This post was originally published  on The Social Commerce Mom blog on May 13, 2014. 

Anyone who knows my family, knows that we don’t like to stay in one place for too long. My 6 year old has lived in Miami Beach, Davie, Lake Worth and now Deerfield Beach. #MyMister and I have always discussed traveling across the country (and the globe) while homeschooling the kids. In fact, now that he has a dad blog, we are actively planning family trips that we can both document from our own perspectives. That’s why, when I was offered the opportunity to attend a press trip for mom bloggers at a local Residence Inn (a Marriott brand), I jumped on it.

My Miami Staycation #RIMomsMonth

Never having stayed at a Residence Inn, I did not know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to learn of all of the great features they offer. I soon realized that their namesake was not a misnomer. When you stay here, you feel right at home. After checking in, I headed straight to my room where I had a chance to unwind for a bit before our scheduled tour.

The Room

Residence Inn Kitchen

Let’s start with the Full Kitchen in the room. Yes, I said “FULL Kitchen.” The room came equipped with a full size refrigerator, dishwasher, garbage disposal, oven, microwave, coffee maker, and toaster. And that’s not all folks! It also came equipped with cooking utensils, silverware, pots & pans, plates, bowls, cups, measuring cups, can openers, and heck, even an ice cream scoop. Plus, there were paper towels, dish detergent, dishwasher fluid, hand towels, oven mitts, garbage bags, and some essentials like microwave popcorn……

Residence Inn Bathroom Bliss

And in the bathroom I found a designer shower curtain hung on a curved rod and the standard white hotel towels. The wall paper, scenic art, and wooden towel rack made the space feel more like home. What surprised me was that the toiletries were by Paul Mitchell. Needless to say, any leftovers found their way home with me.

All this in a studio? Residence Inn

They gave me a studio for the night, and let me tell you, this was a one bedroom apartment in disguise. It boasted a King-sized bed, with a Queen-sized pull-out couch, dressers, chairs, tables, an ottoman, and also a flat screen tv. The bed was very comfy. Additionally, there was an iron with an ironing board, a blowdryer, an extra comforter, and of course, wooden hangers. They have a 24 hr coin laundry onsite if you would like to wash your clothes, but you can also valet dry clean your clothes too! They provide daily housekeeping, so you don’t even have to worry about cleaning like a real residence. They offer 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and Family rooms as well.

Allergy-friendly rooms at Residence Inn

This hotel offers PURE-certified allergy-friendly accommodations, just in case you have allergies like me. And if you have a dog, they are also a pet-friendly hotel.

The Tour

Tour of Residence Inn Miami Airport

After I was all settled in, I headed to the lobby to begin our tour. In addition to touring the main hotel and checking out different-sized rooms, we visited the Champions Sports Bar, the fitness center and the pool on-campus. They also have an onsite Starbucks, a Hertz car rental, coffee in the lobby and a BBQ/ picnic area. Not all Residence Inn’s have the same features, so please be sure to check their amenities first.Happy Hour Interlude

Happy Hour Interlude

Happy Hour Interlude- Residence Inn

After the tour, we headed over to the Cane Fire Grille lounge area in the Marriott next door.  This location offers complimentary evening socials, complete with food and beverages, and we got a taste of this experience with our own private happy hour. Of course, they also provided us some drinks too! We had a lot of fun gabbing away about our latest blog projects. Before we knew it, it was time to move on to the next scheduled activity and we weren’t quite ready to go.

Dinner with Friends

Dinner with friends at CIBO courtesy of Residence Inn

After our cocktail hour, the Residence Inn shuttled us to CIBO Wine Bar, where we sampled a variety of their foods. (I am not going to lie, the desserts were my fave.)  In addition to the awesome food, it was a great chance to continue the chat we started back at the hotel before the shuttle. Speaking of shuttles, the Residence Inn Miami Airport provides a free shuttle between the Miami airport and the hotel.

Good Night Miami

Goodnight MIAMI book by Patricia Baloyra

We arrived back at the room to find some macaroons on a tray marked, “Sweet Dreams,” along with a personal welcome letter, and an autographed copy of “Goodnight MIAMI” by Patricia Baloyra. Written in the style of “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown, this book is beautifully illustrated by Sarah Knotz to reflect memorable spaces in Miami, alongside some real history I did not know of. What a cute personal touch! I read it as I slowly drifted off to sleep. It was sometime around 1am at this point, but I was so excited about the trip that I only slept for about 5 hours.

I was already dressed and ready by this time.

I woke up around 6am and was completely dressed by 7:17am. Unfortunately, our group was not scheduled to meet for breakfast until 9:30am. This was the perfect time to take advantage of the free high-speed internet access and get some work done. I am pretty sure I turned out a whole blog post before heading off to breakfast.

Breakfast Buffet

Residence Inn Free Breakfast Buffet

Let me just say that I was amazed by what was included in the complimentary breakfast buffet. Whether you want cereal, eggs, grits, bagels, home fries, etc., it seemed as though they had it all. This is a long way from the continental breakfasts I have had while at hotels. What stood out to me the most was the Waffle Maker where you could prepare fresh Belgian waffles for yourself. As you can see, I really loaded up my plate. You can review the menu HERE.

Family Travel

After finishing up our breakfast, we had a family travel chat. Many of us agreed that one our favorite features at Residence Inn was the shopping concierge. With this service, you fill out your grocery list, they pick it up and shop for you at no additional charge, and then they add on the food cost to your room bill. You can go out for the day and not have to worry about paying $6 for a water bottle from a mini-bar when you get back.
Residence Inn shops for you

Combine that service with the room’s amenities & the free breakfast buffet, and traveling as a family just got a lot more affordable. There is only one price for the room, so you can have more people at no extra charge. The longer you stay, the cheaper the price. If you are staying more than 6 days, the parking is free. Staying just one night made me realize that I would prefer to stay at a Residence Inn with my family whenever possible during our trips. (Actually, I began secretly wishing I could live there full-time.) I left the trip determined to become an ambassador for them.

About #RIMomsMonth

Residence Inn is celebrating moms in the month of May, so follow the hashtag for giveaways and more!

Mia Hamm Residence Inn Mom of the Year

Residence Inn is excited to announce that soccer superstar and philanthropist Mia Hamm has been named Residence Inn by Marriott’s 2014 “Resident Mom of the Year.” Mia is dedicated to her charity, the Mia Hamm Foundation, as well as helping other moms find balance and stay healthy and fit on the road.

As part of her partnership with Residence Inn, she created two effective 10-minute workout routines for the brand that busy moms can do at home or in a hotel room.They plan to have the videos soon online on their youtube channel. She also announced this week that she’s teaming up with Residence Inn for the “Search for the Ultimate Soccer Mom,” a contest that is now live at Residence Inn’s Facebook and Instagram pages!

For more information or reservations, call Residence Inn toll-free number at 800-331-3131 For travel tips, the latest on Residence Inn or to connect with other travelers, “like”Residence Inn on Facebook: www.facebook.com/residenceinn and follow Residence Inn on Twitter: www.twitter.com/residenceinn.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary one-night stay, all meals discussed and parking at the Residence Inn. I also received a $100 Residence Inn giftcard, which I am sure to use on a future visit. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.