Do you know which Mayo building you will be in? Aspen Suites is actually across the street from one of the Mayo buildings, St Mary's. At any rate, parking at hotels and the Mayo can be very expensive (IIRC parking at the Mayo was like $30/day) and driving around there trying to find a space can be frustrating. I would think that Aspen Suites offers some sort of shuttle service to other Mayo buildings, though.
We are in the Gonda building. I found that you can get a five day pass for the Mayo parking decks for $25 but question is how fast do they fill up? On our last trips we found the shuttles moderately on time. Also if you have been over for a long day of tests riding a shuttle with 30 of your not closest friends isn't much fun. So...that bring up the debate on is it worth the extra cost?
The shuttles I used were town cars or small buses that went directly to/from the hotel (Hampton Inn and Hilton during our stays). We would arrange a time the night before to get picked up and there was a desk that would call them to get picked up. Never had to wait too long either way. It sounds like you might have been using one of the shuttles that goes to multiple hotels?
Anyway, the ramps (at least the ones we used) fill up pretty early in the morning. They do have valet parking at some of the buildings, including Gonda.
I can't really say if an extra $300 is worth it to you or not. Depending on you and the patient's situation, it might be a big hassle getting to/from your car or waiting for the valet and dealing with the traffic around the Mayo. It also might be nice to have a hotel room close by to take a nap or shower if time permits, or eat a decent meal. The Mayo is nice but it's still a hospital and sitting in there all day every day and eating cafeteria food gets old very quickly. As a caregiver, you need to still make a bit of time for yourself and get out of that environment for some mental sanity.
May could be nice outside or rainy. If it was nice you could walk to Mayo or take the shuttle. The Residence is located close to Aspen Suites. Aspen Suites is a bit newer than the Residence and is ranked higher. There are some nice restaurants right by Aspen Suites. We recently discovered Cafe Presto. Love the food and the prices. Personally, I'd save the money and stay at Aspen Suites.
We always buy the Mayo Multi Day Parking ticket. If we do not use it all, we bring it back on our next visit and then buy another, when needed.
Many places there offer Mayo patient rates. Always ask.
We stayed at Townplace Suites, not walking distance but it was more reasonably priced and let us make some food there during our stay. It has free parking but you would need to drive to the Mayo or take the Shuttle. We took the Shuttle but that might not work for everyone as you mentioned some good points. Worth checking to see if ti would for your needs, but agree with gweilo845 if you want to go back and rest or back and forth during your stay a closer option would perhaps make more sense.Edited: 24 March 2017, 05:20
I stayed at the Brentwood Inn last month while I was at Mayo. It has access from the subway. It was so convenient, and was about $115 a night. I booked a few months ahead.
I had appointments with 2-3 hours in between each one. It was so nice to be able to go to my room between appointments to rest.