It’s kind of an understood rule in our family…Christmas is to be spent at home. But just this past year we agreed to make an exception because we wanted to do something special with my Mama.
My Mama lives oceans away, so the kids get to see their Grandma only once a year.
In 2012, her visit to us in December was barely two weeks long. And because my soon to be 7 year old had school till 4 days before Christmas, we really could not do much.
To top it all off, Bunny girl auditioned for a role in our church Christmas play and got the part…
so that meant practices every night till the day of the performance on December the 23rd.
Mama’s flight was scheduled for December the 26th, so in effect if we really wanted to do a much-wanted trip to San Antonio, it would have to be on Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day.
True, we didn’t want to be away from home on Christmas morn but we also wanted to create a special memory for the kids with Grandma.
So we decided to listen to our hearts…
and off we went!
Christmas 2012 … Home away from home at the Residence Inn, San Antonio.
The invitation to be a Resident Mom could not have come at a better time. It was the perfect opportunity for our family to experience the property for the first time.
And see whether it could really serve to be our home away from home on Christmas day!
When we drove up to the Residence Inn, San Antonio, Stone Oak/North property the first thing that struck me was the brick work on the side. It reminded me of a cozy bread and breakfast inn I’d stayed at when I’d visited Frankfurt, Germany several years ago.
The wave of nostalgia that hit perhaps set the stay ahead to a good start!
As we dragged our tired bodies in through the doors at 9.30 pm (We’d just spent the whole day at Sea World’s Christmas Celebration), the warm smile at the reception and the happy Christmas decor around, was assuring, even though we were not back at home.
All that was needed to make this place “home” would be a clean, comfortable room.
And thankfully, our guest room access card opened up to just that…
a clean, comfortable, considerably well spaced Studio room.
Complete with a King bed, a sofabed and a fully functional kitchen, this was just what we needed.
My family made themselves right at home right after we checked in.
Bunny girl settled in with a few Christmas books while we sat around on the sofa chatting before church.
And yes, we even carried our tiny Christmas tree from home, to add a touch of Christmas to our room.
Our room’s sofabed was claimed by Mama and Bunny girl who happily cuddled in for the night, after we attended the Christmas Eve service at the nearby Cornerstone Church.
(Both insisted the bed was comfortable!)
The inclusion of a completely functional kitchen is what makes any Residence Inn property worthy of consideration when you’re looking for a property to stay at. It’s definitely the choice to make when you’re traveling with young children or intend to stay in a new city for a good number of days.
The add-on “home” benefits…
Every Residence Inn guest is given free access to the laundry facilities, the pool/whirlpool, the ice-vending machine, the cozy study and a convenient mini-Market that sells snacks, milk, water, cereal, fruit yogurt and a few other munchies that would save you a trip to the grocery store in the middle of the night!
And in the morning, a full-fledged hot Continental breakfast buffet is set up for the guests, at no additional charge.
Our breakfast buffet served coffee, tea, milk, juices, scrambled eggs, “make-your-own waffles”, breakfast potatoes, sausages, tacos, a variety of cereal, oats, yogurt, fruit, bread and freshly baked muffins that were not off a store shelf but baked in some local bakery! (I have a horrible aversion to those synthetic tasting, on-the-shelf muffins in plastic wrappers!!)
To say we walked away from the dining area with tummies content would be an understatement.
We practically rolled out of there, stuffed!
(With young kids in tow, this is a great arrangement especially if you plan to spend the whole day outdoors at a local attraction. Nothing beats starting the day off with a large, hot, breakfast! I can guarantee the frequency of melt-downs will be much lower!!)
Oh and did I mention the free wi-fi in every room?
Thoughts from a Residence Inn First Timer…
I have to say I was more than just pleasantly pleased. Contrary to what many may think, staying at the Residence Inn is very affordable.
For a family consisting of 3 adults and 2 little ones, the Studio room worked well. We were charged 89 US$ for a night (+ tax) and yes, this included the mostly freshly made, hot breakfast buffet.
I have to say what I loved the most about our room was the inclusion of the kitchen. If I’d known we had an oven with everything I needed to bake a cake, I wouldn’t have carried our pre-baked “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake for the kids to enjoy on Christmas morn!
While checking out, I noticed this plaque hanging on the wall…
And I have to agree, our family did walk out satisfied…
True, we weren’t at home for Christmas…
but we did manage to find “home”, away from home!
When you stay in a hotel room, what makes it feel like “home” for you?
**EBMR Disclaimer: As a Resident Mom, though I am being compensated for my time, the heart of this post is all me!**