Andy Roddick might have retired from professional tennis a decade ago, but he picked up many travel tips during his career after jetting across the globe for competitions. So, when IHG Hotels & Resorts presented him with the opportunity to design a suite at the Kimpton Hotel Eventi for the US Open, the former world No. 1 tennis player used his years of knowledge to curate it.
Dubbed the “Guest How Andy Roddick Guests” suite, Roddick opted to have his favorite foods (healthy snacks and sushi), freshly brewed coffee, ergonomic pillows, and more. Plus, the one-of-a-kind package includes two courtside level tickets in Arthur Ashe Stadium on September 6 and 7, a meet-and-greet with Roddick, and signed memorabilia.
As part of this partnership, I could chat with the tennis star to learn more about the inspiration for his design, his tips for traveling with young kids, and how to beat jet lag.
What inspired the design to make it an Andy Roddick suite at the Kimpton Hotel Eventi?
“I’m 0% creative. So, they had this huge questionnaire on preferences trying to marry the way I traveled now—largely with kids—versus what I did when I played. So, I had my favorite foods and healthy snacks like sushi and freshly brewed coffee. I have neck damage from playing, so ergonomic pillows.”
What was your hotel routine to ensure you played your best when traveling to compete?
“Space mattered. I was lucky enough not to stay at the players’ hotel. I saw my competition 45 weeks out of the year, and I didn’t really need to see him at breakfast. Also, I did a lot of my physical therapy treatment at the hotel instead of the courts. I would also do other business-related stuff at the hotel because I’d rather spend the time at the hotel than at the courts.”
You traveled all over for competitions. How did you beat jet lag?
“I would try to sneak an extra day or two on the front end, especially going down to Australia or Asia where you’re completely flipped upside down. That way, there isn’t the pressure to get over the jet lag in a day or two. Also, moving first thing when you land. It seems counterintuitive, but the pain of working out when you first land helps the process [of beating jet lag] overall, especially that first night.”
Now that you’re retired and have two kids, what do you look for when it comes to a hotel?
“Connecting rooms! I used to be selfish and wanted everything my way. Now, I think you view it through the lens of what will keep the peace with the children. I love being a father, but I didn’t know that I loved traveling with kids when they were one and two years old. That was always a bit of a wildcard situation.”
Do you have any tips for traveling with young kids?
“Have backup activities. The attention span is probably like 25 minutes at a time. So, I rotate with my wife, and each takes an hour [on the flight]—that way, we both aren’t on edge and can relax a little bit. Also, our son was an easy traveler; our daughter wasn’t. But letting her know what was going to happen helped a lot.”
Lastly, is there any place still on your bucket list?
“I think the answer to that will be forever. The one thing Brooke and I wanted to do that we didn’t get to do before kids go on safari. Everyone I know that’s done it says it’s just amazing and life-changing.”
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