I’m a pretty nostalgic guy. I love old hotels, some motels, 80’s music, compact discs, t-shirts I’ve had since college – the list goes on. Not surprisingly, I’ve enjoyed various hotel happy hours for years, including the Embassy Suites Evening Reception. I’ve also noticed it’s gotten worse over the years. But the reception during our recent stay at the new Embassy Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resort took things to a surprisingly low level. Like breakfast in many limited service hotels, I left the reception wondering if it’s worth ever visiting again. With what I experienced, why even bother?
A Lame Beverage Situation
The reception offered mixed drinks with Amway-like liquor, two extremely basic beer options, and wine commonly associated boxes. I’ve noticed a degraded beverage selection over the years at Embassy Suites, but this is the worst I’ve ever seen. I’m not including a photo of any drinks in this article as this would just be a waste of space and everyone’s time.
What stood out even more was the drink limit. Maybe I’ve been under a rock, but when did Embassy Suites start limiting an individual to two complimentary drinks over the entire reception? But perhaps they’re doing us all a favor with this limit, considering the unsatisfactory beverage selection.
Laughable Food Options
About five minutes into the reception, I noticed two individuals wheel out the table of hors d’oeuvres. A few things here. Any time food comes out on a wheeled table, that’s a warning sign. Second, the offering was depressing. I imagine everything came from a plastic bag or bottle. Here’s a summary of the spread: pretzel mix, potato chips, raw veggies, cheese, crackers, and ranch- and hummus-looking dips. I didn’t bother with anything.
I’m not the type who looks for lounges or reception fare to replace a meal. But geez, at least act like you care, Embassy Suites.
Only one bartender was serving drinks for most of the reception, leading to college kegger-like queues. Someone else showed up to help toward the end, but too little, too late. I enjoyed watching the show – how long will one wait for a low-rent, “free” drink? If this is the highlight of the reception for me, I know I should be elsewhere.
The Moldy Cherry On Top
I must share one last interaction which appropriately capped my experience. The back of the drink card reads, “Ask your server or bartender about upgraded drink options!” Curious, I asked how much it was to upgrade to a Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager from Bud. The nice but hamstrung bartender sheepishly replied, “the full price of that beer.” I thought to myself that the card should more accurately state, “Ask your server or bartender for full price drinks instead of free ones!”
Embassy Suites Evening Reception – Conclusion
Before my brief Embassy Suites Evening Reception visit, I visited a bar at the Cavalier next door. I should’ve stayed there. I came out feeling I was the doofus taking the “free” instead. Beyond the view, which I got at breakfast anyway, there’s nothing special about this reception. I bet others there don’t feel similarly duped or even care. Juxtaposed against a new, attractive property, this terrible experience stuck out even more. I can only imagine how depressing the evening reception has gotten at the old, atrium-style Embassy Suites. Let’s raise a glass to me never finding out.
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