Quogue, New York
October 13, 2005
A small circular drive beautifully landscaped in fall colors sets the tone for this "home away from home," as Marriott likes to promote their Residence Inns. The nine buildings resemble a lovely apartment complex in the woods rather than a motel just off the highway.
The small lobby is decorated with live plants, fall foliage, and pumpkins. The lounge area - a living room/dining area combination just off the lobby - is a comfortable alternative to your suite for watching TV or accessing free Internet. An adjacent room has a few workout machines, and a small "market" behind the front desk has snacks, drinks, and microwaveable meals for sale.
The one-bedroom suites are not large but well designed. A few have fireplaces and all have a small deck off the bedroom. The open design of the living room/kitchen makes the room feel more spacious. The pullout sofa is comfortable to sit on, lighting is good, and the desk is equipped with a high-speed data port and cable for free Internet access.
The kitchen with a full-size refrigerator/freezer with ice maker, two-burner stove, microwave and small dishwasher, and two stools at a counter is perfect for two. A welcome basket is filled with coffee and popcorn.
Complimentary buffet breakfast is served for 3 hours each morning. The room is too small, as there are only 8 tables, so there is a wait. The food was good - not great - but there is something for everyone: oatmeal, cereal, fruit, juices, yogurt, donuts, bagels, toast, muffins, and make-your-own waffles. Each morning I had scrambled and hard-boiled eggs and a changing variety of ham, sausage, fried potatoes, biscuits, pancakes, and even tortillas with salsa and cheese. If you prefer to eat in your suite, plastic plates and utensils are provided for takeaway.
On weekday evenings there is a Social Hour from 5 to 7pm. No, there are no cocktails, as Residence Inn does not have a liquor license. We were there on a weekend, but a menu posted in our room showed a good variety of supper items that changed daily: franks with mac and cheese, fajitas, beef stew, meatloaf with mash, chicken tenders with fries, meatballs and spaghetti - a nice concept. The pool area, small but inviting (closed after Labor Day), has a gazebo with grills and tables. Also inviting were picnic tables in a wooded grove, even just for relaxing instead of picnicking.
Residence Inn is a good choice as a point to explore from while on a short vacation. You could easily call it "home" for a long weekend or a week - and it would be easy although a bit tight in space with kids.
From journal Short stays in Boston