Foodcation with the Residence Inn
Perhaps it’s my age or the fact that I’m a wife and seasoned mother to nearly three children, but the brilliance of food and comfort have really taken a front seat on my priority list. Gone are the days when a meal was an afterthought and sleeping on an ottoman was indicative of a decent Friday night. My days now revolve around the kids nap times, the ingredient list involved in preparing the various meals throughout the day and subsequent trips to the grocery store.
When we are traveling, these things do not change and in fact the stress surrounding them is increased when the children come along with us. It’s crucial to find the normal comforts of home, plus a few extra special goodies thrown in to keep the kids entertained-and us happy.
I really love traveling with my kids, but it’s very easy for simple necessities to ruin a perfectly lovely day spent outside of our normal routine. They demand milk in the morning and night-and I demand that it’s organic. They demand a story before bedtime-I demand that they sleep soundly and comfortably in their own individual beds. The adventures outside of wherever we are staying are the fun part, and usually without any sort of issue… the real treat for us is when we can count on the place we are staying to meet ours, and our children’s needs.
Last week I was invited to check out the Marriott Residence Inn Times Square in honor of their family package deals and their new Residence Mom awards, continuing their appreciation and celebrations of moms as a brand. For example, on Mother’s Day, 2011 the Residence Inn gave out 50,000 red roses to every mother staying in one of their locations.
When I arrived for my one night stay, I was impressed by the graciousness of the lobby staff, and even more surprised when I saw my room equipped with a full kitchen. The suite was large & clean, with a decent sized HD Television and a comfortable bed. Not to mention, each Residence Inn (over 600 in the country) offers free hot breakfast, free Internet, swimming pools, and reasonable rates. Many of them-including the one I stayed at-even have a large, coin operated, self serve laundry room and an exercise room fully equipped with top of the line workout machines. All of these things are very convenient, helpful and welcomed when traveling with children of all ages.
Part of our trip as Residence Inn Moms included a New York Food Tour around New York City’s Greenwich and West Village. If you haven’t ever gone on a food tour-even in your own city, if it’s offered-I highly, highly recommend it. I was fascinated every single step of three hour adventure, and my taste buds were positively tickled.
Some photos from my favorite stops:
Joe’s Pizza: One of the best thin slice pieces of pizza you can get in NYC. And yes… it was delish.
Risotto balls at Faicco’s
Exquisite assortment of cheese and olives at Murray’s Cheese Shop
Mushrooms, artichoke hears and bacon wrapped figs at Centro Vinoteca (oh my)
Jill Seiman of Glamamom, Sarah Chang of The Stroller Ballet, myself and our Residence Inn friends at Centro Vinoteca
Celebrating Jill’s birthday with cupcakes and cookies at Milk & Cookies (so good I bought the cookbook!)
My future apartment, which happens to be next to The Owl-the restaurant in which Central Perk was modeled after (Friends fans, anyone?)
The experience was grand, from point A to Z. Not only did I create a large list of places I must return to with family and friends, but I also am well informed about a chain of hotels that is fantastic to stay at with family (huge bonus).
The Marriott Residence Inn offers Family Packages in San Diego CA, San Antonio TX, and Orlando FL. Packages start around $200 depending on where you go, while typical rates at Residence Inn’s start at $120.
Holly Robinson Peete was presented earlier this year with the first annual “Resident Mom” award for her contributions as a wife, mother and working woman, specifically citing her devotion to her family while maintaining a successful career. The award and donation to her charity was given today, May 17, at Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square.
I was not compensated for this post, however I was given a night at the Marriott Residence Inn Times Square and complimentary access on the food tour for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.