A stay at the Colonial Williamsburg Residence Inn

Congratulations to Liza, whose favorite family travel destination is Vermont for some skiing (smart lady)!

Can you believe we’re already into the second month of 2013? January was all about smarter family travel round these parts; in February I’m going to focus on sharing stories of the best family travel destinations I’ve visited recently. But today’s post is a happy intersection of both ideas with a chance to win a $250 Residence Inn gift card. 

If you’re a regular reader of my site, you may have noticed the Resident Mom Club banner in the sidebar; it’s there because Marriott invited me to stay in some of their Residence Inns and report back on my experiences. Although I’m generally a fan of Marriott properties, I’d never stayed in a Residence Inn and was curious to give the brand a whirl, which we did most recently in Williamsburg, Virginia.

I reserved us a two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite, which offered a bit more room than we actually needed, but was an absolute pleasure to spread out in nonetheless – you’ll certainly never hear me complaining about having my own bathroom. Chain hotels often lack in the style department, but I felt like the Williamsburg Residence Inn had some nice decorative touches (for one thing, our bedrooms were painted the same peacock shade as my office at home).

The walls of our bedrooms are my favorite color

Please click on photos for full-sized versions

Even though it was a warm January weekend when we visited, I had a terrible head cold and loved being able to read by the gas fireplace in the evenings. I also loved that the wifi was free.

Couldn't get enough of the gas fireplace

Having a full kitchen is always a bonus when traveling with kids, and we took full advantage of ours, bringing our own freshly ground coffee and snacks as well as lunch-making supplies. Not only did this save us money, it meant we were able to spend an uninterrupted day at the Jamestown Settlement Museum, which doesn’t have any great dining options nearby. The hotel offers a free grocery shopping service – fill out a list and they will pick up the items for you and stock your fridge.

Loved that I could make lunch for us in the full kitchen

We also loved the hotel’s breakfast buffet, which Teddy frequented in his pajamas and slippers. They offered a full hot breakfast including oatmeal, biscuits and gravy, and waffles with lots of toppings.

Teddy wore his pajamas to breakfast.


Wouldn't be Virginia without biscuits for breakfast Another plus: When I reserved online, I was able to request a room on the top floor and the hotel delivered. That meant we had no noise of anyone walking around overhead, and the layout of the suite put two doors between us and the hallway a night. It was very quiet in our room.

Colonial Williamsburg is on my list of best family travel destinations and makes for a fantastic family getaway. The Williamsburg Residence Inn is located less than ten minutes from the Williamsburg Visitor Center and is surrounded by family-friendly dining options, including Food for Thought right across the street. It has an outdoor pool for the warmer months and in the winter guests can use the indoor swimming pool at the Springhill Suites across the parking lot.

I definitely feel like the Williamsburg Residence Inn was a good value. We rented our suite for $159 a night. The sofa in the living room was also a pullout couch, meaning that the suite offered generous space for a family of five or six. And a one-bedroom suite which is identical to the one we stayed in minus one of the bedrooms and bathrooms, goes for $99 a night; this would be perfectly comfortable for a family of four.

There are Residence Inns around the country, including in downtown areas of many major cities (I once attended a meeting at the one that’s smack dab in the middle of Time Square – you really couldn’t find a location that’s more centralized in Manhattan). That means no matter where you’re going in the U.S., you’re likely to find one nearby.

Which is why I’m happy to announce that I have a $250 gift card for use at any Residence Inn to give away this week. Although prices vary according to location and season, that should be enough for a nice weekend getaway for you and your family.

To enter, leave a comment below sharing your top family travel destination by 5 p.m. EST Friday, Febaruary 8, 2013. Good luck!

This contest is not restricted by country of residence, but you must be 21 years old to enter. Find a list of Residence Inns here.

Additional conditions applying to this drawing: Contest ends at 5 p.m. EST on Friday, February 8, 2013. One entry per person. No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. Employees, partners, agents, vendors, or immediate family members of the Mother of all Trips are not eligible to enter. This is a random drawing from those who meet the entry requirements, so odds of winning will depend on number of entrants. The Mother of all Trips reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and or modify the promotion if any problem corrupts the administration, security or proper play of the promotion. In the event of a dispute as to the winner’s identity, entries will be deemed made by the holder of the email account associated with the entry. Entrants agree that The Mother of all Trips, or any of the other participating sites are not responsible and cannot be held liable for any unauthorized intervention, technical errors, printing errors, mail delays and any other errors in connection with the administration with this program.

As part of my participation in the Resident Mom Club, I received a gift card to give away and a gift card from Marriott to spend at any Residence Inn of my choosing in any manner I wanted. You can always count on me to share when I’ve been compensated along with my honest opinions. 

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  1. VAnessa says

    Williamsburg would be tops on my list. We live in Alexandria and my little guys love Mount Vernon, I suspect colonial williamsburg would be a big hit too!

  2. Sharon C says

    We love the Residence Inn. Our favorite family destination is Baltimore. The kids love the Aquarium, Science Museum and riding on the water taxi. i love that you can put the car in a lot for the weekend and walk everywhere. We’ve stayed at the Residence Inn in Baltimore 2 times. The 2 bedroom with kitchen is perfect for the family. The kids love the make your own belgian waffle station at the free breakfast buffet.

  3. Alicia says

    I would love to be able to take my whole family to Disney World and also Denver Colorado, we have taken smaller staycations but we are ready for a big family vacation!! 😀

  4. Toni says

    I guess top of our list is Chicago. My DS6 is dying to go see Sue at the museum. He asks on a regular basis when we can go. Though there are several other places I would love to take him.

  5. Jacob says

    Albuquerque, NM – it has so many cool things to do especially Native American attractions. You can see the petroglyphs or old cities. There’s Old Town and they have the balloon festival too. Sandia Peak! A very cool town for everybody!

  6. Gena says

    Washington D.C. – it’s such an amazing city. First of all, so many of the attractions and museums are free so you can avoid spending a lot of money. Plus, it has an amazing history and you can learn SO much there. everybody should go at least once!

  7. says

    A cabin on the shore of Turkey Point on the Chesapeake, or perhaps a beach house in a family-friendly, walkable beach town like Ocean City, NJ. And, of course, camping in the woods. All these places are excellent for giving kids a degree of autonomy, which always makes for a good vacation for everyone!

  8. says

    My in-laws live in Florida so we go their alot! I would love to go to Willamsburg. I have never been there!!! But think the most fun we have had has as a family was when we took a weekend trip to the NJ Aquarium in Camden and we stayed at a hotel and went to Sahara’s sams’ indoor water park the girls loved it!!!!

  9. Rachel Klein says

    We really enjoy visiting Beach Haven, NJ. We stay 1 block from the beach and there is a lot of fun family-friendly activities. My son’s favorite is the local children’s theater. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy did a lot of damage to LBI and I am not sure we’ll be able to go there again this year.

  10. says

    Our top pick for our family destination has to be Washington DC. It has so many things we can do with kids for cheap or free. I have stayed at Residence Inn in Orlando and Asheville and love their properties. It’s a great fit for family!

  11. Bridget says

    Santa Cruz ca and the Monterey peninsula are family favorites. Spectacular camping, a fun old fashioned boardwalk, and a world class aquarium. Plus we always make a pilgrimage to Maryann’s ice cream.

  12. Emily G says

    Our favorite family getaway is Lake George in the New York State Adirondack mountains. It’s only a short drive away from us and there is a lot to do. Beautiful area!

  13. Jenn A says

    We go to Tyler Place Family Resort in Vermont every year and look forward to going again the day after we leave. I love Burlington, and nothing tops the Shelburne Museum for quirkiness and amazing exhibits.

  14. maria d says

    We are from the west coast and just moved to williamsburg, so your blog was very helpful. I would lobe to take my family to new York city or Orlando, FL.

  15. Tricia Andrews says

    We love to visit Philadelphia with our 8 year old daughter. There are so many historic sites, zoo,museums in Center City Philadelphia, which also has a Residence Inn! In the suburbs of Philadelphia there are some neat things to visit like Sesame Place for the little ones in Langhorne, PA (which also has a Residence Inn).

  16. says

    Top of list of U.S. Destinations are two very different spots: Chicago & San Diego. I haven’t been to either (husband has been to both), but I’m thinking we’d have a blast with our little guy in either spot!

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