Residence Inn offers home away from home

Marriott Hotel brand offers 95 suites for extended stay guests with kitchens for a “home plus” experience

By Reggie Ellis

VISALIA – Those looking to stay for more than a few nights have a new home away from home in Visalia. 

Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel in Visalia greeted travelers for the first time on Dec. 17. The newly built hotel features 95 suites with an upscale, stylish décor that offers flexibility, while creating a unique environment. Residence Inn Visalia is located off of Highway 198 at 205 North Plaza Drive. 

The all-suite hotel will operate as a Marriott franchise owned by RRS Hospitality LLC., and managed by RAMM Hospitality Inc., under the leadership of Raju Verma. Based in Bakersfield, RAMM manages 16 hotels in California and Michigan. Most of their hotels are located in the Central Valley, including five in Bakersfield and two in Fresno. Residence Inn by Marriott is the company’s first hotel in Visalia and the company has already announced it will manage the Hilton Garden Inn coming soon to the same intersection at Crowley and Plaza Drive.  

Every room includes a kitchen featuring a dishwaher, stove, microwave, refrigerator and stocked with flatware and cutlery. Photo by Reggie Ellis.

RAMM’s vice president of operations Shiv Kapoor said the hotel is designed for extended guests such as business travelers, professionals planning a move to the area looking for permanent housing, and tourists staying at least five days who want to be able to cook their own meals. He said the average guest will stay at a Residence Inn between 12-14 weeks out of the year. The minimum stay is five days and the maximum is 30 days. 

“Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel in Visalia has created a décor with a ‘home plus’ feel that is warm, optimistic and flexible,” Kapoor said. 

The longer-stay guest will experience a livable, uplifting environment based on honest materials, organic forms, warm colors and natural light. The new design incorporates a transitional inviting style, crisp details and signature residential textiles.

Jennifer Christensen, director of sales for the hotel, said all of the available rooms had been rented out, underlining the need for extended stay hotels in the area. 

“It’s been designed to be very modern, but not cold,” she said. “It’s a very stylish atmosphere with a lot of amenities to emphasize convenience and comfort.”

Residence Inn lobby. Submitted photo.

Residence Inn Visalia is an all-suite hotel that offers three different suites: the studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suite each with a fully equipped kitchen. Designed for stays of five nights or more, each suite’s kitchen features quartz counters and stainless steel appliances including a full-sized fridge, dishwasher, stove top and microwave. Cabinets are stocked with pots, pans, glasses, cutlery and flatware for up to four guests. Christensen said the kitchens are also stocked with a single-cup coffee maker and coffee pods as well as a slip for groceries. Guests can fill out the slip and Residence Inn staff will shop for their groceries. The shopping service is free of charge and residents can charge the cost of the groceries to their room or credit card. 

Guests looking for a revitalizing sleep experience will enjoy the hotel’s plush mattresses and crisp linens, while guests focused on being productive will value their suite’s large, well-lit work desk, ergonomic chair and complimentary high-speed internet access. All beds are king-sized and every room includes a couch that converts to a queen-sized extra bed. Two-bedroom suites also include two bathrooms. If you can’t sleep, each room comes with a large flat screen TV connected to Netflix, so guests can log in with their account and have access to all of their favorite shows and movies. You can also bring a friend, as pets are allowed at hotel for a fee.

The Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel in Visalia rotates a wide selection of healthy choices with its complimentary hot breakfast every day. Guests can start their day with a hot meal of bacon and eggs, Greek yogurt, fresh cut fruit or waffles with extensive toppings, ranging from fresh spinach and cheese to sliced almonds and strawberries. A 24 hour market is located near the front desk with non-perishable items such as frozen food, candy, soda, water for travelers arriving late or leaving before breakfast. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, the lobby offers the Residence Inn Mix, a time for guests to mingle and enjoy beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres. The lobby also features a small business center where guests can print tickets, forms and emails free of charge.

“Everything here is geared toward helping the guests maintain their pace of work and life,” Kapoor said. 

Those wanting to stay in shape have several options including a fitness center, where each treadmill features its own flat screen, free weights and yoga areas. Residence Inn also offers its “RI Run” app which shows trails within walking distance of the hotel. The patio of the hotel offers a pool and spa, both with ADA lifts, and a sport court, which is a half-court basketball court on no-slip, low impact plastic mesh flooring. 

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