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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Auburn Hills, Michigan / Hilton Auburn Hills Suites

August 2015, Weekend, 1-night, King executive guestroom #539

This was our third time staying in the Hilton Auburn Hills Suites. The last time was October 2011, and the time before that was May 2010. All three times, we had a room on the executive floor, and our experience was similar.

Arrival and check-in

We were attending a wedding the evening of our stay, and I contacted the hotel beforehand to ask if we could have early check-in. Our ride to the hotel was over two hours, so we were hoping to be able to freshen up before the wedding, and we did not want to worry about checking in between the wedding and reception. The person I contacted said she would add this request to our reservation (I had forgotten to do that myself when I initially made the reservation); however, she could not guarantee anything.

When we arrived around 12:30 p.m., the front desk agent found us an available guestroom. I received two full breakfast coupons, and an upgrade to the executive floor. When we got on the elevator, I noticed that floor four says it is for Hilton Honors members, and floor five says it is the executive floor. I do not know what the difference is between the two floors. I would imagine that the executive floor guestrooms have the addition of bathrobes and bottled water. The standard suite guestroom photos that I saw online look the same as the guestroom we received on the executive floor. 

Guestroom #539

This guestroom is near the end of the northwest wing on the top floor. I had never really looked at the guestroom diagram on the back of the door during our previous stays. When I looked at it this time, it did not make much sense, since it did not show which room we were in, and it was not a diagram of the entire top floor; it only showed one section.

I added a yellow star to the diagram where I think our room was located. It seemed like there were more than 12 guestrooms in our hall; however, since I did not actually count them, I will assume that part of the diagram is correct. Some of the guestrooms have a balcony, and our room did not have a balcony. It appears that the guestrooms with a slight protrusion in the diagram are guestrooms with a balcony, so I chose a room without this feature for the star.

Guestroom 539 was very similar to the suite we stayed in last time, guestroom 509. The door opened into the living room area, which contained a soft chair, sofa sleeper, coffee table/footstool, flatscreen TV, and desk with chair. I do not have a photo of the desk chair; it was the same as the one in my photo from our stay in 2011. I thought the living room comfort was great, although my husband did not think the sofa was comfortable.

The counter where the TV was located contained two bottles of water, and a small coffeemaker with supplies. A small fridge was located behind the door under the TV, and an ice bucket was on top of the fridge. When we stayed in this hotel in 2010, the counter area also contained a sink and a microwave. I do not know if these items are still available in some of the suites, or if they were removed when the hotel was remodeled between 2010 and 2011.

view from living room
The bathroom was the same as it had been in the other two guestrooms we had stayed in. It was spacious with plenty of counter space. There were two doors into the bathroom; one from the living room, and one from the bedroom.

A closet across from the vanity contained an iron, ironing board, a hairdryer, and a large safe. Bathing amenities were provided on the vanity.  

The toilet, and a tub with shower were located at the end of the room. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you will be able to read the labels I added.

view from bedroom
Since our son was also in the suite with us this time, I thought it would have been nice, if there had been a door in front of the toilet. The door that is partially visible in the "view from bedroom" photo, is the door between the bathroom and the bedroom. 

There were not any mirrors in this suite, except for the ones in the bathroom. If there had been a full length mirror in the bedroom or any kind of mirror outside of the bathroom, it would not have mattered to me that there was not a separate door in front of the toilet.

view from living room
The bedroom contained a king size bed, two nightstands with lamps, a telephone, and an alarm clock. The time on the clock was one hour fast. A flatscreen TV was located on the armoire at the foot of the bed. The folding luggage rack in the corner had been stored in the bathroom closet. The only closet in this suite was the one in the bathroom.

view from bathroom
A deluxe bathrobe and slippers were neatly placed on the foot of the bed. There were two doors into the bedroom; one from the living room, and one from the bathroom.

The sleep quality was superb! The bed, bedding, and pillows were extremely comfortable; more deluxe than I had remembered.

We did not receive turndown service during our stay.

Executive lounge

Again, we were not told about the executive lounge, although I remembered where it is located from our previous stay. It is on the main floor behind the lobby bar.

The photos on the hotel Facebook page are accurate. The lounge was not staffed on the weekend, although a few items were available. When we stopped in the lounge Saturday afternoon, I observed juices, sodas, and yogurt in the fridge, and coffee and granola bars on the counter.

Food & Beverages

The only food and beverage experience we had during this stay was when we used our breakfast coupons in the morning, and that experience was not very good. When we arrived, we did not see a host stand, and we did not observe any clear indication about whether we should seat ourselves or wait to be greeted. It looked like guests were eating and dining in all areas of the atrium.

view of the atrium/dining area from floor 5
We paused for a few moments to look around. No one greeted us, so we asked a worker nearby, if we should  seat ourselves or what. He told us to sit anywhere, so we chose the only empty table with enough seats in the section where we had entered. I added a yellow star to the photograph above to show the location of the table where we sat down. In hindsight, we wished we had walked down inside to the lower dining area.

The table we chose had only two placemats, and there were three of us. All of the tables in our section had only two placemats, although the table we chose had four chairs. The table also needed to be cleaned. It was not sticky; however, there was some kind of powder on the table that looked like coffee creamer, or something similar. 

Guests who arrived after us sat at another table nearby, and then promptly went to the buffet to serve themselves. We did not proceed to the buffet for several reasons: We had only two buffet coupons for three of us, so we wanted to look at a menu, we wanted to order beverages, and we wanted to have our table cleaned, and set for three. Eventually, the person I had spoken with before we sat down, stopped at our table. He was not wearing a name tag, and initially I was not sure he was a server. I had thought maybe he was just clearing tables when I spoke with him earlier. He took our beverage order, and he brought us a menu after I requested one. He did not bring us another place mat, he did not clean the table, and he did not bring us silverware. My husband requested silverware after we returned from the buffet, and it was still missing.

The food itself was acceptable, although expensive. Even though we had breakfast coupons, after adding a tip in, we could have gotten a similar priced breakfast at McDonalds or Subway. The buffet contained milk, cold cereal, oatmeal, cheeses, smoked salmon with fixins, breads, scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, and sausage. I do not recall if there was cottage cheese or any fruit. I usually would have fruit and cottage cheese, although I did not have any this morning. Made to order eggs were included, so my husband and I each ordered an omelet. The omelet was fresher and hotter than the foods on the buffet. The bacon on the buffet was cold, and the rye swirl bread I had did not feel fresh.

Misc. and overall

The guestroom comfort at this hotel was superb, and we would definitely stay here again. Most of the wedding guests who attended the wedding we did, stayed at the Hampton Inn next door. The group rate they had was $5 more than the rate we got at Hilton Suites. I did not understand why anyone would choose the Hampton Inn over Hilton Suites, especially when the rate is more!

The next time we stay in this hotel, I think I will try to get a deluxe corner suite or a room with a balcony. It would be nice to see what the other room types look like. The only guestroom choices I recall from when I made the reservation were basic and executive floor guestrooms. I think I will also forgo the breakfast coupons by updating my Gold profile for the extra points instead. 

My husband said that this hotel reminds him of an Embassy Suites. It is set up like most Embassy Suites, although the decor is a lot classier.

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