Ok I know it's supposed to be the other way around, but I like to try & end on a positive note.
The Ugly: MILDEW & HUMIDITY. Prior to booking, I wish we had known that there are TWO sections to this hotel, a decades-old section (which is roomy, well laid out, & ours even had a bar) and a newer section in back (which seems to have smaller rooms but is newer & a little quieter, with much better ventilation). Immediately upon opening the door to our 1st room (in old section) I detected humidity & the smell of mildew. Since we arrived late & were going to sleep soon, we stuck it out & slept in that room… big mistake. All three of us, including our child, developed one or more respiratory issues within hours. Wheezing, coughing, itchy eyes, runny noses, congestion, sneezing, pain in our chests, etc. etc. After a virtually sleepless night, we brought this to the attention to the manager in the morning, who although was accommodating with a change of rooms for the remainder of our stay and a comp dinner, tended to dismiss our symptoms as possibly stemming from something else. Ok so not the staff’s or manager’s problem that they have to deal with an outdated & poorly designed HVAC-equipped hotel, but don’t wizz down my back & tell me it’s raining. I’m no hotel designer, but I do know that hotel rooms need forced air recirculation and/or positive exhaust to remove the constant supply of human-generated humidity, which these old rooms obviously do not (there are indications that they “close off” bathroom exhaust fans during certain times of year; there’s a tip that the steam from your shower will recirculate & you’ll have max humidity in your room that's there to stay). Plus, I took photos of the dripping windows, soaking wet carpeting and spots of mold on the living room walls, which attest to the ongoing issues here.
The Bad: Indoor pool was freezing! To see a dozen people crammed in the whirlpool hot tub because the pool was too cold was a sure indicator that I wasn’t the only one who thought that. They also ran out of towels at least twice on the same day with apparently nobody tending restock (had to call & wait for new ones). A/C unit in first room banged loudly on startup, and during operation was so obnoxious it sounded like it was trying to escape. Also, found no fewer than 3 strange hairs within 5 minutes, including a couple on the bed one inside the fridge.
The Good: Upgraded room (well, ok, different room in newer part, albeit a little smaller), and the ability to breath freely were very enjoyable. Most of the staff was professional, polite, and personable. Adjoining Omaha Steakhouse restaurant was noteworthy & professionally staffed. Complimentary breakfasts and manager’s receptions were also very nice, even though nobody EVER checked that we were actually guests there for either (did you ever get the feeling that there were people taking advantage of those things who weren’t really staying there? I’d like to say it’s not my problem but the hotels, but as we all know the costs usually eventually get passed on to the consumer…yes, you & me). We also enjoyed the flora & open-air feel of the atrium area.
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- Also Known As:
- Embassy Suites Hotel Jacksonville
- Embassy Suites Jacksonville
- Jacksonville Embassy Suites