I've been staying at the Embassy I-35 on my business trips to Austin during the past 10+ years. On average I stay at the Embassy around 2 - 3 times per year. Lots of my colleagues ask why I stay there. On the plus side, it is very convenient to the office, there are lots of restaurants close by (you can walk across the street to a good steakhouse), and easy entry / exit to the freeways (or frontage roads in Austin). The breakfast is decent. The restaurant / room service is actually quite good. The hotel staff are very nice and helpful.
That said, during my last stay at Embassy I-35 I had a really bad experience. After I checked in, I went to my room to unpack and settle in. While looking out the window, I found some plastic bags with "stuff" in it hidden behind the curtains. There were two more bags out on the metal balcony. I'm guessing the bags contained dirty diapers left behind by the previous occupants. Absolutely gross. I called the Front Desk and they quickly sent someone to get it. Why the cleaning crew didn't see it boggles my mind.
Embassy is trying to revamp its image - make it more upscale - and they think by supplying you with 12 pillows on your bed, it will do the trick. The issue I had was that the pillows were obviously well used. They had a distinct odor of 20 years worth of guests' heads. I finally had to wrap a towel around them so I can get to sleep. Embassy really needs to throw out old pillows or wash them regularly at the very least. It still creeps me out thinking about the pillow smell.
I've noticed that Embassy has been spraying some distinct aroma in the rooms to hide probably the typical stale hotel room air (or as part of their upscale image polishing). The only problem is that the spray they're using can be too strong and overpowering. For those guests who sensitive to smells, I'm sure they will have issues.
Lastly, I like to take my shoes off and walk around in socks while lounging around. By the 2nd or 3rd day of my stay, my white socks were totally brown on the bottom. For my socks to get that dirty speaks volume about how much dirt and grime must be in the carpet. Don't even think about lying on the floor. Embassy really needs to clean their carpets on a more regular basis.
I agree with other posters that this hotel has definitely seen better days. It needs some major renovation. Based upon this most recent experience and the gradual decline of the hotel, I think I'll be trying another hotel nearby next time.
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