Extended Stay America Visit #2 Even Better Than Expected
In June I dropped my daughter off at the US Air Force Academy and we stayed at the Extended Stay America in Colorado Springs thanks to the ESA team. The first weekend in September is Parent’s Weekend and we headed back to Colorado Springs to spend some quality time with our cadet.
My first experience with Extended Stay America was fantastic and when I reached out to the ESA team about my return visit, they offered to comp me a room again in exchange for another review. This review is 100% my own opinion and I would have booked my stay at their hotel either way.
With the second visit, I was able to take advantage of a few things I learned on my first trip and really saved our family time and money (always a good thing!!)
For this trip it was my two daughters and myself. With so many families in town for Parent’s Weekend, hotel rooms in the area were at a premium. Many families look for the hotels that are right outside the gates of the Academy and those sell out pretty fast – but ESA is only two exits south of the South Gate and is very easy to access from I-25. ESA put us in a suite which was plenty big enough for us all to spread out. The suite had a king size bed, a pull out queen size sofa bed, two TVs, kitchen and large bathroom.
On the other side of the 3/4 wall is the pull out couch that my daughter said was pretty comfortable – as far as pull out couches go. This room was very spacious and is ideal for family travel.
On the last day of my June visit I figured out that less than a mile from the hotel was a HUGE shopping center filled with literally every type of store and restaurant any reasonable person would ever need. Shortly after checking in to the hotel, I made a quick trip to Trader Joe’s and spent less than $20 to stock up on fresh fruit, nuts, water and juice and ice cream. ESA has a wonderful Grab ‘n Go breakfast bar in the lobby. Each morning we were there, I got up before my daughters and headed down to get my coffee. They also have oatmeal, muffins and granola bars. I made each of us oatmeal and brought it back to the room, added some of the fresh fruit and nuts and we had a nice little breakfast while we got ready for the day – that saved us quite a bit of time and money.
The first year the cadets are at the Academy, they have to be in uniform when they are out in public. After spending all day giving us a tour of the campus and then dance team practice, the last thing my daughter wanted to do was go out to dinner in her uniform. Again, the location of this ESA was ideal – I just drove 1 mile down the road and picked up dinner for us. Now, I could have easily cooked us dinner in the room because the ESA in-room kitchens come equipped with pots and pans so you can cook your meals there if you want. The only downside to the in-room kitchens is that you can smell what people are cooking in the halls and our room did have a lingering smell of something someone had previously cooked. It wasn’t unpleasant – just noticeable.
Like most college students, my daughter brought “home” some laundry for me to do. No problem! ESA has laundry facilities on site which meant I could get her laundry done while she took a well deserved nap on Sunday.
Another thing I learned about ESA is that they do have special pricing for the military – ideal for military families traveling to visit their own cadet – at USAFA – or anywhere else they happen to be traveling!
During my previous visit, I noticed signs featuring this cute bear and another one about returning your hotel keys to help others. I decided to look into this a bit more and here are two ways Extended Stay America is giving back.
Each year thousands of children are diagnosed with cancer and the effects this diagnosis have on the child and their family is hard to fathom. By donating cuddly teddy bears to children hospitalized with cancer, ESA is hoping to help raise awareness and to provide comfort to these children. The Hope bears are made by Build-a-Bear specially for ESA and feature the ESA logo on the bear’s foot and a simple white t-shirt with the word Hope. A $10 donation will provide a Hope bear to a cancer patient. You can also take home Hope for yourself for $19.99 and $5 of your purchase will be donated to the American Cancer Society for pediatric cancer research. For more information on this initiative, visit https://www.extendedstayamerica.com/hope.
Another program that Extended Stay America has in its hotels is the Hotel Keys of Hope Program. There is a drop box in the lobby and for every hotel key returned via that box, ESA makes a $1 donation to the American Cancer Society.
Whether you are traveling for business or fun, take a look to see if there is an Extended Stay America near your destination! They are affordable, clean and have a great balance the comforts of home and the fun features of travel.