As a frequent travler, I acrue a lot of Hilton Honors points. My Hilton hotel preferences are Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, and Hilton Garden Inns. I redeem some points for a long Labor Day weekend stay at this hotel because we stayed here a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.
Check in was fairly simple, although the front desk staff was less than enthusiastic and not as friendly as I would have liked, but everyone is entitled to an off day or being tired. Also, not a big deal to me, but typically as a Diamond Hilton Honors member, the staff will do a little something extra for choosing to spend some much time with their hotel, but here it was not even noticed. Perhaps due to redeeming points for my 4 nights stay, and not an actual "paying customer." It would have also been a good idea to inform me of the $10/day parking charge (8.99 + taxes) when I checked in. I did not find out about this until I had the check-out slip slid under my door on the last night. This may have been a good area to offer something for the Diamond members with free parking. This was also something that was new, perhaps due to new mgmt or some philosophy to nickel/dime guests, because parking was free (as it should be) the last time we stayed here.
Traveling with a family, I prefer to get the rolling cart, unpack my car and take my belongings to my room on my own. Mainly because we carry a lot of stuff. However, this hotel will not allow you to do this. The concierge/"bell hops" control the carts and they will not let you have one. I asked and was told "No." I guess another way to get a couple of bucks tips.
The hotel only has 3 elevators for over 255 rooms and 20 floors, so expect long waits in the elevator lobbys, and during check-out times, expect to have to pass on a few overly full elevators. I would probably try to get a lower floor next time, so the stairs are a better option for going up and down. However, this may sacrifice one of the real bonuses of this hotel with not getting a great view from your balcony.
The room is the typical suite that Embassy Suites is known for with mini fridge, microwave, sofa, dining table, and seperate bedroom, but with a nice sized balcony. The room was clean, but we did find a couple of random bugs and ants when we first checked in, but then never saw any more during our stay. The real only drawback to the rooms were the noise levels. Doors closing in the hall, peaple walking in the rooms above or down the hall, and the sliding glass doors in other rooms was very noisy and could even wake you up at times.
Breakfast was your typical Embassy Suites fare, with made to order omelets and a buffet with other items. I thought the breakfast food all tasted really good and we enjoyed it. The breakfast staff were all friendly and very helpful!
The other huge perk with this hotel is the waterpark area for the kids. After spending a few hours at the beach it is a great change of pace to let the kids play on the slides. However, there was a huge difference in how crowded it was on Saturday versus Friday. What could continue to make this a great perk would be to invest in several more umbrellas and shades because the 4 or 5 they have is no where near enough. Also, not sure why the hassle of going to one place to verify that you are actually a guest at the hotel to get a stamp on your hand, then going to another place to get a wrist band. It seems like this could be done by the same person and the same place and time.
The beach is an easy walk over the boardwalk from the hotel and they have two areas for showers, which seemed sufficient. The chairs and umbrellas on the beach are for rent, and I am not sure how much. We take our own shade tent and chairs, but the lifeguards make you set yours up behind their "paying customers." I understand not wanting a tent blocking the lifeguards view (who actually seemed to never be watching the people in the ocean by the way), but we set up in an area beside their chairs and umbrellas and not in the "emergency access" aisle, and were told to move back behind their chairs. Just seemed tacky, but we obliged.
The Manager's Reception is also typical for Embassy Suites, and this one runs every night from 5:30 to 7:30. The bartenders and staff catering to that 2nd floor event were all very friendly and helpful. They also have typical snacks (pretzels, fruit, chips). The hotel also has a free shuttle bus service that they will take you to places nearby. We did not take advantage of that, so I can't report on that.
Probably my biggest complaint and one area that could easily be corrected and move this from a good to an excellent hotel, is the pool towel situation during the evenings. The pools are open until about 10PM, but the "towel hut" seems to close around 5 or so. The first night we went down to swim after visiting the Mgr Reception, there were no towels and I went in to ask from the front desk. Again, front desk staff not overly friendly, but provided me with towels from the back. Another night we wanted to swim, and again, no pool towels (By two occurences, I can't help but think this is just not the norm), so I went to front desk to ask about getting some. This time the front desk attendant was on the phone so I waited. I told him, he went to the back, came back and said the night manager was getting them. I waited as the front desk person helped check in a few others, and field some more phone calls. He was obviously tired from being overworked. Then, Mr. Gregory, the night manager actually poked his head out from the back door saw me and then another lady did the same thing. I stood and waited for 32 minutes before talking to night mgr. about this issue and lack of customer service and not having towels in a hotel for 30 minutes seemed unacceptable. He said he was looking for some the whole time and was now calling housekeeping to "find some towels." Rather than continue to miss out on family time playing with my kids in the pool. I asked the front desk clerk to have someone bring the towels out to the pool when some were "found." About 7 or 8 minutes later, the night mgr did come out to the pool with some towels for my family. My wife and I also noticed that when we left someone stocked the towel bin with more towels.
However, even with the lack of front desk friendliness, nickel-dime attitude, lack of free parking, lack of recognition for loyalty, and lack of pool towels (we would just take our own beach towels next time), the location, breakfast staff, mgr. reception staff, and waterpark make up for it. However, this experience was not at all as good as our last one. Last time we could not wait to get back and we told others about how great it was. This time, we were less satisfied, but no one seemed to really care. I guess business has improved so much over the past few months that customer service is less important.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort is the perfect place for family vacations, conferences and groups events, and even romantic getaways. The Embassy Suites offers luxurious two-room suites, and the resort features a golf course, tennis, Splash Water Park, oceanfront dining, and a full activities schedule during the summer months. Join us for your next Myrtle Beach Vacation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach At Kingston Plantation Hotel Myrtle Beach
- Embassy Suites Kingston Plantation
- Kingston Plantation
- Myrtle Beach Embassy Suites