Once the first of extended stay hotels in Warwick, the Marriott Residence Inn, more like a village than a hotel, is undergoing an extensive $3.5 million renovation as the Sonesta ES Suites.
Community members and business representatives were given a “hard hat” tour of the 96-unit complex on Kilvert Street in Metro Center Thursday that included an open grill on the patio just outside the pool. The homelike surroundings is all part of the Sonesta appeal, says general manager of the Warwick Sonesta, Laura Anderson. Anderson, who comes to Warwick from Ohio where they don’t have the beaches like the ones she has discovered here, said the heart of Sonesta business is the guest looking to spend 30 days or more.
“We’re a large company, but nobody knows that,” Anderson said of Sonesta’s emphasis on the individual. Since the sale – the Warwick location was one of 26 properties bought by Sonesta last fall – Anderson said the company has been able to retain its full staff of 20 even during the renovations. A grand re-opening is planned for August.
And, even after the sale, “Miss Gladys” continued to be a guest. “Miss Gladys,” as she affectionately was known by the staff, left the extended stay facility after 13 years for an assisted living facility.
Sonesta’s George Giris said the company is a “newcomer” to extended stay. On a tour he showed off renovated one- and two-bedroom units that have an apartment feel with its kitchen and sitting areas. Sonesta has upgraded units with full-size appliances and integrated its own color schemes to the units. Giris said daily rentals depend on the market and can range from $125 to $500.
Among the hardhat visitors was the staff of the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce and Dennis Labossiere of the Iron Works Tavern, as well as Carmine DeLuca of Lynch’s Cleaning and Restoration Service. DeLuca was interested to see the remake of the extended stay for individuals and families displaced by fires and other catastrophes that his company addresses. With the Iron Works Tavern just a short distance away, Labossiere looked to introduce his company’s catering and delivery services.
Giris said Sonesta is looking to give its guests a community feel, although the extended stay of “Miss Gladys” is not what the company is looking for and beyond any expectation. Sonesta will offer a full breakfast and evening socials about three times weekly with “heavy appetizers” that could well be dinner.
Maybe 13 years isn’t long enough.