by Kirby Lindsay Laney, posted 15 February 2016
For the first time in ages, Fremont has a new hotel on Aurora – one nice enough for Aunt Millie and Uncle Herb to stay at, and to draw more people to the Center of The Universe to eat, drink, shop, stroll and play.
‘Like An Apartment Complex’
Owned by Olympic Hospitality, which owns a few other IHG brand hotels, including the Holiday Inn a bit further south on Aurora, Staybridge is unusual from many other hotels. This is a mid-range residential hotel, ideally suited for longer-term stays.
“We do get [guests staying for] a night or two,” acknowledged Sherrel Caprio, Director of Sales for Staybridge, yet for their facility to work at its optimum, “we require a base of 50% or more of seven-day stays, or more.” Staybridge staff focus on serving the long-term guest, and making their stay comfortable and convenient, “like an apartment complex,” Caprio explained.
By Fremont standards, Staybridge Suites has little in common with the other motels dotted along Aurora. As Cabrio observed, Staybridge has overnight security, cameras monitoring the entire campus, and 24-hour front desk staff that keep guests safe and address potential situations before they become problems. “We are not in the market of the motel client,” Cabrio explained, and as to any criminal activity, “it is taken very seriously.” As an IHG Select Service Property, our Staybridge Suites has brand standards to maintain, and strive to exceed.
Staybridge in Fremont can accept drop-in guests off Highway 99, if they have room, yet that is not their typical client. “99% are pre-made reservations,” Cabrio observed, as their guests tend to plan their extended stays in Fremont, and the Seattle area. Many guests find them through the website, and the excellent reputation IHG brands hold.
In A Neighborhood Setting
People choose Staybridge when they come to town for extended stays: for work projects, new hire orientation, training, medical treatment, sports exhibitions, and tourism, particularly for families. “Before this, all these guests were staying Downtown,” Cabrio observed. Now, they can choose a location that still offers plenty to do and see, but located in a more fanciful, less faceless community. Fremont offers the amenities of home, while being a step outside the ordinary.
The Staybridge Suites already strives to provide the amenities of home. Every room comes as a suite – they have 70 studio rooms, 40 one-bedroom and 9 two-bedroom suites (with each room en suite,) and everyone also has a pull-out couch for the kids, or more family. Every unit has a full kitchen, with stove top, refrigerator, microwave and a full complement of kitchen gear, along with cable television, DVD players, and wi-fi.
The suites have kitchens, but guests can also enjoy a hot, complimentary breakfast in the dining room, where the entire visiting track team can gather for a meal, and business guests can tank up on coffee before the morning round of meetings. In addition, guests can make use of the gas grills and a fireplace out on the downstairs patio, and board games or puzzles for mellower nights in the great room, or the quieter den. They have a business center, along with a pool, spa and 24-hour access fitness center. The roof-top deck also has seating, for guests who want to relax with a gorgeous view of Seattle, and a fenced play area for guests’ dogs to do their business.
For Staybridge guests, and Fremonsters, our Staybridge has three meeting rooms available for rental. The Fremont Chamber of Commerce held a morning meeting there in January, with a hot breakfast provided as well, with a PowerPoint presentation and tables and chairs for all. For its guests, the staff hosts socials, three times a week, that residents can attend for answers to questions about the facility and the area, and a chance to talk with other residents too.
According to Caprio, one thing residents like to do is walk up to the pedestrian overpass across Aurora and visit Marketime Foods, and the delicious restaurants of Upper Fremont (Paseo, Pecado Bueno, Vif, Ha!, etc.) Staybridge residents pick up supplies from area stores, although as Caprio observed, “not all of our guests use the kitchens…” Sounds much like home!
“About 30 – 40% bring vehicles,” Caprio acknowledged about their guests, and Staybridge has secured parking beneath the building, available for a small fee. Yet, most residents like using the Staybridge shuttle which Fremonsters may have seen dropping off people at key locations around our area. Currently, the shuttle makes stops at:
- Queen Anne QFC (with access to Seattle Center/Key Arena)
- North 34th St (access to Fremont’s Silicon Canal)
- North 36th St (access to Fremont restaurants)
- Denny Way (access to Amazon)
- 5th Avenue at Seattle Center (Ride The Ducks / Monorail / EMP)
- Pine Street (Westlake Center)
- Stone Way at the Brooks Building/3400 Stone
Guests use the shuttle to conduct their business, for meetings, training, and treatment, or just to explore the area. The front desk staff hand-out the Walking Guide To Fremont, and give out information about what to do. Both Nectar Lounge and Pel’Meni Dumpling Tzar have worked with the hotel to provide local entertainment and catering to their guests, and our latest residents.
Welcoming Staybridge Staff & Residents
For now, Staybridge residents have told Cabrio how delighted they are, with the location and the amenities within the hotel and outside it. In the future, a restaurant, deli, café or other food service nearer the hotel would see business from the guests – and the staff who like to grab something on their breaks.
For Fremont, Staybridge is a great new opportunity – to direct family or friends looking to stay in the area but, perhaps, not on your sofa – as well as with its meeting rooms to hire, and its residents shopping, dining and playing alongside us. There is plenty for all, and the more the merrier, at the Center of the Universe.
- Hotel/Hotel Has Arrived In Fremont/Fremont
- by Kirby Lindsay, August 31, 2011
- Upper Fremont Calls For Lunch
- by Kirby Lindsay, November 9, 2011
- Welcome To The Top Of The Universe!
- by Kirby Lindsay, April 5, 2013
- Meet The Powerhouse
- by Kirby Lindsay, December 26, 2013
©2016 Kirby Laney. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.