Last month during the Hispanicize conference I stayed at two properties. The first was an apartment through AirB&B and the second was Extended Stay America in Brickell Miami. The location was perfect for me because I could leave my car in the parking lot and walk 5 minutes to the free “people mover” to get down to the waterside where the events were taking place. (Uber home from an event in south beach was about 10 minutes and about 10 bucks)
The room I had was clean, comfortable and standard. Exactly what I needed for this business trip.
The bed was comfy, water pressure was perfect and the kitchen was just what I needed. I don’t cook real food on vacation, but I often wish I had more than just a coffee maker and mini fridge in my hotel rooms. The microwave was clutch, I actually used it a couple times to reheat food I purchased outside. In the mornings I just ran down to the lobby for the grab-and-go breakfast (complimentary) before heading out. They had fresh coffees, muffins/pastries, and fruit available each morning.
Whenever I travel solo, I consider how it would be with the whole family. I could see myself at an Extended Stay America on vacay with the kids doing waffles in the toaster and oatmeal on the stove before heading out for the day. I had a King bed room, but if we had a room with two double beds it would be plenty space for our family of four. Or if they provided pack-n-plays.
Since I was traveling for work, I was online with my laptop for most of the time that I was in the room. The free wi-fi was fast, with no service interruptions. (unlike at my house :() And I liked that there were two desk areas so if I were there with John or a roomie, we wouldn’t have to take turns working at the desk vs working in bed.
The service from all staff was really helpful and friendly. When I first walked in, there was nobody at the front desk, so I waited. After about a minute another guest came down and looked truly shocked that the front desk attendant wasn’t there. I asked how long he usually waits to get help and he said “I’m actually kind of worried. I’ve been here almost a month and this is the first time I don’t see anyone at this desk.” (Yellow Shirt Dude in the vid)
I’ve heard of Extended Stay before but never used it. I knew it to just be a budget-friendly hotel with a kitchen. In my mind it was for families on vacation and keeping costs low. It totally is, but there was another element at this location…. While there I met a lot of folks taking true extended stays while working in the area and a family from up north who is purchasing a home in Miami but has about 2 weeks before they can move in.
There was quite a sense of community at this location as well. Some of the people in town for long work engagements gathered at the grill and patio set up in the back to hang out after hours… and when I ran into one at random in the elevator, he referred to me as “the new girl.” (PS: I got invited to the backyard party!) I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was only going to be there a few nights.
What made this location stand out to me was the super friendly people and the most convenient location. The grocery store and a drug store was right across the street. It’s a very “runnable” neighborhood, with lots of families, condos and homes. Granted, I was only there a few nights but in speaking with the folks who were there, anywhere from a week to 6 weeks, they all raved about the place and the folks who worked there.
The downside was the closet space, if I were to stay an extended period of time it just wouldn’t work for me unless I packed super light. The property does have an onsite laundry facility, so I’m totally being picky. If I were in town for a stretch, I’d certainly be making use of that convenience. Also, there is no gym or pool. Now, I knew this location didn’t have it going in, so I wasn’t expecting it. I was in town for business anyway so no pool for me. I did my runs outside and used a beachbody program on my computer. If I were on vacation I’d have to choose an Extended Stay with a pool for sure.
Overall this property was perfect for my needs, and from my talks with everyone staying there perfect for a longer stay as well. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants more cooking capabilities in their room, and a clean, comfy home base for vacation or longer work-related travel.
Or maybe I’m just saying that because this happened:
Have you taken an Extended Stay America vacation?
I’m going to be traveling more often and always looking for great places to stay. This is why I happily partnered up with Extended Stay America for this post.