|Exterior of Embassy Suites Biltmore|
The hotel is conveniently located in the Biltmore area near 24th St. and East Camelback Road. Home to upscale shopping and restaurants and near the fabled Arizona Biltmore, it’s convenient to many of the city’s attractions. Within easy striking distance of Arizona Highway 51, it’s convenient for those en route to somewhere else as well.
|Prairie style architecture|
The property continues the theme inside, using squares and vertical lines to imitate Wright’s famous façades and the colors, while typically Southwest, are also true to Wright’s Prairie vision.
|Frank Lloyd Wright lines|
In that sense, the Embassy Suites Biltmore does not disappoint. From the desk clerk who checked us in to the bartenders at the nightly manager’s reception and the on-site steak house to the housekeeping staff who quickly met my request for additional blankets (In Phoenix? Odd, I know!) to staff members we passed in the hall, everyone was friendly, polite, and gracious.
During the weekend we stayed there, however, there were significant shortcomings related to the hotel’s complimentary food and beverage offerings.
The wait for a complimentary cocktail at the manager’s reception the first night was about 15 minutes, though a manager stepped in to assist the bartender by serving those who wanted just a beer or glass of wine. Mixed drinks required ice, and the bartender’s station had the only ice well. That was excellent responsiveness to an unexpected situation.
|Desert Colors used throughout|
While most of the Embassy Suites at which I’ve stayed have offered a selection of buffet items as well as eggs and omelets cooked to order, this particular property cooks everything to order. A nice idea, but not terribly practical when guest loads are heavy. On our first morning, the line barely moved during the 10 minutes we waited before we bailed out in favor of a local haunt. Sometimes, a “free” breakfast is worth exactly what you pay for it.
|Guest room sitting area|
When the next morning came, the waits were indeed shorter – and the guest load was obviously lighter as well – but staff still needed to pay more attention to detail. Both coffee pots were allowed to run dry without being replenished and numerous tables went uncleared despite the smaller crowds.
The facility has a pool and patio, work-out room, business center, computer kiosks in the lobby for checking in on-line, a “grab ‘n’ go” center where guests can purchase those sundries they may have left home without, and an Omaha Steakhouse on site.
|Guest room sleeping area|
If you’re patient and don’t mind waiting for a beverage at night or breakfast the next morning, you probably won’t be disappointed. If you’re less patient, there are several other eating and drinking establishments nearby.
Even if you choose to pass on the “freebies,” the Embassy Suites Biltmore is still well worth a visit.
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Photos by Carl Dombek
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