Taking the “Suites” out of Embassy Suites….

Here they go again. Some company making ridiculous changes to a product that isn’t broken, and justifying it based on customer feedback. I should start by saying I’m a fan of Embassy Suites hotels. One of the things I love about them is their consistency and brand identity. I always know what to expect when I stay at an Embassy Suites property. Compare that to Hilton or Doubletree properties, which range from dumpster airport hotels not fit for rats to five star resorts.

But now Embassy Suites wants to get rid of what makes them different — the suites! Check out this article, which discusses how they plan on creating one-room suites and want to charge a premium for the suites people are used to.

I mean, I don’t even know if this article is serious. Look at the opening line:

Ever driven past an Embassy Suites hotel because its two-room suites were too spacious for you and your laptop?

That’s like asking if you’ve ever avoided first class because it was “too spacious for you and your laptop.” I’d love to know who thinks a one bedroom suite is too spacious.

“For years, customers have told us, ‘We love Embassy Suites with family. But for business? Not sure I quite need that’,” said Jim Holthouser, who oversees the brand for Hilton.

What is “that?” The cattle call breakfast, the drunks getting liquored up for free at 6PM, and the loud atrium, or is it really that you have too much space? I dunno about you guys, but I’m leaning towards the former.

So will rates for the smaller room shrink, too?

“I’m hoping not,” Holthouser said. The goal is to keep rates roughly the same as what the bigger suites cost, and charge “a few dollars more” for the two-bedroom suites.

“A few more dollars?” Yeah, ok….

While room rates vary by market, Embassy Suites hotels generally fetch about $160 a night midweek and about $135 on weekends.

It’s interesting to note that they’re getting more per night during the week, when business travelers usually stay at hotels, than during the weekend, when families often travel. This is of course typical, but it at least somewhat contradicts their main point, that business travelers don’t like all the space, and we assume are staying elsewhere.

 Anyway, I think this is a bad move on Embassy Suites’ part, but I can’t say I’m all that surprised.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. They are smoking crack. I love Embassy Suites, for family or business. For business, they are usually priced competitively – I like them because they DON’T charge a premium. As you noted, the #1 thing I like about them is predictability. From Ft. Lauderdale to Washington to Dallas, they are nearly identical, and sometimes that is a good thing.

    Hiltons scare me, they are so unpredictable.

  2. This is a dumb move on their part. I wonder if the person in charge of this project is a Tilton protege? I could understand the creation of a new room category aimed at business travellers, but then this type of room should be discounted compared to the regular suites. Debasing the Embassy Suites brand is foolish.

  3. I agree! I stay there with the family for obvious reasons and for business because I like to relax at the free happy hour, have a nice omelette for breakfast, and stretch out in a nice suite. Also, I hate having to deal with the inconsistencies when it comes to upgrades for Diamonds/Golds at Hiltons … ES is a good brand where, as Lucky said, you know consistently what you’re going to get.

    Of course, now when you book an award stay here, you’re not going to get a suite, are you? Maybe we’ll have the “benefit” of paying extra for that.

    Looks like the Homewood Suites brand just got a whole lot better … until they “fix” that as well.

  4. They are KILLING me!!! The one benefit for me and the main reason I always stay at Embassy Suites is the two rooms. I know I can have others come into my room and have a space for us to work while preserving the sanctity of my personal space. One benefit now is I will have less incentive to book Embassy and can choose between other one room hotels like Hilton or Starwood based on price and location.

  5. Wow, had not heard about this. Crazy. I stay there because of the suite. It’s a little more like being at home. I like getting comfortable in the living room, getting work done, or sometimes just laying on the couch and watching TV. This is a bad idea.

  6. In the past year, I stayed at a few Embassy Suites properties with single rooms offered – so this move isn’t entirely surprising to me. However, it kills the single reason that I stay at ES properties. The common areas are overrun with screaming children and partying frat boys. The trade-off is the spacious suite and solitude of the bedroom (which tends to be quieter than the living area).

    As a government traveler, I’m sure per diem rates will now apply to rooms instead of suites. If I’m downgraded to a single room, there’s no advantage to ES anymore. I’d rather stay somewhere where parties don’t keep me up until 2AM… and shrieking infants don’t wake me again at 6AM. I have a hard time imagining that any business travelers sought this change at all.

  7. “The cattle call breakfast, the drunks getting liquored up for free at 6PM, and the loud atrium”

    That’s exactly the reason I avoid the ES, for the most part. Things have really gotten out of hand there. Too many screaming children, in the pool and at the breakfast. Some real @$$es at the open bar, too. The whole glass-covered atrium is just an echo chamber.

    I’ve moved over to HGI for domestic, and Hiltons for foreign travel. These choices give a better value for my Diamond membership.

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