There were some things I really liked about this property and other things that definitely fell short for me. I think my issues are a result of management style. I would have loved to talk to Bill about it but he didn't seem approachable so I'll let him respond here as he always does. I will say that as I was standing at the front desk the next to the last morning of my 5 night stay (August 16 - 21) waiting my turn, Mr. Hemmer did walk right past me with no greeting or eye contact as I stared directly at him waiting for my opening to mention a few things. There was no good morning or how are you doing as I would have expected out of a hotel manager.
I definitely appreciated the 24 hour free airport shuttle that picked us up at 1am or so and arrived quickly. Our flight was moved to an earlier time so we arrived at the Embassy Suites without a reservation for our first short night. The receptionist was kind enough to give us a slight discount for a smoking room which was all that was available. This still brought the room to almost $250 for the 7 hours we'd use it. Our room for the rest of our stay was available by 10am the next morning.
We paid over $250 a night which is what brings me to the biggest surprise about this particular Embassy Suites. I've never paid this much but did so willingly of course and were we ever surprised to come back to our room the next day at 4pm to find our towels still piled on the floor where we are accustomed to leaving them in hotels so the maid knows we would like clean towels. The beds remained unmade. I inquired about this and was told they'd send someone to clean the room right away but daily maid service isn't part of the policy for longer stays. I searched the room everywhere for a note about this and there was none. There was a note that for longer stays the sheets would only be changed every 4th day. That would be fine, but really, no maid service? No mention of this and VERY odd at this price. Management needs to find a way to make this known to the guests. That's easy to solve.
I do like the unique and different feel to the hotel. The lobby is more of a lodge style rather than the typical atrium style of most Embassy Suites. This was refreshing and in keeping with the area. I also loved the different layout to the suites. Rather than a long two rooms, they all have a side by side layout and feel very large and comfortable. The beds in both the smoking and non-smoking rooms were maybe the most comfortable I've ever slept on. They beat my bed at home. And yes, the smoking room smelled horrible but that's what you get when showing up without a reservation.
We were on the 4th floor with a parking lot, mall view. Had I thought about it, I'd have requested a mountain view across the hall. Our side was a bit noisy from the sound of traffic all day and all night. This was the top floor and the windows aren't totally insulated. But the location is so convenient to many really good places to eat with reasonable prices. I sleep well anyway as long as I have a great bed so it worked for me.
The fitness center is sparse but good enough. The internet service works pretty well. There is a free network in the lobby that might follow you up to your room once signed on.
The shower was the all time worse I've ever had at any hotel in my entire life. The head is way too high and I'm tall. The pressure is extremely low for some reason, maybe law, maybe a head in need of replacement. And there was this one drippy stream running from the bottom that was about the only part useful for trying to rinse my longish hair. My husband noticed that trickle out the back of the shower head, too. I'm not being picky, just honest.
Because of the weirdest alcohol laws ever in Alaska, happy hour isn't as happy as you'd hope. I'm not even a big drinker but it's strange to have to show ID each night when you have graying hair and a few wrinkles. And the 2 drink limit is peculiar for a 2 hour long happy hour. There is a greater assortment of snacks to make up for it. Alaska isn't going to solve it's alcohol problem with these laws especially because being "red banded" doesn't even apply to other states and most of the tourists staying in their hotels.
I wish management would make a point of guiding the kitchen staff to make sure they deliver dry plates for use. This is a training issue. In some states it's a health law issue - warm water on plates breeds bacteria. This was a problem each night at happy hour and again each morning at breakfast. Please, give us dry plates.
Bringing us to breakfast, had it not been for Enrique the great and friendly eggs to order chef, breakfast would have been a flop and the worst of any Embassy Suites ever. The selection was not as full as most and what was there, most wasn't very good. The french toast sticks were always dry and shriveled up. The pre-made eggs were just plain horrible. There is no lower calorie or plain yogurt. The bananas were unavailable for 2 or 3 days. Send someone out to the grocery store for them if need be. But the bacon was maybe better than anywhere. And Enrique not only makes the best and perfectly cooked omelets, he makes perfect pancakes, too.
There were some really lovely people at the front desk, too. All of the morning people were great and definitely seem well trained in service and hospitality. Of special mention is Nytasha who always had a beautiful smile on her face.
I did like the free parking, too. And we even walked to downtown because we like to walk.
Did I have a bad stay? No. Would I stay here again? Likely not. But if the price were right and attention given to the details that were overlooked, I'd reconsider.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Embassy Suites Hotel Anchorage is an all-suite full-service hotel that offers all the comforts of home and far more. The large well-appointed suites offer exceptional design and comfort as well as extensive guest amenities. Every hotel guest is offered a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and buffet along with a complimentary evening reception. Free parking and free Wi-Fi add to the benefits. We look forward to showing you why we are the preferred hotel by business and leisure travelers alike among all hotels in Anchorage. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Embassy Suites Anchorage Hotel Anchorage
- Anchorage Embassy Suites
- Embassy Suites By Hilton Anchorage Alaska