Why do we love staying in hotels? It is a simple question with a myriad of responses. There are so many types of establishments that you can stay in while you travel. Hotels, Inns, Bed and Breakfasts, hostels, just to name a few. Some of these are family friendly; some are wonderful for a romantic getaway, while others are good for business travel. They all vary in one way or another. My family and I certainly have our favorites and I am happy to share them with you.
First I would like to start by saying that my family loves to travel and we have stayed at many hotels. While I will highlight our current favorite spot this is by no means definitive. We have many favorites, and I will share some more with you at another time. I also want to point out while some of the places we stayed were amazing and others were, well let’s just say not so accommodating.
I think that to start off one must decide what kind of trip they are going on. Is it personal/leisure or business? Are you traveling with alone or are you taking the family with you. These are all valid questions and will help along the way to find what type of place to stay would fit you best. Remember NOT ALL CHAINS ARE CREATED EQUAL! For now, I would to highlight my family’s favorite chain hotel.
For the better part of ten years my family has frequented The Embassy Suites Hotel. The Embassy Suites is part of Hilton Hotels and Resorts. Within this group of hotels there are: Hilton Garden Inn, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Double Tree, Homewood Suites, Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Hotel, and Home2. You would think being under common ownership and as part of the same grouping would make them similar. Wrong! Remember not all chains are created equal. Depending on what you are looking for one of these maybe for you.
There are many reasons why we love Embassy Suites, but the most obvious of them are the amenities. So without further ado let us talk of the amenities! The Embassy offers a full free breakfast, and we are not talking continental breakfast either! There is a station for omelets (cooked made to order with a list of fresh ingredients including egg whites if you prefer), scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage and hash browns. There is a place where they serve fresh fruit cut up and ready to eat, yogurt as well as fruit to go if you are in a hurry (apples, bananas & pears). There is a cereal station with a wide range of choices to make both child and parent happy. Then there is what I affectionately refer to as “carb heaven”, a whole section of baked goods. Not to forget is the Belgium waffle making station and oatmeal station for the health conscious. The only thing that I could say they are missing is gravy (biscuits and gravy) and granola. Seriously they have it all! Some Embassy’s even go as far as to offer homemade salsas to go with your meal, while others offer a store bought alternative.
Did I mention that if you decide you would rather eat this smorgasbord in your room you are welcome to take it there and enjoy in privacy? In other words they do not mind if you take the food to your room. Personally, I love this option. It gives my kids (who are grazers) the chance for 1st breakfast and 2nd breakfast. They can eat a hot meal the take some other items to munch on in a couple hours. Because it is inevitable… they will be hungry in a couple of hours.
In the evening they offer what is called the “Managers Reception”. This is like a happy hour of sorts. Domestic beer, wine, and certain well drinks are offered for free along with various appetizers. It is held in the same location as the Breakfast is in the morning and usually lasts a couple hours. If you do not drink that is okay too. They have non-alcoholic versions of many drinks and of course soda/pop if you prefer (or for the kids). It is a nice feature that is completely family-friendly and again is free of charge. They do have a bar next to their restaurant if you are looking for more of that type of setting. You can usually catch the latest game on their tv’s there as well.
Next is their pool/fitness area. The Embassy Suites that we frequent has both an indoor pool and spa. Some Embassy Suiteslike the one in Oxnard, CA have amazing outdoor pools and spas! There is plenty of seating all around the vicinity and the towel stand seems to always be filled with nice clean fluffy towels! There is also a dry sauna in the pool area. The pool is pretty shallow (at its greatest depth it is 5 feet.) This is great if you have kids. The rules are clearly stated and the safety equipment is visible and easy to get to should the need arise. The spa seats at least 8 people comfortably, and too is family friendly. My children love to play in the pools at the Embassy Suites! They are always clean and oh so inviting. Along the same lines if you are in the mood to get a quick work out in they have a nice fitness center onsite as well. There are treadmills, ellipticals, various free weights, and more. You can pick up a pair of headphones at the front desk free of charge and they have a place to dispose of them when you are done. It is a very clean area and it is nice to have.
Our favorite Embassy Suiteshas an indoor atrium that boasts a beautiful waterfall and stream with at least 10 full size Koi fish that are stunning. If you know anything about Koi then you must know that they live a very long life. These particular Koi are part of a private collection and are fully matured. Living along with the gorgeous fish there is a small army of turtles! If your children are as fascinated by these creatures as mine you can head over to the front desk and ask for some food to feed them. The overall setting is tranquil and beautiful. They have nice set up to go and admire the scenery with comfy chars set up throughout the area.
Overall the staff that works at the Embassy Suitesis as a whole: nice, considerate, and always very helpful. If you forget your toothbrush… no problem they have your back! Just call down to the front desk and one will be sent up courtesy of their OOPS program. We have switched rooms, asked for items we forgot, ordered room service, and have always been treated with respect and kindness. This is the mail reason we keep coming back. If you are treated as though you are valued then it must be a great place. We sure love this place and I hope that if you are looking for a hotel chain that you will consider them. You will not be sorry if you do.