When I realised I'd be spending almost six weeks in the US this fall, finding somewhere decent to stay (at an affordable rate) quickly became a priority. The rooms at Homewood Suites have a separate bedroom with ensuite bath/shower, and then an open plan living space with seating, dining, and kitchen areas (see below for more on the kitchen). Shared facilities include a free and well-equipped gym, very reasonably priced laundry room, breakfast every morning, and even some evening meals thrown in. Plus, the rate goes down drastically if you stay over 30 nights.
I was actually really impressed. I'm a picky sleeper, but the beds were really comfortable (no waking up with morning backache), the sheets were soft, and there was a choice of pillows. Having a separate living space made it feel more like an apartment than a hotel room, and we had plenty of space to spread out our stuff. We'd definitely stay here again if we were back in the area, and will look out for this brand in other cities.
Being away from home for more than a week or two, my thoughts immediately turn to food. The kitchen facilities were one of my main considerations when deciding where to stay; so many places think that a microwave and coffee-maker are all the appliances you need. I was pleased to have a full-size fridge/freezer, and a two-ring stove, so that I could make proper meals. Even leaving aside the lack of an oven, there were a few things I really missed. (A mixing bowl and spatula wouldn't be too expensive, would they?) But there was enough kit to throw together a reasonable dinner, which was a lifesaver when my stomach got overwhelmed with the too-rich restaurant options.
There was also some food provided. Breakfast was slightly less-than-exciting for me. For a few days, it would have been fine, but the vegetarian selection was thin when it came to hot food (scrambled eggs every day, with fried potatoes about every 4 days), and everything from the cereal to the bread was loaded with unnecessary sugar. On days when I wanted to make myself a waffle, it was great; on other days, I bought some sourdough toast or bagels to make in the room. Similarly, the evening meal wasn't designed with vegetarians in mind - only on a couple of nights was there a decent veggie option (tacos and pasta, if you were wondering). But it was handy to have it there, because we could often grab something like a jacket potato or some rice to accompany whatever I was cooking.