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“Conrad Hilton Would Be Ashamed”

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Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington-Convention Center
Ranked #29 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 August 2014

I was attending a conference nearby and decided to stay at this Embassy Suites hotel for five nights in August 2014. Boy, what a mistake that was.

As a Hilton HHonors Gold level member, I stay with Hilton portfolio properties whenever I can, to ensure a consistent experience with a certain level of recognition. Additionally, as an entrepreneur, I pay careful attention to my travel expenses as they come out of my own pocket. I'm looking for a good value and a great experience that won’t break the bank.

This Embassy Suites property did not deliver on any of these counts. From the moment you step inside, it's clear this is a hotel without a heart, geared towards families. The staff is cold, unfriendly, and run ragged from dealing with parents and kids all day long. Not a single “hello,” “how are you,” or “how are you enjoying your stay,” from any of the staff members I walked past through out my stay (one exception being a member of the housekeeping staff). Some employees even seemed to avoid eye-contact as guests passed by, including with me.

The lobby, while modern, is showing it’s age from wear-and-tear. Just touch a door handle or enter the elevator and you’ll see what I mean. Sticky fingerprints from children on mirrors/walls and crumbs/small debris littering the floor, for example.

The rooms don’t fair much better. There were general maintenance issues: stained lampshades, a broken electrical outlet plate, and a non-functioning refrigerator. The one upside is that the king bed is pretty comfortable.

But even if you can see past that, you won’t like the noise issues. I experienced lots of noise coming from adjoining rooms and from the hall. Management has tried to fix the issue by instituting evening quiet hours. But let’s be honest, a sign asking for guests to be quite doesn’t really work in a hotel over-run with families. There needs to be physical additions to the hallways, like acoustical panels and heavier doors to dampen noise.

The breakfast buffet was absolutely abysmal for many reasons. “A” for effort, “F” for execution. The selection is vast, but the layout, organization, and delivery were just terrible. Not to mention some quality issues with the food and drinks.

There’s little thought put into how the line should flow, where guests should stand, how things should be arranged. Coffee is located on the other side of the service bar from the cream and sugar, for example. The self-service hot bar is not clearly labeled and is sometimes full-service, sometimes not.

Most glaringly, the omelet station was staffed by employees who were completely overwhelmed. Production volume trumped care and hospitality. There was only one female chef at the station who took the time to show warmth and engage in conversation. The others just yelled orders to staff and barked ordering-related questions to customers, without a smile. Not a great first impression in the morning for a guest.

The quality of the food and drink are no better than what you would find at Denny's. Overly-runny eggs, overcooked sausage, undercooked pancakes, and juice from concentrate. The coffee was absolutely terrible too.

The dining room was a zoo as well with many un-bused tables and an inattentive staff. Additionally, I was confused as to whether we should bus our own tables or not, due to a lack of guidance.

The key here is to get to the breakfast area before 7:30am, or it’s game over. When the patience of the staff reaches the boiling point because of the volume of business, guests become harried and frantic as well. Not a great combination.

The evening reception was equally concerning. Held in a bar area that was way too small for the volume of customers waiting to be served. I didn’t even try to get a drink, given the line. But I did take a passing glance at the snack bar. The reception is basically drinks and crackers, served with a side of long wait times.

Bottom line, this property has many small problems that added up to a big problem. The staff here is going through the motions, but not understanding what Hilton’s brand of hospitality means. Basically, there’s a lack of care, warmth, and understanding of front-line “soft skills” that’s oh-so-important at hotels.

This was my first (and probably last) time at an Embassy Suites. I’ve taken to calling it the "Embarrassing Suites," given how many service issues I observed and experienced. I have visited Hampton Inn’s and Hilton Garden Inn's (lower price point Hilton portfolio hotels) and have received much better service and hospitality than here. I openly wonder if my experience was in line with the brand standard and expectations, as described in Hilton’s brand handbook.

To an occasional traveler, it’s would be easy to give this property a pass. After all, the service here would probably meet the expectations of a leisure traveler with a family. But to me, as a perceptive business traveler with an eye on value, service, hospitality, and loyalty recognition, this property doesn’t make the cut.

If it weren’t for the two-room suites and the location, I doubt this property would see as much business as it does today. I am very disappointed and will stay away from Embassy Suites in the future, but not from other Hilton portfolio hotels.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank APerceptiveTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 August 2014 via mobile

I always try to stay at this embassy when I have business here. As usual, the cost includes drinks in the evening and a cook to order breakfast in the morning with good omelets. I love the fact that you can shut the bedroom door to cut down on the hall noise.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
Thank Maddogsvolusia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

A great hotel for a weekend of visiting the Smithsonian museums, touring the monuments, and enjoying some great food! An easy walk to the Mall and most of the monuments makes this hotel perfectly situated. The rooms are large, clean and well-appointed and are more than comfortable for a family of five. The complementary breakfast and happy hour are very generous, but a little over-subscribed. The staff are very enthusiastic and always willing to help. A big thanks to Kenneth for helping us book the Acadiana (a great meal, BTW). Would also like to acknowledge the friendly bellhop with all the trivia questions - a great way to get the kids ready for back-to-school!

Room Tip: Get a room in the lower floors (2-4) near the entrance to enjoy free wifi from the lobby in your roo...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tony J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Nice rooms, though don't expect a great view. Breakfast was awesome - made-to-order omelets, eggs, everything for breakfast you can think of. Reception was great - unlimited beverages and snacks - only experienced a line one night. Very close to the subway metro center - go online and get SmartCards before you go. White House and the mall is within walking distance but you need to like to walk. Parking is only valet and expensive $38/night. Internet is $9.95/day - not great and even 4g was spotty - weird for our nation's capital. They say it's free in the lobby but you either can't connect or it's really really slow. Bell hop was the best. Hit Capitol City Brewing on the way back from Metro - happy hour with 1/2 price apps. We would stay again.

Room Tip: the room tips said pick even if you want a view, but we were in an odd room 1127 and had a view so I...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Penny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

What we liked:
- Plenty of space for 2 adults & 3 kids, microwave, 2 TV's and a small fridge
- Convenient location for walking, Metro, bus, cab
- Friendly and very helpful staff
- Free daily happy hour & breakfast
- LOTS of good choices for lunch & dinner within walking distance

What we didn't like:
- Our room faced an alley, which would be ok except for lots of noise during the night from delivery trucks and trash pickup.

- Friday thru Sunday the breakfast buffet was practically not useable due to very long wait times. This area needs a redesign for better traffic flow, perhaps so people can funnel down both sides of the buffet tables. With hungry, crabby kids, we ended up going elsewhere on Fri & Sat which added cost to our trip.

- Happy hour food location is also poor. The line spills out into the lobby and blocks access to the elevators.

- Mattresses did not seem to be as nice as the other Embassy Suites I've stayed at.

- Minor issues with temperature control, the AC struggled to keep the humidity down and seems to turn off when nobody is in the room. Sheets actually felt damp on the first night due to an extremely hot day.

I had stayed here alone in the past for work and liked it, and in fairness the hotel met our needs for vacation, but I would probably try another hotel in the same general area next time.

Room Tip: Try to get a room on the front side even if it costs more. There was noise in the back alley on eac...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank seacoastNH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2014

love Embassy Suites.. 2 rooms in one, beautiful decor, delicious full breakfast. Quiet and clean. This location in particular had very friendly staff. Location was good for us but several blocks to the Mall.. fyi in case you don't like to walk. Happy hour was a great break after a day of touring. BUT tsk tsk on the check-in policy wanting $25 for early checkin (even Hilton HHonor members)- we got there 10am and the room was ready.. just wanted to drop off our bags. Another fyi..breakfast lines move quite slowly - the hotel footprint is small so there's not much they can do about it.. Free internet in lobby is nice but there's a charge to us it in your room. ps.. cheaper weekend parking across the street and down the block.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank LoveToTravelwith5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2014

Everything was as expected from an Embassy Suites. Nice rooms. (Although if you want a view other than the brick wall of the building directly behind it, make sure you request it ahead of time and be prepared to pay extra.) The staff was very pleasant. Everyone from the cleaning staff to waiters were so nice. Nice soft sheets and duvets. No surprises, which is a good thing on a family vacation. A full free breakfast and eve snacks and drinks. Close enough to walk to many DC attractions, though you will likely be tired by the time you walk back home. Cabs, buses, and metro are easy to find and utilize when you need them.

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Minneap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington-Convention Center

Address: 900 10th Street Northwest, Washington DC, DC 20001-4405
Phone Number:
Region: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#30 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#37 Family Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range: £105 - £381 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington-Convention Center 3.5*
Number of rooms: 384
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Also Known As:
Embassy Suites Washington Hotel Washington Dc
Embassy Suites Washington Dc
Washington Dc Embassy Suites

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