A fews weeks ago, Steve and I were invited to participate in a reception and hard hat tour of the new Home2 Suites in west Omaha. The Hilton property owners

Gigi's Wedding Cake cupcake was amazing. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcarjar.com)

Gigi’s Wedding Cake cupcake was amazing. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcarjar.com)

and operators welcomed us (and other area bloggers) to a fantastic wine and cheese reception at the Hilton Garden Inn where we were treated to great food, complimentary drinks, and sweet treats from Gigi’s Cupcakes. The cupcakes were delicious, but the real treat was a sneak peek at the Home2 Suites that is expected to open soon near 180th and Dodge in Omaha.

Led by Home2 Suites General Manager, DJ Miller, we toured a couple of the nice rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn and then walked across the street to the Home2 Suites, which was still under construction. The reception area and first floor were not finished, but we could easily envision the free standing front desk and the community area where complimentary breakfast will be served. We even got to check out the area that will house a chemical-free, saline pool and for the first time in a long time, we found a hot tub without kids in it! (Doesn’t Steve look excited?)

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This Home2 Suites, which will be the first in Nebraska and just the 35th in the country, is perfect for people who are staying in Omaha for more than one night.

Like the Hilton Garden Inn across the street, it is conveniently located just 15 minutes from downtown Omaha, the CenturyLink Center, and TD Ameritrade Park and it’s also near several hospitals and medical facilities. And if you’re like me and shopping completely exhausts you, Home2 Suites would be a great place to put your feet up after a day at the nearby Village Point Shopping Center. Because the Suites are designed for multiple-night stays, the rates will start at about $100 a night but discounts will be given the longer you stay.

From the looks of it, the Home2 Suites will be a place  you won’t necessarily want to leave.

(Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

The 105-suite facility offers one or two-bedroom suites, each with a living area and full kitchen, equipped with a dishwasher, microwave and refrigerator (and I’m not talking about the dorm-sized ones you find in most hotels).

(Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

Photo by Ann Teget for postcardjar.comThe suites are all spacious and include contemporary decor with a local flare exhibited through custom artwork that brings attention to local notables like Omaha Steaks, Boys Town, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and the College World Series.

The couches sat well and the living space included a portable table, which we thought was a great idea for business travelers who needed a desk space, or families who wanted to eat a meal together.

The suites feature contemporary decor and movable furniture. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

We appreciated that the suites will offer free WiFi not only in the common areas, but also in the rooms, even if you’re not a Hilton Honors Gold member.

No leaning over to get your hair wet in this shower. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

No leaning over to get your hair wet in this shower. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

It also has a nice fitness room right next to a laundry facility that they call Spin2Cycle where you can do a load of laundry for 50 cents.  Since Home2 Suites is being built with a focus on sustainability, the carpets are made from at least 60% recycled product and the rooms are equipped with Energy Star appliances and dual-flush toilets to use less water.

Steve wasn’t as interested in the dual-flush option as he was the fact that the shower heads were placed quite high and at 6’4″, he would not have to bend over to get his hair wet like he does in most hotels.

We stay at a lot of Hilton properties and appreciate some of the things that will make Home2 Suites unique, such as moveable furniture, an outdoor patio, fire pit and walking trail, and … wait for it … NUTELLA. That’s right. The complimentary breakfast is a little different here. It will include open-faced breakfast sandwiches with optional toppings, yogurt parfaits you make yourself, and several baked items with toppings like Nutella (it’s the little things that make me happy).

We liked a lot about the new Home2 Suites, which is owned and managed by Kinseth Hospitality Companies, including its owners’ commitment to the local community through the Your 2 Hands program. I suspect with our daughter, Meghan, transferring to the University of Nebraska – Omaha this fall, we’ll spend a night or two at the Home2 Suites. After our hard hat tour, I’m confident DJ and his staff will make us feel right at home.

What makes you feel at home when you travel? Leave us a comment and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Our hard hat tour with Home2 Suites General Manager DJ Miller. (Photo by Tim Trudell of The Walking Tourists)

Our hard hat tour with Home2 Suites General Manager DJ Miller. (Photo by Tim Trudell of The Walking Tourists)

  • We've been having the best time in the Florida Keys visiting Steve's mom and dad this week. Today, it was cold for Floridians, but we loved the sunshine (and were thankful for awesome neighbors who were likely shoveling the snow from our driveway back home).⁣
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We are so thankful for a flexible schedule and opportunities like this one to share time with family. Life seems to pass us by so quickly the older we get and we're fortunate to be able to travel and share experiences with the people we love most. ⁣
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Feeling especially blessed tonight, in the beautiful Florida Keys.
  • We enjoyed a delicious dinner tonight at Hideaway Cafe on Grassy Key with Steve's mom and dad. We went early at 5 p.m. for the sunset dinner menu which has smaller portions and the most beautiful views of the sunset. ⁣
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The food was fresh and made-to-order and served by gracious and professional staff who made us feel right at home. ⁣
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Hideaway is a great restaurant choice for dinner if you're in the Florida Keys. Get a reservation ahead of time, as it fills up quickly, even at 5 p.m.
  • Need some inspiration for staying healthy while traveling? Good news! We are taking over the @noom Instagram stories this afternoon and hope you’ll all follow along as we share tips on how to make healthy living choices while on a cruise ship. We’ll take you inside the beautiful @celebritycruises Edge and show you how we stayed on track with our Noom goals while still enjoying a fantastic cruise vacation. Be sure to follow @noom! Our takeover has just begun. 😁
  • The Rooftop Garden is a unique space on the top deck of the @celebrityedge. There’s no water slide on this ship, no go-carts, and the’s no rock wall for climbing. Instead the Rooftop Garden provides a “living urban playscape inspired by childhood playgrounds and designed to waken the inner child in all of us,” according to the Celebrity Cruises website. There are live plants, comfortable outdoor seating, and unique art installations that set the space apart from anything else at sea. @cruisecelebrity
  • Blu is a restaurant on the Celebrity Edge that is dedicated to guests in Aqua Class.  It serves “clean, crisp flavors and inventive cuisine” in a gorgeous blue venue. To give you an example of the types of entrees served, for dinner tonight Blu is offering seared duck breast with wilted chard, farro risotto, and black cherry jus; a cracked pepper corn-crusted tuna salad, watercress, and dijon vinaigrette; and pumpkin gnocchi with sautéed arugula, sundries tomatoes, marinated artichokes, goat cheese and basil pesto. What would you order?
  • Yes, cruise ships are huge, but if you do a little exploring, you’ll find that the designers have included many small spots perfect for intimate conversation and watching the world go by. We found this nook in Eden, on deck 5 of the Celebrity Edge, near the stern.
  • Last Sunday we began the second half of our very first back-to-back cruise on the Celebrity Edge. We’ve had the best cruise vacation and have enjoyed every single minute of our vacation. The Edge  been an ideal place to relax, recharge, and prepare for a new year. We’ve also used this time to try new things and focus on a healthy lifestyle. Thank you all for coming along on our journey and sharing your sweet comments with us along the way. We are grateful for each of you.
  • We just love these guys!! These two characters were the bartenders on the Retreat Sundeck for our cruise aboard the Celebrity Edge. Johannes and Vince created a light, fun atmosphere and made you want to go to the pool every day. Their personalities helped make the Retreat a welcoming place with professional service. We shouldn’t be surprised, though. We found similar cheerfulness in crew around every corner of the Edge, under the command of @captainkatemccue.

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