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New Marriott Residence Inn program: millenial-friendly w/ food + better beer and wine; plus 2017 CYBER MONDAY deals

Residence Inn by Marriott has always been a great spot for folks who want spacious hotel suites for longer-term stays. But now they’re giving the properties a millennial-friendly, social spin.

Hotel officials were in Toronto Wednesday night to show off their “Inn the Mix” program, which provides “social hours” with local beer and wine and cool food options at Residence Inn properties.

“Millenials are travelling more for business,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager for Residence Inn, Towne Place Suites, Protea and Marriott Executive Apartments. “They’re used to having social time so we wanted a program with better beer and wine and a kind of social hour, where they can meet other smart, young and interesting people.”

They’re also bringing in great food by hosting food trucks that offer interesting local or ethnic dishes, Mayer said.

The program is aimed at millennials, but everyone who stays at a Residence Inn can benefit from a fun social hour.

“I like to remind our employees that baby boomers like better beer, too,” Mayer said with a smile.

Residence Inn features all suite rooms with free breakfast and free Wi-Fi. I love them when I’m on the road, even for a day or two, as I enjoy having the space and a good work environment. I also like the free Wi-Fi and not having to pay $10 for a lousy breakfast at a crowded coffee shop.

Tasty shrimp on offer at the Marriott Residence Inn event in Toronto. JIM BYERS PHOTO

I’ve also been a Marriott Rewards member for more than two decades.
Residence Inn properties can be found in 10 countries around the world and is growing rapidly, Mayer said. They have 50-plus hotels in the pipeline outside of North America.

They also have 22 properties already in Canada, with five more on the way; Halifax, Winnipeg, Calgary (which will be the largest Residence Inn in the country) and two in the Toronto area.

“They’re also great investments,” Mayer said. “The long-stay brands are the most profitable” in the Marriott portfolio.

The Wednesday night event at Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks featured food trucks offering lovely British and Brazilian food, plus wine and good, local beer.

CYBER MONDAY ON THE WAY

It’s starting, folks. Cyber Monday deals, I mean.

I got a note from Diamond PR the other day to show several top clients offering 50% off travel on Monday, Nov. 27. That includes the Westin Playa Bonita in Panama, with a 50% off deal and rooms from just $80 US a night. Go to www.westinplayabonita.com and enter the code CYBER.

The Perry Hotel Key West at Stock Island Marina in Florida has rooms at 40% off. Go to www.perrykeywest.com and enter the code CYBER.

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