2nd half of a 4 day post cruise stay in Miami was at Embassy Suites. The first half was at Homewood Suites, Blue Lagoon, Miami. (See Homewood review)
We arrived for an early check-in on Sunday morning to be told no rooms available and an offer to hold our bags. Then suddenly, there was a room available. We could check in early even though they normally charge for early check-in, but this was waved for us. Since I assumed being a Hilton Honors would get me an early check-in I was somewhat taken aback by this statement. Maybe it's my Starwood or my Marriott membership that does this. We checked in about the same time two days prior at Homewood with nothing said about early check-in other than they did have a room available for us. None-the-less, I was glad to be checked in our room so we could head out to Aventura Mall to go shoe shopping!
My initial impression of the hotel driving in was a positive one. We signed up for $15 per night parking. There is lots of greenery and palm trees in the landscaping providing for a soothing and calming effect. The hotel is an older Embassy Suites. I have not stayed at one in a few years and could tell the age. However, it is the typical Embassy Suites with large window suites surrounding an atrium planted with an abundance of palms and other greenery, ponds with Koi fish, waterfalls, walk-ways, and plenty of tables for mingling. Our one bedroom suite was typical of the hotel chain, but after Homewood Suites with a kitchenette, I felt somewhat short changed since I was now paying for parking and a higher rate for the room. However, I was looking forward to breakfast in the morning. We unloaded, checked out the pool which was landscaped and gave a nice impression of a garden, and headed out to Aventura Mall to window shop and look at shoes.
We were back in time for the free cocktails. The two teenagers went to the computer room to do whatever they do and we headed down to the free cocktail reception in the atrium. There was a long line for two bartenders. After a 20 minute wait we each ordered two margarita's and found a table to drink and buddy talk. We went to the computer room where we were notified by hotel staff that the two teenagers (age 13 each) could not be in the computer room alone without an adult. I told him I would be on another computer and he promptly insisted that I had to be on one computer with the minor. Which meant that I couldn't do what I wanted to do. Then he said no one was waiting now and it was okay. Ummm, I wonder why he came in the first place if no one was waiting or reported the girls who had been calmly utiizing two of the four computers. Since one of the girls was doing homework on a special project due when she returned to school later in the week, I felt this was just as important. I asked the front desk if the teen could do homework and they told me yes. Though disappointed with the girls not being able to use the computer like they did at Homewood, I was pleased with that response. However, I made sure they did not go back down to play on the computer--only do homework for no more than an hour. Imagine a 13 year doing homework on their own while they are on vacation in Miami.
Later that night, we learned that we could not control the temperature. We turned it up as high as it could go (80 degrees) and it NEVER got warm. Not really warmer either. We froze all night and we are from the mid-west and used to the cold. The two double beds in the bedroom were nice and comfortable, but we were cold with the thin blankets. The girls on the sofa sleeper were apparently cold also because they called housekeepping the next evening and asked for an extra blanket which was brought to them after a slight delay and a 2nd call.
Breakfast was good--not as good as I remembered for Embassy Suites, but still good--better than Homewood Suites which also served a hot breakfast via buffet. Embassy had pancakes, french toast, sausage, bacon, cooked to order omlets, potatoes, toast, bagels, biscuits and gravy, muffins, pastries, fresh fruit, cold --cereal, soda, juices, coffee, milks, hot cereal--I think I've got most everything listed. Long line for the omlets, but it went fairly smooth considering they were cooking them to order. Actually this was the best part of the stay. Plus, I am a breakfast person. The teens preferred the breakfast here better than at Homewood Suites.
We spent the 2nd day at Bayside Marketplace and came back mid-afternoon due to an afternoon shower. The hotel was freezing even though it was afternoon in Miami! This is when the girls called for the extra blanket. We did the cocktails again--the line was shorter--we were earlier, and it was Monday, so a lot of folks must have checked out earlier.
Tuesday morning and our last day, a great breakfast again.... And time to check out. We took pictures in the atrium with Koi fish and parrots and headed out to Dolphin Mall to kill time prior to a six o'clock flight back to Kansas City via Atlanta. Express checkout was very smooth. We had prepaid for both days on line, so the only charges was $30 for 2 days parking which I left on the card. We dropped the hotel room keys in the dropbox at the front desk and departed the hotel.
Overall a good stay. Only issues were being kicked out of the computer room, no trash can in the bathroom, lines for services in the atrium, inconvenient bathroom set-up, and the hotel temperature. If breakfast is important to you, and you don't mind paying for parking, this hotel will do fine. It is clean, functional, and secure. The breakfast and cocktail reception are the highlights of the stay. These are the freebies that come with the price of the room. I recommend prepaying online if you can for convenience once you arrive.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.