This is pretty great - New York City Park Place

The first time I stayed at an Embassy Suites was on my first trip to New York when I was in college. My mom took my sister and I to see the big city lights for our birthday, and it was a whirlwind experience. Eight or so hours from LA to New York by way of Seattle, followed by an itinerary packed with tourist hotspots and hidden gems. At the time there was an Embassy Suites across from the World Trade Center, and my mom booked it in an instant upon seeing their offer of free breakfast, afternoon reception, included internet and suites with separate sleeping spaces. For once, she'd be able to get some shut-eye in a room to herself while little sis and I stayed up watching cheesy movies all night!

We all geeked out over the space, thrilled to have a soft and spacious place to land in a typically-cramped city. Just a subway ride away from the action at Times Square and throughout Manhattan, we enjoyed our quiet retreat at the end of each day.

This is pretty great - Salt Lake City

With that experience under my belt, my own family now generally travels one of two ways. We either rough it on the road, or we find a hotel like Embassy Suites with tons of space for Nate and me and the three boys to squeeze in some relaxation time.

This is pretty great - Salt Lake City Mormon Temple

It's especially important for us to have somewhere comfortable when we're alternating between camping and hotel digs, so I look for places with ALL the amenities. Embassy Suites invited us to check out their Salt Lake City location on our last trip and it was soooo nice to be able to stretch out in style.

This is pretty great - Embassy Suites

After being cooped up for the 14-hour trip, Some Boy excitedly flung open all the doors and started exploring.

This is pretty great - Embassy Suites

“Big shower! Big beds! Num nums in the fridge!”

This is pretty great - preschooler looking surprised at Embassy Suites

I stashed our leftover pizza in the mini bar area and crashed – HARD – on one of the two queen mattresses. The boys claimed the other and Nate curled up on the sofa bed while Minion romped around in a crib the hotel sent up for us.

This is pretty great - Embassy Suites snacktime

After we'd pulled ourselves together, it was time for happy hour! Embassy Suites hotels host an evening reception with all sorts of drinks and food (including guacamole, which made for an easy baby snack). I've never seen a hotel doling out afternoon apps for free! I was even MORE impressed with the made-to-order omelets at breakfast. I love a place that makes my family comfortable without nickel-and-diming me.

This is pretty great - touring the Natural History Museum at Salt Lake City

From our spot on the outskirts of the city – without the hassle of valet or traffic – we were free to wander through the area. We explored adjacent state parks, museums, snowy slopes and little hole-in-the-wall spots. We'll share all about the Salt Lake City sights in another post.

This is pretty great - Embassy Suites pool

The kids enjoyed splashing in the pool with dad while I – much like my own mom all those years ago – took advantage of a good nap.

This is pretty great - Salt Lake City at night