Saturday, October 16, 2010

Embassy Unsweet

If you’re traveling to Dallas for business or pleasure anytime soon, do yourself a favor and stay the hell away from the Embassy Suites Dallas Market Center. I have stayed at this sub-par facility four times this year for my job. Yesterday, I checked out for what I fervently hope is the last time ever.

I am not a man of high standards when it comes to lodging. I thumb through those green discount motel guides you pick up in the foyer at Denny’s with the same tenacity a hedge fund trader pores over Investor’s Business Daily. I have stayed quite happily in off-brand motels and well-worn motor courts all across this dying empire. But I do believe in good value and that is where the Embassy Suites Dallas Market Center eats it.

Shoddily built during the mid-Eighties boom cycle, this Embassy Suites has endured several cosmetic renovations since, but none have addressed the fundamental problem of the building’s proximity to the Stemmons Freeway. Subsequently, the early morning rush hour was an unwelcome wake-up call in every one of the rooms I stayed in.

Now throw in archaic CRT TVs, middling reception of local channels and beige carpet stained with the unspeakable remnants of numerous after-prom parties. These are not things you can look past when you’re dropping $117 a night plus the obligatory Tom Hicks sports arena tax.

According to an alarming number of consumer reviews, the hotel’s parking lot is a hotbed of car theft. The hotel’s response to this is to have a crossing arm at the lot entrance that opens for anyone and everyone who drives up to it along with prominent signage to let you know you’re parking at your own risk.

I accept that it’s not the hotel’s fault that this area of Dallas is a den of thievery, but their ham-brained approach to addressing the problem is a waste of everyone’s time and money. This logic model carries over to the lobby restrooms, which have auto-flush toilets with lids that prevent the auto-flush sensors from knowing when it’s time to flush.

Then there’s the hotel’s management, which managed to bump half of our meeting delegation on two of the four times we stayed there this year. The first time was due to a plumbing issue, which wasn’t entirely their fault, but this week’s massive bump was never adequately explained to us.

Instead of stepping up, they tried to pass the entirety of blame off on our event planners – a cowardly move that indicated they were more interested in finger-pointing and ass coverage than trying to make things right for their guests. This is a hallmark of a business that simply doesn’t care, so why should you?

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