Visiting For The Long Term

Candlewood Suites


When I first took Linda to Texas to meet my family, we needed a comfortable homebase — a place with not only a comfortable bed, but also a kitchen, laundry facilities, and room to spread out as we explored. My mother’s house had only limited air conditioning, and staying with relatives always means disrupting their schedules and routines, so we looked for a conveniently located long-stay hotel. We found Candlewood Suites.

The folks at Candlewood Suites have perfected the concept of an extended-stay hotel. Let’s start with the location — all of the Candlewoods that I know of are near interstate highways and surrounded by business parks and shopping centers. That makes them convenient to whatever brought you to the area in the first place.

…plenty of room to spread out…

The multi-story L-shaped building embraces its parking lot. Not a lot of space is dedicated to gardens, lobbies, and common gathering areas. Just inside the front door is a set of a bank of lockers looking much like post office boxes. Patrons arriving in the middle of the night can get their welcome information and room keys without having to staff the welcome desk at night.

The rooms are large, open efficiency apartments with lots of storage, a full kitchen, and plenty of room to spread out. The kitchen comes stocked with all of the dishes and pots necessary to set up housekeeping for however long you’ll be visting relatives.

And there’s a TV, VCR, and telephone in the room along with a library of video tapes in the lobby to help pass the time between outings. And a decent sized dining table / work table. And a comfortable reclining chair. All to make the hotel feel more like home.

The communal washers and driers on the first floor are free — great for a long term stay. The laundry area shares space with a small self-serve pantry — sort of like a convenience store run on the honor system where you can get snacks and sundries between more serious shopping trips. There’s also an exercise room in the same area so that you can keep up with your workout routines while you’re waiting for your clothes to dry.

I visited another Candlewood Suites in Pittsburgh during a trip last summer. It was a carbon copy of the one in Austin.

The negatives? No pool. And no Candlewood Suites in Rhode Island. The closest is near Boston. If you’re staying away from home for a week or longer on business or to visit relatives, check them out.


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