This hotel had all of the normal Embassy Suites standards, and is a nice new property, but lacked some intangibles that we often find in an Embassy. We like to stay at Embassy Suites for some "pampering" and found this property lacking in the customer service area. Because this hotel is an Embassy Suites, and we expect top quality from an Embassy, the review is harsher than it might have been for a hotel where less was expected. We have written a letter to Hilton and have included the letter below. Will we stay there on our next visit to Tampa? We're not sure at this point. If there are some changes in management or management's attitude about customers, probably. If the hotel continues to operate like a Sleep Inn, probably not. Our letter to Hilton follows:
To Whom it May Concern:
My family and I recently stayed at the Embassy Suites in Brandon, Florida for five nights. This was our second visit to this property; our first visit was one year ago when the property was brand new. During our first visit, we noticed several things that appeared to be odd for an Embassy Suites, but we passed them off as part of the learning curve for a new property. Overall, our first experience was good, and we looked forward to returning.
During our recent visit, however, we found that the property failed to live up to our expectations and found the following problems. None of these problems individually amounted to a lot, but collectively they spoke volumes about the management of the property. For ease of reading, I have listed the problems in bullet fashion.
• Orange juice was not available on at least one morning. The breakfast attendant explained that the night manager had taken the key to the juice machine and could not be located.
• Cranberry juice was not available on at least one morning. We were offered the same reason as the missing orange juice.
• The property brochure indicates that coffee is available 24 hours a day. When we tried to get coffee at approximately 10:30 a.m., the staff explained that the hotel only offered coffee during breakfast hours. We could only assume that the fountain soda was only available during the breakfast hours as well, as it was closed the rest of the day, even during the happy hour.
• No milk was available on more than one morning. When asked if more was available, the breakfast attendant explained that they were waiting on a truck to arrive.
• No bacon was available for omelets on at least one morning, although there was bacon in the regular hot food area.
• No breakfast potatoes were available on at least one morning.
• No pancakes were available on at least one morning.
• One morning there were pancakes available, but no waffle mix or syrup. When asked, the breakfast attendant again explained that they were waiting on a truck to arrive with syrup. After I threw my pancakes in the trash, the attendant mysteriously found a gallon of syrup and told me it would be ready in a few minutes.
• We attended the manager’s reception four of our five evenings at the hotel. Each evening, the bartender ran out of glasses, and had to disappear to find more.
• Three of the four nights, the bartender was out of mixers and could not make drinks that were available the night before.
• Several times we ordered a drink, and the bartender told us she would make them in a few minutes, then proceeded to help other guests and finally made our drinks when we returned in ten minutes.
• We observed various other guests leaving in disgust due to the poor performance on the part of the bartender and the long lines waiting on the confused and inept service.
I should mention that we always arrived for breakfast with at least one hour remaining in the schedule, we tipped, and were relatively undemanding guests.
When my family and I travel to a hotel such as an Embassy Suites, we look forward to quality service and relaxation. Unfortunately, during this visit we found ourselves trying not to be frustrated at the hotel’s obvious lack of concern for its guests. It is amazing to me that a hotel the size of this one could run out of food, and be completely incapable of driving down the street to a store to replenish the supplies when in a bind. It is also amazing to me that the bartender apparently never had any idea that people would be attending the manager’s reception, and that she needed to check supplies and have clean glasses and mixers available for the reception.
The hotel gave off a general feeling that money was tight, and that they were unable to keep things on hand due to a cash shortage. This may be the case, and if Hilton wants their guests to see this, then the hotel did a good job. If, on the other hand, Hilton wishes its guests to be pampered and feel as though they have arrived at a luxury destination, the property utterly failed. We will most likely still consider Embassy Suites as we plan various trips, but the Brandon property would have to make some changes before we would go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Embassy Suites Tampa Brandon is just seven miles from downtown Tampa and offers easy access to Busch Gardens, Fl State Fairgrounds, University of South Florida, Tampa Convention Center, beaches, and more. Guest rooms at this all-suite hotel feature a fully-equipped kitchen, high-speed Internet access, and two televisions with HBO. The property also offers complimentary made to order breakfast and evening reception with free snacks and alcohol, outdoor pool, and fitness room. On-site dining is available at Mango’s Restaurant. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Embassy Suites Tampa - Brandon Hotel Tampa
- Embassy Suites Brandon
- Brandon Embassy Suites