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When my husband and I arrived in Reno, Nev., we felt like strangers in a strange land. It was our first visit to the self-proclaimed Biggest Little City in the World, and we were disoriented in the midst of its freeways, high-rises and neon lights. That all changed, however, when we walked up to the registration desk of Residence Inn by Marriott, Reno, where we were treated like good friends from the get-go.
Sensing our need for some grounding, the man behind the front desk immediately pulled out a piece of paper. On it, he drew a map directing us to all our needs, including the grocery store, the closest Starbucks and the convention center where we would be spending most of our time. We mentioned that we would like to go somewhere for an outdoor walk, and he directed us to a nearby park with hiking trails — a forested oasis we wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
It turns out that every guest of Residence Inn by Marriott, Reno enjoys the same high level of pro-active personalized assistance, according to general manager Grace Miane.
“Our motto is to provide service so memorable, our guests tell stories about it,” Miane explained.
Breathing Room, Outdoors and InOne of the hotel’s many selling points is its location. Set outside the more crowded downtown hub, it’s surrounded by open landscapes and offers views of the low mountains that embrace the city.
Better yet, with its easy-on/easy-off access to the main highway through the city, guests can get to Reno’s airport in just 10 minutes and downtown in 15-20 minutes. It takes 40 minutes to drive from the property to Lake Tahoe. In the winter, clients can reach seven ski areas within one hour.
There is a lot of room inside the Residence Inn by Marriott, Reno, as well, most notably in the accommodations. Its suites are generously sized, and even the studios feature large, separate sitting areas. Our kitchen came with a dishwasher, stove, microwave, full-size refrigerator, pots, pans, dishes, silverware and just about everything else we needed to make the room feel like home base.
Many last-minute needs are satisfied at the small retail shop in the lobby, and the hotel provides a grocery shopping service; guests drop off their list at the front desk by 9 a.m. and the order is filled by 6 p.m. the same day.
Meeting All Our NeedsSince our visit coincided with one of Reno’s scorching summer heat waves, the property’s refreshing outdoor pool was a prized amenity. Equally welcome was the indoor air-conditioned exercise room, where we could get a good workout without waiting for the sun to go down.
For clients staying on property during cooler months, the hotel’s outdoor sport court is a great benefit, complete with basketball hoops and a volleyball net.
Unlike most guest accommodations in the area, Residence Inn by Marriott, Reno, satisfied our two highest priorities: It’s completely non-smoking indoors, with clearly-marked outdoor areas for smokers; and it’s pet-friendly, with designated dog lawns and complementary poop bags. While there is a nonrefundable pet fee, it was more than worth it for us to be able to bring along our valued four-legged family member.
The property earned brownie points from us thanks to its support of green initiatives, including its energy-saving room key system and its prime parking spot for guests with hybrid vehicles.
Extra perks for guests include free Internet access, a business center and discounts on area restaurants.
The Longer the Stay, the Lower the RateAccording to Miane, Residence Inn by Marriott, Reno, is particularly popular with long-term guests who are in town for projects or who need a place to stay during relocation. It draws business travelers with its 750 square feet of meeting space, while family travelers appreciate its added value.
Since the hotel offers a tiered pricing system, the longer that clients stay, the lower their nightly room rates. The property pays travel agents a 10 percent commission.
Residence Inn by Marriott, Reno, promises the services that travelers have come to expect, such as daily housekeeping and free newspapers. Each morning, guests get a free hot breakfast with several counters’ worth of fruit, cereals, eggs, breakfast meats, breads, juice and coffee.
Adding to the congenial ambience are the evening hospitality hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 6-7:30 p.m., during which guests can get to know each other over complimentary wine, beer and appetizers.
By the end of our stay, we not only felt like we had conquered Reno; we found a new place to call home, too.