Embassy Suites: the good, the bad, and the dirty

I stayed at the Embassy Suites for the first time a few months ago. I was really surprised by the reasonable prices for a full suite, along with some major food perks: complimentary cocktail hour in the evenings and complimentary made to order breakfast buffet in the mornings. There’s some other nice amenities as well including pool, free wifi, exercise center, etc.

I documented as much as I could of my initial Embassy Suites stay but I didn’t get to enjoy much of it since I was there for such a short time. So I came up with the brilliant idea of staying at one of the Embassy Suites closer to home (a decision I’d regret later). Mr. K and I had planned a mini vacation that had to be postponed. We decided to have a sort of “staycation” instead, though instead of staying home, we would stay in Embassy Suites. We originally planned on staying in San Diego, but decided that in order to escape from the stress of our everyday lives, we needed to go a tad further, so we chose the one in Arcadia.

Embassy Suites in Dublin, Ohio and Arcadia-Pasadena, California.

The Good:

Things started out great. We arrived just in time for happy hour. Between 5:30-7:30pm, complimentary cocktails and snacks are served in the lounge area.

As you can see from this overhead shot, the line is for the cocktails, but it moves pretty fast.

During our stay in Dublin, we got to sample this as well. The snack offerings were kettle chips, Chex mix, cheese cubes, and salsa with tortilla chips

For our stay in Arcadia the offerings were similar: Chex mix, pretzels, another snack mix. Our favorite though were the tortilla chips with spicy nacho cheese sauce. We got a few helpings of that along with several cocktails.

Mr. K spent most of the time relaxing on cocktails. I spent most of the time trying to figure out how many cherries could be crammed into my drinks. The staff were super friendly and accommodating of my requests. I believe there is some sort of limit for drinks, but we never reached it so I don’t know what it is.

After we had our fill of drinks and snacks (two hours is actually quite long so we cut out early), we went upstairs to rest in our suite. The suites for both Dublin and Arcadia were quite similar. They do look a little outdated, but given the price per night (about $129), I didn’t think it was so bad.

Each standard suite provides a living room area that has a couch, desk, and tv. There is also a small microwave, fridge/freezer, and sink.  The bedroom has another tv. For the Arcadia hotel, there was also this extra vanity area which was nice though a little awkwardly placed since it was next to the bed.

Dublin:


Both hotels offer a lot of green foliage, though more so at Arcadia, which was going for a very tropical feel. They even have a parrot, though it was in a cage covered in towels and not very active.

Dublin:


I was most excited for the breakfast. I hadn’t gotten a chance to try the breakfast at Dublin and had to live vicariously through Mr. K’s photos. The breakfast spread is quite impressive, much better than the typical complimentary breakfasts we’ve had at hotels. In addition to a hot food station, yogurt/fruit, bagels/donuts/pastries, and cereal, there is also a made to order breakfast station which offers omelets, pancakes, etc. Pro tip: skip the hot food station and get the same things much fresher at the made to order station. The sausage, eggs, potatoes  and bacon did not bode well in the hot food station but they tasted delicious when made to order.

The cocktail lounge transforms into the breakfast buffet. The line for cocktails is replaced with the line for made to order breakfast items.

Here’s some of what we had:

Omelet, crispy potatoes, sausages patties, bacon and pancakes all from the made to order station.

Glazed donut, juice, blueberry muffin, cake donut, cereal

Fruit and yogurt for later

Mr. K’s photos from Dublin:

The Bad:

As I previously mentioned, the suites do look outdated, especially the couches. In addition, the tv remotes never seemed to work properly and you have to press each button five or six times to get it to respond. There was also a lot of noise from events happening outside of the room that was hard to ignore, whether it be people eating or a party being hosted at the venue.

During our Dublin stay, I really had no complaints. Granted, I wasn’t there very long. I checked in, sampled the cocktail hour for all of 10 minutes, came back to the hotel later that night and crashed until the next morning. Got up super early, took a quick shower, and that was the end of my stay.

My Arcadia night was a whole different matter. After we came back from cocktail hour, Mr. K promptly fell asleep. While he napped, I browsed on my computer (complimentary wifi is provided) and watched movies on tv. Around midnight, I was tired and decided to turn in. I went to the bathroom and promptly freaked out.

The Dirty:

The bathtub/shower floor was covered in…something. It was like black and red pieces of guck. I knew it hadn’t been there before since I had photoed the room before going down for cocktail hour. I contemplated calling the front desk, but it was so late. I didn’t have the energy to move our stuff to another room.

I attempted to go to sleep, but the image of the bathroom haunted me. I finally fell asleep, only to be waken by gurgling coming from the tub. I was too traumatized to look myself, so I made Mr. K get up and look. And sure enough, plumbing issues was the cause of the stuff that had been all over our shower floor. Mr. K actually took footage of it. It would gurgle awhile and then drain out, leaving behind stuff, which is what I saw the first time.

By this time it was 2am, so we really didn’t really know what to do. But the damage had definitely been done. It was nearly impossible to sleep. On top of the disgusting bathroom, there was the fact that you could hear anyone taking a shower in a nearby room, as loud as if they were actually in your room. There was also a thumping side from the fridge because it was uneven. I’m a light sleeper to begin with and these sounds just made sleep impossible.

Of course once the bathroom thing came to light, I became more suspicious of our surroundings. Since I couldn’t sleep, I did a search for reviews and found people complaining about the cleanliness of the Arcadia branch. Minutes later, I happened to glance into my cup and found black specks in it. I had brewed some hot water to help me sleep in the coffee and tea brewer and apparently it had not been cleaned properly since it spewed out black stuff, which did not look like tea leaves or coffee grinds. It actually looked like dead fruit flies. Awesome. I don’t even know how much of it I drank before noticing it.

The next morning, I couldn’t wait to leave. I wanted to go home and scrub myself clean. When we checked out, Mr. K complained about the tub. They then told us that they were aware of the problem. Um, what? Aware of the problem and they didn’t warn us or make sure those rooms were not to be used? After Mr. K complained some more, they agreed to give us a 25% discount, which only amounted to about $30 off. I definitely feel like this was a far cry from the inconvenience of waking up to a disgusting tub and not being able to shower. Blegh.

I’m not trying to tarnish the image of Embassy Suites. I had a good stay in Dublin and I know of several friends and family who stay at Embassy Suites whenever they vacation somewhere. I would definitely avoid the Arcadia one though. As much as I enjoyed the free food and cocktails, the dirty hotel room was not worth it. That was our first and likely last staycation for a while.

Embassy Suites Arcadia Pasadena
211 Huntington Dr
Arcadia, CA 91006
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/california/embassy-suites-arcadia-pasadena-area-LAXHDES/index.html

Embassy Suites Dublin
5100 Upper Metro Place
Dublin, Ohio, 43017
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/ohio/embassy-suites-columbus-dublin-CMHESES/index.html

18 comments on “Embassy Suites: the good, the bad, and the dirty”

  1. Hotel Impossible shined the light on how bad some places can be for me. It’s one thing to see bad service at a B&B or “boutique” hotel but you expect that a chain has proper procedures in place to prevent things like this from happening. I was shivering in disgust when I read about your cup. It reminded me the episode when the cleaning staff used a dirty rag and some cleaner to wipe down the inside of the cup and then placed the paper cap on it as if it were clean. Needless to say I will only use a plastic cup that is presealed from now on.

    • I’ve never seen Hotel Impossible. I think it would make me super paranoid. But yeah, I was pretty disappointed with this particular experience.

  2. That’s so unfortunate! I always stay in the Embassay Suites in Nashville, TN and it’s always lovely, clean and the rooms feel fresh. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience! I definitely know not to book there in San Diego…

    • It was actually in Arcadia/Los Angeles. I have family who stays in the ones in San Diego and seem to be fine with those.

  3. @Kirbie Haha…I wouldn’t recommend it if you travel a lot because it will definitely make you paranoid. It makes me want to travel with my own sheet/pillowcase.

    • I’m going to show the link to my husband. He loves this kind of stuff. haha. He was asking me why i didn’t post his video of the plumbing issue on my post.

  4. For those of you that are bold, it is a good renovation type show. They even did an episode at the La Jolla Cove Suites.

    http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/hotel-impossible/episodes/la-jolla-cove-suites

  5. Yeesh, that sounds awful =( I didn’t even realize that Embassy Suites had the cocktail hour and breakfast spread, which look really cool. But the drain problems are just unacceptable!

    • Yeah I didn’t realize that about Embassy Suites until recently. Love the cocktail and breakfast. Don’t recommend Arcadia though. hehe. But I’m sure if you want to check one out, you can read reviews first to make sure it’s a good one. I didn’t read reviews since I thought they would all be about the same and I had such a nice time at the first one. Oh well.

  6. Scary! I stayed at an Embassy Suites last year and they had a horrible parking situation – they had an event the evening we were there and when we came back there was zero parking. All the staff told us to do was wait for the event to let us… but they told us the wrong time twice, so we were left idling in the car trying to wait for a spot since we thought it was almost time to go in. I actually complained on Twitter and then they comped me a night to use in the future… which I didn’t ask for, but it was nice of them to do. So I’ll be staying at one again soon – hopefully not in Arcadia!

  7. So gross about the drains! Ugh! And the stuff floating in your cup? I guess that’s worse than the HAIRS on our pizza at Solare, haha!

    Boo Embassy Suites in Arcadia. I will definitely NOT go there!

    • Yeah I was really disappointed with the Embassy Suites Arcadia. I had my Dublin post ready to go and then I hadn’t posted it so I thought I might as well wait for the Arcadia visit and combine both. Did not expect I’d be writing a negativeish review. Oh and I emailed them and have not heard back…

  8. Yeah, Solare never emailed me back. Swoon never responded to my letter either. Shows how much they care about their customers. That’s so disappointing.

  9. We have found that most Embassy Suites are quite noisy. I think that center atrium really lets the noise rise. Several have had piano music well into the evening. Nice if you like it, but I want QUIET when I get in for the evening.

    You were lucky to get free WIFI. At the Tampa Embassy Suites it is $14.00/day for WIFI and $25.00/day for parking. Really ADDS to the hotel cost.

    • I was really surprised how much noise was coming from that center area. Wow, I didn’t realize that about parking and wifi. Both the ones I stayed at did not charge for parking or wifi.

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