WASHINGTON, DC: Embassy Suites

My recent stay at the Embassy Suites in Washington, D.C. showed that there are companies that still practice the old-fashioned value of customer service.

Traveling to Washington, D.C. for a conference, I chose the Embassy Suites at 900 10th Street NW for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I’m a fan of Hilton properties. As a Hilton Honors Diamond Member, I receive some additional perks and usually a little special treatment (who doesn’t like that?). Second, the room rate was more favorable than the conference hotel just a block down the street, and all Embassy Suites include breakfast, which makes my comptroller just a little happier with my expense account.

Staff is uniformly professional and quite polished. Whether it was the valets who greeted me upon arrival, the desk clerks, or the housekeeping staff in the hall, everyone consistently offered a "Good morning" or "good evening," which is an excellent embodiment of Hilton standards.

The rooms are undergoing a "refresh" and, having stayed in one of the redone rooms, I can confirm they are lovely. The furnishings, carpeting, and additional items including flat-screen TVs are all state-of-the-art.

This particular property has a restaurant on site. Finn & Porter was a nice place to grab a cocktail or a quick bite. The restaurant is also the venue for the Embassy Suites' included breakfast.

The included breakfast was, in a word, predictable. The steam table featured the ubiquitous scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, pancakes, juices, cereal, fruit, and yoghurt. The hotel also offers a station where guests can get made-to-order omelets, freshly-prepared fried eggs (and freshly-scrambled eggs, too, for the fussy like me).

I was there for five nights and breakfast offerings were identical every morning, with the sole exception being the pancakes and waffles. If it was pancakes one morning, you could be sure it would be waffles the next. Consistency is fine as far as it goes, but a little variety would be welcome. Mixing it up a little – offering French toast instead of pancakes, for example, or corned beef hash instead of one of the other breakfast meats - would be nice.

My only criticism is reserved for the nightly Manager's Reception. Taking place from 5:30 to 7:30, it offers an extremely limited selection of complimentary beverages and even fewer snacks. A nut-pretzel mix and chips and salsa were the only nibbles I saw during the couple of times I popped in. Based on what I saw, I thought it worth the extra expense to pay a few bucks to enjoy a genuine happy hour at one of the nearby establishments.

The Embassy Suites is a few blocks away from the Gallery Place/China Town Metro station, and a few blocks from the Metro Center station, so it's convenient to many places in central DC and is, of course, within easy walking distance of the White House.

Embassy Suites tend to attract a lot of families with kids, especially on the weekends. However, the management at this property had the presence of mind to post large signs on the weekends, urging people to observe "quiet time" after 9 p.m. It must have worked, because my floor was very quiet indeed.

If you need to be in the area of the Washington, D.C. Convention Center, I definitely recommend the Embassy Suites.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Photo by Carl Dombek
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