A stay at the Embassy Suites Hotel is not inexpensive. Published room rates start at $399 for a one-bedroom suite, and $549 for a two-bedroom suite. I was unable to find any significant discounts available through any of the standard booking services online.
These rates are significantly higher than the rates of the prior hotels at this location and this, no doubt, is why I have heard from a small number of people who are not pleased with the redevelopment of this area.
These rates are, however, competitive with the other top hotels in Waikiki, many of which offer far fewer complimentary amenities such as those I have mentioned. I was disappointed to see a $25 charge for parking (which is all done by valet.)
While this is not unusual in Waikiki, it remains one of the things that most irritates me since so many visitors do rent a car. I would almost prefer that this be incorporated into the daily room rate.
Impact of Nearby Construction
As of this writing in June of 2007, the views from suites on the Beachwalk Street side of the hotel are superb since they currently overlook Fort Derussy Park with great ocean views.
Unfortunately the new Trump International Hotel and Tower which is currently under construction will ultimately block those views. I am somewhat concerned that it may also serve to block much of the afternoon sun from the Embassy Suites' pool deck also, but only time will tell what impact the Trump project will have on the aesthetics of the Embassy Suites.
The staff at the Embassy Suites was, for the most part, friendly and well informed. I was, however, disappointed that in my three day stay I was unable to get someone to replace the toner cartridge in the Business Center printer which was near empty and producing poor quality copy.
This was clearly not a priority item for the individuals at the front desk that I advised of the problem. Nor did they seem concerned or interested when I pointed out a defect in their elevator security system.
On a positive note the bell staff, valet parking staff, the breakfast buffet staff as well as both the staff and entertainers at the evening Manager's Reception were all top notch.
I was also disappointed that several of the amenities that I had mentioned in an earlier preview article appear to have been discontinued, specifically a personal welcome call from the general manager or assistant general manager, a complimentary CD compilation of local Hawaiian music, a different Hawaiian story card that was to be left in the rooms each night, "to inform and educate guests about Hawaii's unique traditions and culture," and the daily "Farewell Ceremony" for departing guests. These appeared to be very nice touches that would have made my stay even more memorable.
It's difficult to review a hotel that has only been open for about five months. While the physical plant of the Embassy Suites is top notch and much of the service is excellent, there are still some areas where they still seem to be finding their way.
It actually took me quite a while to realize what I feel the Embassy Suites Hotel is lacking. As much as I enjoyed staying at such a bright, new hotel there was a lack of the personal touch and the feeling of aloha. I never really felt a connection with either the hotel or the staff. As lovely as the hotel is, their approach is perhaps too businesslike. That approach may work at an Embassy Suites hotel on the mainland, but it's not quite right for a high end Waikiki property where the clientele is mostly vacationers.
I'll be very interested in seeing how things are operating a year or more from now.