TownePlace Suites by Marriott Celebrates the Weber Grill Partnership at Chicago’s Windy City Smokeout

Barbecue, beer, country music, and competition comes together for one spirited weekend

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Weber began engineering better ways to grill and barbecue meat since 1950.

What would make a hotel stay feel more like being in the comfort of your own home? How about a family and friends grilling get-together? Who doesn’t want to be chowing down on barbecue, enjoying the comradery and fresh air on a vacation or stay-cation? 

That’s exactly what TownePlace Suites by Marriott and Weber Grills thought, too, so they partnered up to make this hypothetical scenario a real option for anyone staying at a TownePlace Suites hotel. Travelers can now experience a good ol’ American barbecue whether they’re seasoned professionals, first-time grillers, or somewhere in between. The extended-stay hotel brand has officially rolled out new high-end, stainless steel Weber Summit Gas Grills at more than 100 hotels across the U.S. and Canada.

Barbecue enthusiasts staying at TownePlace Suite hotels now have unlimited access to premium grills, tools, spices, and seasoning in each of the hotel’s outdoor patio areas. Easy-to-follow recipes, created by Weber grill master Kevin Kolman, are available online at and include classic all-American steak burgers, corn on the cob with basil-parmesan butter, and plenty of other hearty, grilled fare. All guests need to do is BYOM (bring your own meat).

Guests of any TownePlace Suites will find top-notch, grill-inspired goodies throughout the hotel and, of course, in their suite’s fully equipped kitchens. If you’re intimidated by grilling, or unsure of what to do, don’t worry – hotel associates will be fully trained on proper grill operation and cooking skills so they can provide pro tips and tricks.

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To celebrate the partnership launch, the two brands hosted a celebrity grill-off between up-and-coming country music stars Sister CJordan Gray, and Joey Hyde as a preview event at the Windy City Smokeout, Chicago’s top barbecue and country music festival

The “barbecue” battle /pizza grill-off between the country music stars was an intense competition – we all know that no one likes to lose. With 10 minutes to create a grilled pizza masterpiece, the pressure was on, and the gentlemen ultimately beat the ladies in a close battle.

The guys, who won by 1.5 points in the taste department, opted to focus on one cheese pizza, topped with barbecue sauce, pulled pork, brisket, garlic, and peppers. The ladies, on the other hand, went all out with three different, and admittedly innovative, pizzas: a barbecue/ marinara combo topped with brisket; a stuffed-crust pizza filled with cheese and bacon; and lastly, a Texas-shaped fig, pear, and goat cheese creation that may have led to their defeat.

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That said, as an older sister myself, I’m surprised I didn’t see any arguing, name calling, or food throwing among the Texas-born sister trio. Though neither group had much grilling or cooking experience, it was certainly entertaining to watch them attempt to make prize-worthy pies.

I had the chance to sit down with the talented country music celebrities and talk to them about the grill-off experience before they hit the stages later that weekend. Not surprisingly, Sister C – Cirby, Carli and Celbi Manchaca – were genuinely nice, chill women who were more than happy to chit-chat with me.

When asked about the relationship between country music and barbecue, they explained that they go hand in hand. Both things contribute in harmony to bonding, comradery, and fun at parties and get-togethers with friends and family. And of course, it’s not a party if no one is listening to and/or playing country music (at least in Texas)!

The charming Joey Hyde was likewise a delight to talk to. Charismatic and jovial, he won the epic pizza battle, along with Jordan Gray, and while he’s never before grilled a pizza, he was proud to say he’s now “batting a thousand” when it comes to the grill-off game. Indeed, he is.

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