Stamford isn’t really a tourist town, but if you’re planning a trip on business or pleasure (or a mix of both, like we were), we’ve now stayed in a couple of completely different hotels and an Air BnB, so I thought I could give you some comparisons and recommendations of where to stay in Stamford….
The first time we visited Stamford in Connecticut was back in July last year, and we stayed in the Hampton Inn and Suites after much research on Trip Adviser! The reasons why we picked this hotel was for these reasons mainly: It was a much better price than most of the other hotels in Stamford; breakfast was included (and had good reviews); the parking was free, and it was just about in walking distance of Stamford Center, the shopping mall. They also provided a free shuttle car to the train station, which was a bonus as I was planning on visiting New York city a couple of times. There was only one down-side, that was that it didn’t have a swimming pool, and I do like a swim when I stay in a hotel. Never mind.
I’ve got nothing but good things to say in my review of the Hampton Inn and Suites hotel in Stamford. The staff at reception were so friendly and helpful. When the shuttle car driver was busy, they even called and paid for a taxi to the train station! Our bedroom was absolutely huge and included a kitchenette area with a fridge, sink and microwave – handy when I was staying there for a week; and there was a comfortable chair and table by the window overlooking Mill River Park, where I sat and wrote.
The free buffet breakfast lived up to its reputation and the hot selection was really good and had variations every day. I helped myself to the fresh fruit on offer and the toast. There was also pastries and bagels and cereal.
If you would like to see video of the hotel room, please take a look at my vlog of our first trip to Connecticut.
Our next trip to Stamford was for five nights last November and this time we chose the Marriott Hotel and Spa. There are several advantages to staying at the Marriott Hotel and Spa –the main one being its location. It is literally just across the road to the shopping mall – or ‘Stamford Center’ as it’s called; and (more importantly) The Cheesecake Factory! So no driving fast and unfamiliar streets necessary, or no long walk from the other main hotels in the area. Therefore, I think this makes the Marriott the most convenient hotel in Stamford.
If staying in the centre of town is a priority, your other option is the Hotel Zero. However I chose the Marriott over that one due to the swimming pool and reviews.
The wifi is free (there is a paid-for option for a faster service, but we didn’t find it necessary), however parking is $25 per day, so that racks up to quite a large amount if you’re staying a while. We didn’t hire a car on this second trip, so it wasn’t an issue for us. There are plenty of Ubers in Stamford and we never had to wait long for one.
I’d hoped for some spare time on the trip, and so I was very pleased to have a swimming pool in the hotel. It’s always so much nicer to swim in a hotel pool than in a public leisure centre isn’t it? I swam twice; it was beautifully warm, and I had it to myself during the day both times. However there was no changing room, which was a bit weird! I found a loo with a shower – which turned out to be freezing cold no matter which way I turned the handle. So it was lucky I’d gone down with my costume on under my clothes, but had to go back to the room with a towel round me. It’s more comfortable to shower and change in the room anyway, but I was very glad my keycard didn’t play up on that occasion!
I didn’t use it, but the gym looked really good with up-to-date equipment.
The staff at the Marriott were all incredibly friendly and helpful. Reception and public areas I saw were all comfortable and smart, but the paint and decor in the bedroom was a little tired.
The big downside was the noise. If you book a room here, whatever you do, request a room well away from the lifts (or elevators!). There are four of them going up and down and at first we assumed it was the train going past that we could hear! It’s pretty loud and very disturbing early in the morning. We actually had a cleaning cupboard between us and the lift, but that didn’t block out the noise. So in addition, we also had the cleaners rummaging around in the cupboard and going back and forth outside our door, which had no sealing from sound what-so-ever; you could hear every word and every rustle of bin bag. Every time they opened the cupboard door, the air pressure would cause our room door to rattle; and the same would happen whenever the noisy heater came on! Luckily I was so tired from the journey, and then exhausted from my time in New York and exploring the mall, that it didn’t disturb my sleep too much. Our room was very big, and the bathroom massive, and it turned out we’d been given an upgraded room. I found this out because I asked to move to a quieter one, but unfortunately they were full.
If you would like to see video of our room, hear how noisy the heater is, and look around the pool area, please take a look at my vlog of our second trip to Connecticut.
So which hotel you choose depends on your priorities really as I would recommend them both. They both had great customer service, and also both offered complimentary car/shuttle bus rides to the station and other nearby places. The main difference is the price, the swimming pool (or lack of), and the distance to the town centre. Also, the Marriott didn’t include a free breakfast. If I had to choose between them again, I’d actually go for the Hampton Inn and Suites for fear of getting a noisy room again at the Marriott.
A third option you might be interested in, is staying in an Airbnb. In January this year, we had a four week stay in Stamford, so this time we were looking for something larger and better value for the length of time. We stayed in this two bedroom “charming detached house in Stamford” and we were incredibly pleased with it. It’s much bigger than it looks from the photos; in a quiet residential location, and a ten minute walk to the Stop and Shop for grocery shopping (along with a Marshall’s, Michael’s and a few other shops). If you need to be in the centre of Stamford though, you would need a car. (Although I suppose there might be a bus – I never got round to looking that up.)
If you would like to see a full look at the house, please take a look at my Airbnb tour video.
I have just found my research notes on other hotels near the centre of Stamford, so I thought I’d type them up as this might be helpful if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in this part of Connecticut. These opinions are based on other people’s reviews though, not from my own personal experience:
Hotel Zero. Nearest. Free buffet breakfast; free wifi and free parking. Use of swimming pool in YMCA. Lift/elevator is always broken. Terrible parking and often no spaces left. Otherwise excellent.
Hilton. Swimming pool, but no free breakfast or parking. Reviews say tired, bit dirty, difficult to get to and not really walking distance to centre.
Courtyard by Marriott. Free station pick-up. Tiny pool. No free breakfast or parking. Very close to town centre.
Sheraton. Free shuttle. No free breakfast; not sure about parking. Tiny pool. Only has free wifi in the lobby.
So there you go! I hope that was helpful, and if you have anything to add, please do so in the comments because I expect I’ll be back again at some point soon!
You may also like my blog post: 10 reasons to visit New England in winter.