The Marriott TownePlace Suites, a new extended stay hotel in Aiken, opened for business on Tuesday.

Approved in 2011 by Aiken City Council, ground was broken for the construction of the new hotel on Monterey Drive off Whiskey Road last summer.

According to Neel Shah, owner of NMR Hospitality which manages this new hotel, they’re excited to open the new hotel, which has a host of amenities that will make its customers feel right at home. NMR Hospitality also manages the Clarion Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Hotel Aiken and the Springhill Suites in North Charleston.

The hotel includes 85 large studio rooms with a small cooking area, complimentary breakfast, a market pantry to purchase snacks or other necessities, a fitness room, a guest patio complete with a grill and an outdoor pool. Laundry will be washed on site for free.

Complimentary access to both Gold’s Gym and Achieve Fitness will also be offered to visitors.

Tom Shepherd, the general manager for the new hotel, said extended stay hotels are typically for those who need a room for five or more nights. He added that with the higher gas or airline ticket prices due to the economy, extended hotels can help travelers save money because they have the ability to cook meals in their rooms.

Shepherd pointed out a map on the wall located at the entrance to the hotel. Local restaurants and stores are pinpointed on the map and a chalkboard situated beside it will be used to inform visitors of events happening during their stay.

Shepherd said he wants to make sure that visitors have a chance to get the full experience of the community while they’re in Aiken.

“We want them to check in, stay for a while and integrate into the community, and we think Aiken is great for that because of everything thing Aiken offers,” Shepherd said.

He also plans to integrate his employees into the community by encouraging them to volunteer with nonprofits in the area.

The new hotel created about 15 jobs and Shepherd said his staff is trained and ready to ensure that their customers have a pleasant experience.

With SRS several miles down the road and a construction boom bringing in workers who need a place to stay, Shepherd feels the hotel will do great in Aiken because there was already a demand for this particular market, he said.

The Marriott TownePlace Suites is located at 1008 Monterey Drive and can be reached by calling 803-641-7373.

Amy Banton is the city beat reporter and has been with the Aiken Standard since May 2010. She is a native of Rustburg, Va., and a graduate of Randolph Macon Woman’s College.