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Monday, May 9, 2016

Sacramento, California / Embassy Suites by Hilton Sacramento Riverfront Promenade

April 2016, Weekend/weekday, 3 nights, 2 double beds - guestroom #712

View from guestroom 712

Arrival and status perks

I arrived at the Embassy Suites from the airport after dark (around 10:00 p.m.) on a Sunday evening. My updated Garmin GPS could not find the hotel address when I entered it; however, after I did a search for the hotel name, it came up--with the exact same address I had been inputting! Go figure.

My key packet had not been prepared, and the front desk agent did not tell me what kind of guestroom she was assigning me. I inquired about the guestroom and floor, and she said she was assigning me a double bed suite on the 5th floor. I asked if this hotel has a Hilton Honors floor, or if a guestroom was available on the top floor. She reassigned me a room on the 7th floor (this hotel has 8 floors), although she did not answer my question about a Hilton Honors floor. When I asked about a different guestroom type, she curtly said, "That's the room type you reserved." Wow! She did not even offer me the option to pay for an upgrade. I would have reserved a king bed guestroom to begin with, if the cost had not been ridiculously high for my 3-night stay. It was almost $200 a night for a room with two double beds, and $28 more for a king guestroom.

I received the 500 bonus points in my profile for my on-property Gold perk; however, I did not receive two bottles of water. I should have asked for them the next morning, as the employee working in the early mornings was more accommodating than the employee who assisted me at check-in.

Guestroom 712

This guestroom is located on the south end of the building with a view of both interstates. The river is partially visible. I imagine the two worst locations for a view at this hotel are from the guestrooms on the south and east sides. I am not sure how the view of the city and park would be over the interstate on the east side. It does not seem like it could be any worse than the south view. I was staying in this hotel for business, so the view did not matter to me. I am merely providing this information for others who may be more concerned with the view. The front desk agent's attitude bothered me more than anything else.

I was glad this is a corner guestroom, as it was not very soundproof. I could easily hear my neighbor and housekeepers in the guestroom next to mine. Fortunately, my neighbor was not very noisy, and did not snore. I also appreciated the higher floor guestroom, as there was a lot of traffic. I had read complaints from guests about the traffic noise, and I imagine this could be bothersome on the lower floors. It did not bother me on the 7th floor.

The guestroom layout was similar to most Embassy Suites I have stayed in. The entrance area included a sofa, soft chair, end table, lamps, ceiling light and fan, large flatscreen TV on an armoire, and a desk/table with three chairs; one office chair, and two soft straight-backed chairs. An ethernet cable was provided on the desk. A telephone, along with a pen and notepad were on the end table. A full length mirror was hanging on the wall by the door.

I did not sit on any of the living room furniture or use the TV. The desk area was spacious and comfortable for working. The guestroom was clean, although the strong perfume scent from the air freshener was stale and overpowering. The spray that was used in the guestroom was not something that eliminated odors; it merely made matters worse by adding to the odors. I kept the ceiling fan on during my entire stay. This did not eliminate the problem, although it helped some.

The wet bar counter between the living room and bedroom contained kitchen items: sink, small fridge, microwave, bottled water for purchase, K-cup coffee maker with supplies, and glass glasses.

A closet across from the wet bar contained a large safe and a couple of hangers.

The bathroom was located next to the closet.  It was spacious with a long vanity and tub/shower combination. Bath amenities, two more glass glasses, and a hairdryer were provided. The towels were plush.

The bedroom contained two double beds, nightstand with telephone, lamp, and alarm clock, desk and chair, and a large flatscreen TV on an armoire.

The closet in this room contained an iron, ironing board, hangers, and a folding luggage rack. I did not need the luggage rack, as the window seat type ledge in front of the window was large enough for my small suitcase.

The bed and pillows were super comfy, and the desk in this area was also adequate for working. There were plenty of electrical outlets in all of the rooms. The complimentary Internet connection speed was good. Other than the thin walls and perfumey scent in the guestroom, this was a wonderful room.

Food and Beverage

Breakfast and an evening social with snacks and beverages is always included at Embassy Suites. Breakfast options were typical of my past experiences at Embassy Suites: coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk, juices, oatmeal (rolled oats, not instant), cold cereals, omelet station, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, breads and toaster, pastries, yogurt, whole and cut fruit.

The same snacks were served both nights that I went to the social: Frito-type chips, Gardetto-type snacks, plain tortilla chips, and a few vegetables and dip. The wine brand was Stone Cellar, and I did not see what brands of beer and alcohol were offered. I ordered a cup of clam chowder from the bistro one evening. The flavor was good and the portion size was generous.

Fitness center

The fitness center was located directly across from the elevators on the lobby level. Being on east coast time, I was disappointed when I saw it did not open until 6:00 a.m. I stopped at the front desk after I saw the sign and mentioned my disappointment. The agent working said the door was coded for 6:00 a.m., and that he could let me in. He let me in each morning, and there were always guests in the room before me. You would think if employees are letting that many guests in each morning, they would recode the automatic lock for the room.

Parking and misc.

The parking cost at this hotel was quite high--$30 per day for valet parking and $24 per day in the lot across the street. This information was listed on the hotel website; however, I found out after I arrived, that the hotel does not own the parking lot across the street. It is a public lot, so I had to pay each time I left the lot. Fortunately, I only left the hotel once a day. Since the public lot also has hourly rates, I imagine if I had needed to enter and exit the parking lot more than once, it would have cost more than $24 a day.

The last time I stayed in this area, I stayed in the Holiday Inn Capital Plaza, and I would choose that hotel again, rather than this Embassy Suites. The rates were similar, and the parking cost was less at the Holiday Inn. I was able to walk downtown from Embassy Suites, although the Holiday Inn is closer to downtown. At the time I booked this stay, I was not too happy with IHG because of the way they had handled an incident I had with an upcoming reservation. They have since made this right, and I am now staying at their properties again.

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