For years I have wanted to take a little getaway at the beginning of the new year to refresh, renew, and reevaluate. We finally did it last week. My hubby and I traveled to the faraway land of Austin, Texas (about a 30-minute drive from our house 😂) for the weekend. We stayed in what used to be one of our favorite hotel chains – Embassy Suites.
We actually haven’t stayed in one in years so it was a bit of a step back in time, almost literally. It looked exactly the same as we remembered. The layout and decor anyway. We’ve never stayed at this particular hotel. One thing that made this Embassy Suites unique were the swans. Real live Royal swans living in the atrium.
We’d never seen that before. Their names are Butch and Sundance, and they’re brothers. Apparently British royalty used to keep these as pets inside the palace because they are basically defenseless against predators. We never heard a peep out of them and they seemed quite content in their indoor habitat.
Aside from the swans it was almost everything we remembered. Strangely enough I didn’t see that as a good thing. It felt like we had stepped into a time capsule; dated. It was in good shape. Nothing was run down, it just felt . . . dated. That’s the best word for it, I think. The atrium was beautiful, the room was clean and spacious – no valid complaints there.
One of the reasons my husband has always liked Embassy Suites is their complimentary, cook-to-order breakfast. That always felt a step above your typical Holiday Inn or Marriott. Who wouldn’t prefer a fresh, hot breakfast over a dry muffin, eggs of questionable origin, and so-so coffee?
I opted for the buffet breakfast while hubs went for his favorite, cooked-to-order omelette. I was not impressed. While it was adequate, the quality wasn’t what I remembered, and there was no bacon on the buffet table! What’s a vaca breakfast without bacon? Lacking, that’s what it is! My sweetie, on the other hand, was quite satisfied although he mentioned a slight decline in quality as well. Maybe it’s just a case of memory being better than reality?
All-in-all it was definitely a pleasant stay. We got a lot of planning done, slept well, and had no major complaints. Parking was free (something you don’t always get in the city), there were two pools and lots of lovely seating both indoors and out. There was a workout room, a 24-hour snack shop with coffee, and a complimentary lemonade station near the elevators. The staff were very friendly and accommodating, and for just over $100/night for a two-bedroom king suite we felt it was a weekend well spent! If you don’t mind a more traditional decor and you find yourself in North Austin needing a good night’s sleep, I would recommend the Embassy Suites Austin Arboretum.
Happy travels! 🚗😊💕