By Phyllis W. Zeno
The royal blue paint had barely dried on the living room walls of the brand new Guest Suites in the Diamond Building before relatives were clamoring to get in.
Harvey and I were still in the midst of unpacking after our recent move to Asbury when his daughter Sandy announced that she and her husband Jeff were coming to inspect her dad's new home.
"Our guest room is still full of boxes," I moaned. "It looks like we'll have to call the Holiday Inn for a weekend reservation."
It was then that Becky Baxley from Asbury Housekeeping came to the rescue. "We'll just be opening our two newly finished Guest Suites in the Diamond building," she announced. And just in time, Suite 414 was ready for their arrival on the evening of May 17.
Sandy was “dazzled.”
"I could have been walking into a suite in the Ritz Carlton,” she says. “Those stunning blue accent walls in the living room and master bedroom were the perfect setting for the smart decor. There were splashes of red throughout the apartment ...red lamps and paintings of poppies on the walls. A queen-size bed and closets galore encouraged me to stay as long as I wanted."
And stay she did! Although her husband took the train back to New York on Sunday, Sandy begged Becky for an extension to Wednesday which allowed time for a movie at Rosborough and a Gaithersburg concert Tuesday night.
The Suite's balcony offers a relaxing view of the tennis courts and Sugarloaf Mountain, and WiFi and high-definition TV are included. It is spacious – with a small desk and second couch in the den, a dining table with four chairs, a fully-equipped kitchen with granite counters. Although you can easily cook meals in there, she shared dinners with us in the Hefner Dining Room.
Come Wednesday, Sandy was so relaxed she called Becky to see about extending her stay to Friday. Since Suite 414 was already rented for the weekend, she had the opportunity to try out 714 for a night. After sampling the twin beds there, she quickly made reservations for both Guest Suites for the end of August so that her college daughter and two nephews could join her and her husband for a visit.
During the six years that Vera and Jim Green have been Diamond residents, their son and daughter-in-law have been frequent Asbury visitors. On May 4 and 5, they were the very first to christen Suite 414. They had high praise for the suite they compared to the Marriott or the Ritz Carlton. They especially appreciated the fact that they were on the same floor as their parents. Vera says their suite had everything a hotel does, including daily cleaning and bed make-up. They loved the dishwasher and the coffee maker and having breakfast on the terrace each morning.
The popularity of these two Suites has been instantaneous with 29 reservations in the first two months they've been open. This is a fabulous amenity for Asbury residents who can offer friends and family members a luxurious stay for just $95 a day – a real bargain compared to comparable hotels in the Washington, D.C. area.
Personally, I am so enchanted with this service that I'm thinking of letting our next guests stay in our apartment while Harvey and I move into the new Guest Suite for a few days!
Phyllis Zeno resides in the Wallace Apartments at Asbury Methodist Village. She is a freelance writer and, most recently, was the editor of a travel magazine.