When we travel, the Hilton chain almost always meets or exceeds our needs and sometimes our expectations. We spent this New Years Eve at our local Embassy Suites and it could have been better.
The evening started well with a Manager’s Reception. The food was first rate, with sushi, good quality cheeses, and more that I didn’t try but the presentation was beautiful. The liquor was top shelf, the bartender fixed a good martini, and she was professional as well as pleasant.
Our room was standard Embassy Suites with a comfortable bed and city view. The evening was good so far. My wife was getting over a cold and needed tissue. The box was empty but there was a back up in a drawer. The quality of the tissues was our first tip that this Hilton may be cutting corners; they were of the cheapest thinnest material imaginable and at least a step down from Motel 6 issue. The coffee service was our next irritation. There was no creamer in the room, there were two packages of leftover decaffeinated and the previous guests old coffee grounds were still in the machine. Next was a trip to the ice machine that didn’t work or was out of ice at 6PM. Did I mention that the plastic bag for the ice bucket was too small to fit the bucket? Last issue with the room had very low water pressure in the shower, insufficient to wash hair.
When we went down for the New Years Eve dinner & dance the ballroom was nicely decorated. There was recorded music and dinner from 7:30 until 9PM and a band until 11:30. The dance band was first rate. We were a group of 12 and wanted a table together. Because there were no reserved tables, two of us went in when the doors opened to save a table. In order to let others know the seats were taken I leaned the unoccupied chairs on two legs against the table. At this point a man who appeared to be a member of management came over and started putting the chairs back down. He, in a somewhat brusque manner, told me this was a fire hazard and was not allowed. I can understand that and returned the remaining chairs to the upright position myself. The manner in which it was presented is what I resented.
I went to the bar and ordered a scotch, neat, for my wife and a glass of water for myself. The bartender, also with the brusque bordering on rude manner, informed me they did not serve any drink without adding a mixer. I was served a dollop of scotch in a glass of ice filled with water. Later in the evening, I returned to this same bartender and ask for two glasses of water (There was no sarcasm from me, I really wanted water) she ask (again in that confrontational mode) where I was sitting. When I ask why (I thought she was calling security) she said that she was having two pitchers of water sent to the table. The implication being that she couldn’t be bothered. Keep in mind that I had been to her three times that evening, on first trip ordered a scotch and a glass of water and the next two times ordered two waters. Each time leaving $2.00 in the tip jar. Who knew receiving a tip for serving water would make her angry?
Breakfast was included in the package so we both had a light breakfast of cereal and toast. The Raisin Bran was standard fare, there was no skim milk, there were no whole wheat bread options, I tried the fried potatoes and they were the texture of shoe leather, the bananas were brown, soft and unappetizing.
This is not the review of an angry drunk. We’re not heavy drinkers and we’re not difficult to please. My intent is that this review be used by management as constructive criticism. Embassy Suites Charleston may still be the best choice in the city. It is a beautiful hotel in a desirable downtown location but they can do better. This visit was not up to what we have come to expect from the Hilton brand.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Embassy Suites Charleston is centrally located in Charleston, WV close to many local restaurants, shopping and more. Enjoy a meal at the onsite restaurant, the Athletic Club Bar and Grill, or visit one of Charleston’s many restaurants. Mingle with other guests at a complimentary manager's reception, held daily each evening. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Featured amenities include a business center, indoor pool and spa tub, WiFi (surcharge), express check-out, multilingual staff and more. A roundtrip airport shuttle is complimentary during limited hours. Parking (subject to charges) is conveniently located nearby. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Charleston Embassy Suites