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“Will Be Trying Something Different Next Time”

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Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin - Central
Ranked #98 of 203 Hotels in Austin
Marin County, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Will Be Trying Something Different Next Time”
Reviewed July 11, 2006

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.

  • Stayed May 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank PlungePoolJunkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 4, 2006

After reading the review about mold in the room the day before my trip, I was skeptical about staying here. What a pleasant surprise - my room was mold-free, including the vents and bathroom. The bathroom smelled a little musty, but not unusual for Texas. The front desk was welcoming and I like the hacienda feel to this ES. I asked to be away from I-35, but could still here the whirring of traffic going by. If you are a very light sleeper, stay somewhere farther from the highway. Very convenient location if you are driving. I love Austin!

  • Stayed May 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 30, 2006

We booked on line and received the "wedding" rate of $116.10 for a wedding Easter Weekend. We had to cancel one night due to illness in the family. When we got to the hotel we were told the rate had gone up to $143.10. When checked out the bill showed a total charges of$164.57. Our credit card was billed for$20.00 more. Customer service for Hilton was not at all helpful.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 25, 2006

I was here at this hotel for work for a few weeks. I have been VERY sick from dizziness to nausea. Sleepless nights to numbness in the body. I really thought that it was the Austin weather that was making me sick. Nope! I found so much mold through out my whole room. There was a hole in the room with mold coming out of it. I felt better when I left, and got horribly sick when I came back to the room. I took many pictures of all the mold that I could find. When I told the manager, he just told me that stuff like this is common!!! Are you kidding me? No that is not common, not when you get sick like that. The cleaning people should notice things like this and tell but they dont. Fill up one of the coffee mugs with water and take a look at all the oil and crap that starts to float in there. Dont believe me? Take a look at your bed sheets when you check in and tell me that there arent other body hairs on there that are not yours. I moved to another room and same thing. I took all my photos of everything that I saw. You are better off sleeping in a Motel 6 than this place. They are obviously not doing their job here. This is my opinion. The only reason that I stayed here is because my company had already paid a lot of money for this expense and I did not want to cause a lot of headache. Lots of mold every where. This is not just a bad experience, this has happened before, it just took me a while to realize that it was the mold kicking my but and making me sicker than a dog. The cracks, doors, vents, all have mold running up and down all around them. Keep a can of Lysol with you, that stuff works like magic, I swear on that, it worked for me instantly. My sickness went away right when I sprayed it all over the room. I did send a letter to the Embassy Suites guest relations department, and you know what they did? They forwarded my email to the management here at the hotel. That could not have been such a upsetting move they could have done. I already talked to them, why send them something that they already know about. I sent the guest relations department an email to get something done, all they did was make matters more upsetting for me. Guest relations did absolutly nothing for me!!
The breakfast is good though. A lot of the staff is nice and will help you if you need help with anything. This is a very noisy hotel no if noise does bother you, this place might not be your best bet, not for the price anyway.

  • Stayed February 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Va
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2005

I just returned from a three day stay here on buisness and I thought it was great. My room was quiet, clean and well appointed. The bed was even comfortable. The selection and quality of the free breakfast was more than adequate. Same goes for the cocktail hour. I was attending a training course in one of the hotel meeting rooms and was treated to lunch at the hotel each day. The quality of the lunch far exceeded anything I've had in similar hotels. I was really suprised. No rubber chicken. The building is clean and well maintained. The staff freindly and helpful. For the $100 per night I spent I would say it was the best hotel bargain I've gotten in a long time. I've gotten far less for a lot more. Beware, it is tricky to get to. The highways around Austin are like driving in a pinball machine. You've got to stay on your toes.

  • Stayed September 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank buttonboxer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 17, 2005

We have stayed in Embassy Suites hotels for years. In fact, when we travel, we hunt a room at Embassy Suites before checking elsewhere. I am not exaggerating when I say that the experience we had at this particular hotel was so horrible we will never stay at an Embassy Suites again.

The hotel is in need of a renovation, which the front desk manager told me would begin in November. The hotel isn't clean. It is quite dated and the rooms show it. The water pressure in the showers is nonexistent. This is fine if you have thin, short hair, but a tragedy if you have an 18-inch naturally curly thick MANE like I have. The shower was such a beating.

Stuff that went right: Check-in was easy and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast was average, but the food was fresh and served at the appropriate temperature. The climate-control system in the rooms worked perfectly. The elevators are quick and abundant.

Our problems were as follows. We asked for a quiet room and got a room facing I-35. Room 726. We heard ambulances, freeway traffic, horns honking, yelling in the parking lot, etc. I got no sleep, but not just because of the freeway. The bed (a Serta Perfect Sleeper) was hard as a rock. Easily the hardest bed I've ever experienced. I called the front desk and explained my disappointment about the noise and the bed. The manager offered to move us to another room, and he also found an egg crate to put on the bed. He interjected that guests complain about the beds all the time and that was part of the renovation to be done in the fall. He also said that he wouldn't charge me for that night's stay-- very nice of him.

So we switched rooms, to the 4th floor from the 7th floor. I'm mentioning the floors only because if you're allergic to cigarette smoke as I am, you do not want to be on the 4th floor. The 3rd floor is a smoking floor, and the poor ventilation system in the hotel causes the smoke to infiltrate the rooms on the 4th floor. Our room absolutely reeked of smoke.

We left the balcony open for half a day, hoping to get rid of the stench. This did not help at all. At 10pm when we returned to our hotel room after a day of sightseeing, the smoke smell was overpowering. We called the front desk and the receptionist told us that she could move us to the 9th floor, facing the highway, and that was the only option other than switching hotels. We decided at that moment to just leave the hotel the next morning.

Good thing, too, because I woke up about every hour choking from the cigarette smoke. I got about 4 hours of sleep in 48 hours at that hotel. The egg crate did help the bed situation in the new room, by the way.

When I checked out, the receptionist asked how my stay was and I related the aforementioned events to her. She charged me NOTHING for the room that night-- so we paid nothing for a two-day stay there. I think the staff wants to do their best at customer service but they are limited by a run-down hotel.

If you are going to Austin and have your heart set on Embassy Suites, don't stay at this one. The one at the Arboretum is MUCH newer and nicer, but tourists have figured this out and so it is sometimes difficult to get a room there.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
31 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2005

Not a terrible experience for a business traveler, but I expected more from this hotel. Upsides? Clean and close to the highway. Downsides? Several.

When I walked in the front door, I immediately recognized what Hilton was going for. “Hotel’s in the Southwest? Let’s outfit it in a retro hacienda style, complete with terracotta and blue glazed tiles!” Sounds nice, but to me it was oddly jarring given that this is a high-rise hotel with all the rooms anchored off of a central courtyard with glass elevators – you know the type. Didn’t work for me, but yeah, I know, not a big deal.

A little more relevant was the service at the front desk. The gentleman who checked me in clearly didn’t know the drill. Seemed half a beat off and a little underprepared. As I stood in line, one of his colleagues reminded him of protocol: have each guest sign the form and initial the rate. (Pretty standard for someone at the front desk!) Then, less than a minute later, I had to ask “so, what are you guys charging me?” Not impressed. At least he remembered to tell me about the free breakfast from 6 to 9.

The suite itself was adequate, though lighting was subpar. Walking in, you enter the “living room” with sofa, TV and kitchenette (complete with window to the hall). Thank goodness the curtains on that window are nice and thick. If you stay here, please remember that the sheer curtain is not enough!

The bedroom also had lighting issues, but the bigger concern was the noise from the highway – easily audible even from my perch on the 10th floor. Ask for a room on the other side of the building!

Would stay there again in a pinch, but there are several other hotels nearby. I’ll be checking them out on my next trip to Austin.

  • Stayed April 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank awelch2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin - Central

Property: Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin - Central
Address: 5901 North I-35, Austin, TX 78723
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Austin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#61 Business Hotel in Austin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin - Central 3*
Number of rooms: 260
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Austin Embassy Suites
Embassy Suites Austin

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