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Marriott Residence Inn is the companies flagship brand for extended stays. Typically you can find these properties all over the world, especially in cities that attract business travelers. The brand is best known for normalizing the “suite” style room with their motto “It’s not a room. It’s a Residence”.
Marriott has an extensive list of brands under their umbrella and typically offer corporate benefits and other perks to loyal travelers. Residence Inn effectively extends benefits such as cheaper rates, in room kitchens, gyms, and laundry but for all travelers not just corporate.
Locations of Marriott Residence Inn can be close to city centers but often in less busy (and less expensive) parts of a location. In London, there are 3 Residence Inn’s around the city, with 2 funny enough almost right next door to each other.
I was planning to head to London on an extended trip of 6 weeks and the Residence Inn was the perfect place to set up shop. After doing a quick rate search you can see both properties are about the same nightly rate.
I decided to go with the Residence Inn London Bridge for my stay and was eager to see what the experience will be like.
The hotel is located just 10 minute walk south of the London Bridge tube station. I found the area to have plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, and many food stalls to choose from. It is also located a short walk from the famed Borough Market that I frequented often.
Upon check in the desk seemed pretty normal. I arrived early but just after breakfast time so the hotel wasn’t too busy.
What I really liked about the lobby area was the amount of open table space. There was plenty of room to sit and even get some work done.
Throughout this stay I would be in two different rooms, both 1 bedrooms but technically were studios with alcoves since there was no door.
Upon entering my first room the bed was directly by the door. From what I read online this led others to hear noises from the hallway but I didn’t seem to have this issue.
The living area was pretty spacious and although there wasn’t a door separating the two rooms it still felt like two completely different areas.
The kitchen in these rooms come stocked with the basics. Think pans, cups, plates, silverware, which was adequate to get you by. Since I was here for a while I decided to buy a few items of my own including a spatula, extra cups, and a better knife.
The bathroom was a decent size and very modern. I found this to be plenty nice for a long stay and is actually much better than many other Marriott property bathrooms I’ve seen.
The next room I checked into was a bit similar with the major difference being the ceiling height and the bed layout. Since this room was located on the top floor it offered a bit more space and way more natural light.
The one odd down side of the bed placement was the curtains needed to be completely shut otherwise you will get light directly on you. I found a few streetlights on at night that shined through but it didn’t bother me too much.
The bathroom in this room had a slightly different layout but comfortable nonetheless.
Now came the real highlight of this hotel, the massive and well equipped gym. Now I knew the gym would be decent in a long stay hotel but this far exceeded my expectations.
What I really liked most about it was the amount of space. It was usually pretty quiet but even if others were in there it didn’t feel crowded.
A huge plus was the gym was open 24 hours a day.
Right by the gym was the laundry machines. Unlike the gym these were very crowded but I leaned on using them later at night and never seemed to have an issue finding space.
The hotel also offers free breakfast everyday from 6:30am – 9:30am. I’m not a huge breakfast person so throughout my stay I never actually ate anything here.
I did find it odd that breakfast ended so early. I think 11am would be the optimal time for all hotel breakfast but given its a long stay property I expect they don’t want people over relying on it.
Breakfast offered a range of pastries, bread, cereal, as well as a hot bar.
On the day I checked it out it looked like eggs, hash browns, sausage, and bacon. While I didn’t taste it the offering was more than I expected and I even spotted some takeaway containers that you can take back to your room.
All in I found the Residence Inn to be a very comfortable stay in London providing me with everything I needed. It actually had me questioning why I don’t stay at Residence Inn more often even if it was a shorter trip.
Having access to a larger room, kitchen, gym, and other amenities really goes a long way. Especially for a fraction of the price as other prime Marriott hotels where the rooms can be really small (I’m looking at you London Edition).
The Residence Inn really put in perspective what can be important in a hotel stay and I will definitely be staying in one again.
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