, he gave us an extra parking pass for her. Unlike several beachfront hotels, you do not have to pay for parking at this one. We were very thankful for that!
Remember the crowd that was at the buffet on Saturday morning? Well, we decided that it would be easier to just bring breakfast to the kids on Sunday morning, so we got cereal and yogurt for them and they all ate in the room. It was perfect! Again, having a full size dining room table is a great amenity to have!
I almost forgot to mention the huge beachside pool! We ran out of time and didn't get to splash around in the pool, but it would be great for relaxing by the beach, without actually being on the beach. There was also a fitness center available, but who wants to work out while they are on vacation? Not this girl!
Overall, we had a great stay at the Residence Inn Treasure Island! The suite was spacious, and more importantly, clean, and we were all able to enjoy the comforts of home (like that coffee maker) while we were away from home. The staff at the hotel was very nice, and very quick to tend to our needs.
The rate for the 2 bedroom suite we stayed in was $419, which I thought was reasonable, considering everything this hotel had to offer. It was on the beach during peak season, so two ordinary rooms for two families at a decent hotel would cost about that much in total. But like I said, this was way more than a room, and had amenities you won't find at just any hotel.
We were very sad to have to pack up and leave that Sunday. It was not easy to walk away from this view...
We had a great weekend and a great stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott! If you are planning a summer vacation, I highly recommend checking to see if there are any Residence Inn properties where you will be traveling to. If the rest of the properties are as nice as this one, you will not be disappointed! In fact, I can't wait to stay at another Residence Inn during our next vacation!
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. As a member of the Resident Mom Club, I received a gift card from Residence Inn in order to fully experience their properties. No other compensation was received.