BETHESDA, MD – Food trucks, grilling, a taste of the hottest local eats and sweets, all washed down by premium beers in a relaxing social setting…what’s not to love? These are today’s food trends and one that Residence Inn by Marriott is embracing with its new program Residence Inn Mix. The leading extended stay brand brings a fresh approach to the concept of social hour with a reimagined experience that combines multiple local culinary options, upgraded beverage offerings and the perfect atmosphere to mingle.
“Residence Inn understands extended stay guests and we know people who travel for longer periods crave variety. We also see younger travelers wanting to trade in evenings at a buzzy bar for a more comfortable way to relax and reconnect,” says Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager, Residence Inn. “The Residence Inn Mix changes things up and brings that fun energy and local flare into the kind of setting that truly brings the social back to the evening social.”
Offered three nights per week at Residence Inn’s nearly 700 locations, these experiential evening gatherings encourage guests to interact and connect with the destination. Themed nights include:
- It’s On (Mondays) – Meet other guests for some “must-see TV” or hang by the fire pit with a variety of light-fare appetizers.
- Off the Grill (Tuesdays) – Join in for conversation and great eats, hot off the grill.
- Food Truck (Alternating Wednesdays) – Get to know the local area’s most popular food trucks.
- Local Flavors (Alternating Wednesdays) – Sample specialties from famous local hot spots.
- Just Desserts (Alternating Wednesdays) – Reward yourself with something sweet and savory.
- Out & About (Anytime) – Stop by the front desk to get the lowdown on the best local spots and what’s abuzz in town.
“Our research found that more than half of frequent business travelers are looking for something to do without needing to leave the hotel on long stays,” said Mayer, “They want to meet others and experience the local area without the hassle of always leaving the hotel to do it – so we’re bringing local to them.”
As part of the Residence Inn Mix rollout, the brand has teamed up with leading visual discovery platform Blippar to pilot image recognition and augmented reality technologies. The augmented reality experience will be showcased at four special Residence Inn Mix launch events, starting this month in Boston, Austin, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Guests will be provided with blippable beverage coasters that allow them to unlock unique interactive experiences including multi-player trivial games, customizable selfies and premium Anheuser-Busch content including suggested food and beer pairings. This is the first time Blippar has partnered with a major hotel brand and is also the introduction of its new multi-player function.