First, let's set the stage:
It's 4th of July weekend. The property is sold out with 2 family reunions, a church conference, two youth sports teams, a wedding reception party and the hotel's computer network is down during early evening check-in. I walk into the hotel lobby feeling somewhat euphoric from a decent flight and an unusually great airport rental car experience. However, my mood was strangely affected by the obviously stressed out hotel staff and hoards of eager guests waiting to get rooms. Nevertheless, I waited patiently observing the potential calamity amongst edgy front desk staff dealing with computer issues and a growing line of guests. But seemingly to my benefit in having pre-paid reservations and a receipt via HILTON.com, the front desk staff let me into my room and promised to deliver my key later in the evening.
POSITIVES: I was given a quiet corner suite on the sixth floor away from the madness. Every morning, the signature Embassy Suite breakfast was served on time with average offerings and a reasonably pleasant chef expertly made delicious over-medium eggs every morning for my 4 day stay. The parking lot was full everyday but the area seemed very safe. During the early morning hours, I used the business center twice. The center was clean, printing was free and very user-friendly. The morning front desk staff were adequately friendly and helpful. But, the most surprising feature was the free laundry room with a set of two aging but functioning washers and dryers.
NEGATIVES: Over the past 8 years, I've visited this property at least five times. I fondly remember the early years when it was the newest hotel in the Cleveland metro area and a hidden suburban gem. Well thanks to the internet, those days are gone. This place has become worn from the herds of youth groups and family gatherings. Renovations and upgrades are certainly needed to restore this property's luster. The carpet, all doors, parking lot surface, exterior walls, dining area, elevators and laundry room show serious signs of wear and tear. Even though housekeeping was understandably pushed to the extreme due to the July 4th crowd, my suite had strands of hair in the bathroom and the refrigerator had mysterious red stains inside the door. Also, the biggest knock on this property's complimentary services is the mystery egg mixture used to make breakfast omelets. This stuff needs to be outlawed because the unknown contents could be a potential health risk. The Hilton cooperation is fully aware of healthier alternatives for its Embassy Suites brand.
CONCLUSIONS: For future stays, I am looking for lodging options in Beachwood and downtown Cleveland. I may consider a second look at the older Embassy Suites in Beachwood.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located at the intersection of I-480 and I-77, with easy access to Cleveland area attractions. Our all-suite hotel is ideal for any kind of traveler. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Embassy Suites Cleveland Rockside
- Embassy Suites Independence
- Independence Embassy Suites
- Embassy Suites By Hilton Cleveland Rockside Independence, Ohio