New Years 2011 in DC: Embassy Suites Convention Center

As I have mentioned previously, My roommate and I did a trip to DC this past weekend to visit a friend.  I had a couple of reward night certificates, and so we decided to really live up the hotel experience on our trip.  Thus for the first two nights, we stayed at the Embassy Suites Convention Center using 2 Q3FN certificates.  For those not familiar with HiltonHonors special reward programs, this past year, they had two promotions where you could earn free night certificates in addition to the standard points you were already earning.  The requirements were 4 stays or 10 nights gave you a free night at any Hilton family hotel.   These certificates are perfect for use in a city like DC, where everything except the Hilton Garden Inn inside the city are category 7 hotels which require 50,000 points a night.

The Room

One of the strengths of Embassy Suites are the two room suites that are standard.  This actually gives you room to lounge out in the main room and keep the bedroom just for sleeping.  Most sleep experts will say this helps improve the quality of sleep, as your mind can separate the purposes of the room and so is more at ease in the bedroom when you are not just doing everything in your bed.   Another advantage of the two room suite is that you are insulated from the hall noise, which was especially high since our room door faced the entry area of the hotel on New Years Night.  

There were more than enough power outlets, the TV in the common area was a new flat screen, and the room was good and clean.  The bathroom was clean, had enough room, and the bath soaps were the standard premium soaps that Embassy Suites carries.

The Manager's Reception and Breakfast

Embassy Suites distinguishes itself among 3 star hotels by offering both complimentary cooked to order breakfast and an evening manager's reception every night for all guests.  It is designed to attract business professionals who wish to unwind after a long day.  Though the alcohol policies and selections vary by location, depending on hotel dining and local alcohol laws.  At this particular property, they had a full bar with all you care to drink from 5:30-7:30pm every night.  The area is located on the first floor, with most of the seating located in the basement.  The drinks were decent, but nothing spectacular.

Breakfast is normally held in the hotel restaurant, however because of the crowd staying over the weekend, they also had breakfast set up in the manager's reception area.  This included the standard fare of cooked to order omelets, bacon, sausage, pancakes, and home fries.  The food was decent, but I've had better at other Embassy Suites properties.  

Other Facilities

The pool and whirlpool area is fairly small wedged into a corner of the building on the second floor.  The pool is extremely shallow, with the entire pool being only 3.5' deep.  Great for kids, but if you have any height, the pool is not worth going into.  The whirlpool is also a small one, but the jets are of decent power and the temperature is hot.  The only real issue is that if you like to lean against the jets to really feel them, you could end up shutting that jet off as they have a water overflow sensor located just above the water line that is very easy to cover.  The towels are full sized, and do a decent job of drying.

The Area

The hotel has a decent location in DC, being right at New York Ave. and 10th St. right across from the discount bus lot.  It is 3 blocks from both Metro Center and Chinatown, so getting anywhere in DC is not a problem.

Summary

Overall a decent Embassy Suites property, though extremely overvalued on reward nights.  I would never redeem points for this hotel, but is a great use of Q3FN certificates.

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