I stayed in three different Embassy Suites. What I found surprised me.


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I recently went back home to visit family near Winston Salem, North Carolina. I traveled with my wife and son and we spent a night in Seattle on the way there. We also ended up spending two nights in Charlotte. We wanted a little more space in the hotel rooms, so we chose Embassy Suites. 

I stayed in Embassy Suites as a kid a few times and have good memories of the hotel. And I have great memories of the breakfast!

We also spent the night in a different Embassy Suites before an early flight leaving Charlotte. So in total, we spent the night at three different Embassy Suites within a month: two in Charlotte, and one in Seattle.

Overall, Embassy Suites isn’t what it used to be

Honestly, before this trip the last time I stayed in an Embassy Suites was when I was a kid. Based on those experiences, I thought of Embassy Suites as a luxury hotel.

I remember beautiful, open shiny atriums giving way to spacious, comfortable and modern rooms with all the trappings of a high-end hotel. 

The Embassy Suites I stayed in Seattle did still have a nice atrium. But the rooms were pretty dated – not a huge deal, but different than I remember. The staff there was very friendly and helpful, which is always a big plus, especially when you’re just getting in from a 10-hour flight.

The Embassy Suites in Charlotte I stayed in after landing was much more dated. It looked like it had not been renovated or updated since I last stayed in an Embassy Suites as a kid. The carpet looked worn and overall the hotel looked old.

Worn out mattresses

The best pic I’ve got of the sofa bed, but you can clearly see how uncomfortable it is.

I slept on the sofa bed at all three locations, so I can’t speak for the mattresses. And I would never expect the sofa bed mattresses to be as comfortable as the mattresses on the beds.

But I would expect at any mid-range or luxury hotel the mattresses on the sofa bed would at least be comfortable. The mattress in Seattle was uncomfortable, but I never pulled back the sheet to look at it there. I assumed it was just a fluke and the next night (in Charlotte) would be better.

I got to Charlotte and the sofa bed mattress really sucked. This time I pulled back the sheets and lifted the mattress up. It was worn the heck out. There were tears on the side of it, the stuffing was coming out, etc. You could feel the mattress springs when you laid down. Now I wish I had taken better pictures of it.

I called the front desk and they came up to take a look at it. The lady said these are the new mattresses. What? 

She was with the cleaning staff and clearly not responsible for that decision, so I didn’t say anything else to her. The last thing I want to do is make a frontline worker’s day harder for a bad decision made by an overpaid executive.

But at that point I didn’t want to stay at another Embassy Suites. After all, if you can’t get a good night’s sleep then basically nothing else about the hotel even matters.

I really wanted to invite the CEO of Embassy Suites to come spend a night on that mattress and let me know how he feels the next day.

One location stood out

For the flight out of Charlotte we looked at places to stay and unfortunately it was looking like a different Embassy Suites was the most convenient for our needs. I just booked it, thinking it would only be one night anyway.

The third location I stayed in, before leaving Charlotte, really surprised me. It was a great experience. I especially appreciated the large pool. It wasn’t a lap pool, but it was actually just large enough I could swim some laps in it before having to get on a long flight. Much appreciated! There was also a great gym there.

I don’t have specific memories of the bed there, which is probably a good thing. It was at least comfortable enough that it didn’t draw my attention.

The location itself looked like it had either recently been built or had been extensively renovated.

Embassy Suites Breakfast

All three Embassy Suites locations had a really nice breakfast. In fact I would say that’s still a top reason to stay at an Embassy Suites.

The locations in Charlotte were complete with the Southern fixins, like biscuits, grits, etc. The Seattle breakfast was very good too. All three locations had made-to-order omelets and such.

Other items on the breakfast buffet included cereal (Fruit Loops and Cheerios, and maybe 1-2 other kinds), oatmeal, scrambled eggs, fruit, pastries, and bagels. They also had coffee and tea, juice, water, and other beverages.

Happy Hour

All Embassy Suites locations give you a card for two free drinks at their Happy Hour, which is late afternoon. They also lay out some basic snacks (crackers, pretzels, cheese cubes etc). My 6-year old enjoyed the snacks and the buffet style kept him distracted for a little while.

Happy Hour is a small thing but I have to admit when you’re traveling it’s nice to go downstairs and relax a little without having to leave the hotel.

The Bottom Line

Embassy Suites still has very nice locations. But you need to do your homework, because the chain has become inconsistent. One location I stayed in wasn’t a good experience, one was OK, and another one was a great experience. 

Check reviews online for the specific location, and look at pictures of the hotel before you book.


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