Event showcases new Staybridge Suites hotel in Florence

By: Andrew Boardwine

FLORENCE, S.C. – Hundreds of business and community leaders gathered at Staybridge Suites on Thursday to celebrate the hotel’s grand opening in conjunction with a Business After Hours event.

Staybridge Suites, at 150 Westpark Drive near the Florence Center, opened about two month ago.

Robin Osborne, general manager of Staybridge Suites, said she was excited to show off the new property to the Florence community.

“It’s exciting,” Osborne said. “We’ve been here for two months, so we’ve gotten to see how beautiful it is, but we just wanted to have the opportunity to show Florence. Although, we don’t book a lot of room for locals, we have the meeting and banquet space that will interest locals in the community. We’ve got Christmas parties coming up and we’ve already booked some weddings and receptions.”

The hotel is owned and managed by Raldex Hospitality under a license agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns nearly 5,400 hotels and 800,000 guest rooms in almost 100 countries.

Raldex Hospitality owns and operates Holiday Inn Express, Hilton Garden Inn and two Hampton Inn & Suites in Florence.

Osborne said Staybridge Suites is Raldex’s first “extended-stay brand hotel.”

“It’s a whole different market that we’ve never been a part of,” Osborne said. “There are corporate travelers that have stayed a couple of weeks, a month, two months. We have got somebody staying here now for four months. They become like family to us. It really is more of a family atmosphere than your normal hotel.”

The new property has 112 rooms, which include a mix of deluxe studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom/two-bathroom suites with communal living spaces. Guests will be able to enjoy kitchens with a full-size refrigerator, microwave oven, cooktop and a dishwasher.

The hotel offers several amenities, including a daily hot breakfast buffet; a den for socializing, playing board games or reading; an outdoor pavilion that includes two custom-built infra-red grills; and evening receptions four nights a week with wine, beer and customized entrees.

Additional conveniences include internet, a zero-entry outdoor saline pool, complimentary guest laundry room, guest storage room, a 24-hour business center, a fully equipped fitness center and a 2,600-square-foot meeting space with a capacity for 225 people, making it the largest hotel ballroom in Florence.