Executive Inn & Suites Informative - 3 Star Rating Way Too Generous...

Review by ronw on 2008-06-20
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- This hotel is really two very different hotels in one: the new classy suites building where all the attractive website photos were taken & the old inn building which is unadvertised. If you reserve a room through Hotwire you will be placed in one of the least desirable rooms in "steerage," i.e. the "ugly stepsister" building. So don't be fooled by this hotel's website photos which show beautiful rooms on the bayfront.

The suites building has a very spacious & nicely decorated lobby with a concierge desk & a roomy & comfortably air conditioned fitness room containing modern elliptical trainers, treadmills & stationary bikes. It has large laundry rooms & an internet business center. The guest rooms are brightly lit & spacious.

The same cannot be said for the old building where my wife & I were placed contrary to my email request in advance of our stay. Our dark & dingy room, too small for even a closet, directly overlooked, in order, Embarcadero Drive, I-880 & a busy rail line. Do not plan on sleeping past 6:30am unless you are very hard of hearing. The fitness room is equally unappealing unless one prefers decades old equipment. Overlooking the freeway, this small, hot & stuffy room contains a pint sized all-metal stationary bike that is older than the 30 year old one in my crawl space. There is no concierge. The laundry rooms are barely large enough to hold the washer, dryer & one very thin person. This part of the hotel rates little better than the one star rated Motel 6 next door. In fact the latter is a better value because it costs much less & it is further from the freeway & nearer to the water.

The breakfast is not comparable to the selection of hot dishes & cut-up fruit that is now common in many budget hotels like Comfort Inns. While the breakfast & juice offerings are good, the only hot food choice are the self serve waffles. The pastries taste no better than 1-2 day old packaged pastries from Safeway. The "silverware" is plastic & cups are Styrofoam. Cut-up fresh fruit is unavailable.

On the plus side is the friendliness & helpfulness of the housekeeping personnel (for whom I was happy to leave a tip) & most of the front desk staff who were pleasant & helpful when giving directions & answering questions that I am sure they have answered again & again.

This 3 night stay proved to be the lone letdown in our 2 week vacation to Hotwire booked hotels. We were not even aware of the superior amenities in the suites section until we discovered them on our own. No one told us about these perks when we checked in. Nor was there an advisement in our room.

It appears that we were relegated to second class hotel "citizen" status due to our Hotwire booking. Although we emailed the hotel at time of booking requesting a waterside room if not one in the new building (I had read the reviews), the manager declined to do so unless we paid extra; and so I know that better rooms were available. He then gave me a card for a special web promo offering better treatment if I booked my next stay directly instead of through Hotwire.

The Hilton Homewood Suites to the north is a much better value. It offers uniformly nicer rooms & a much better hot breakfast (as well as complimentary hot pasta dishes for dinner) at no greater cost. Hence, unlike the Executive Inn & Suites, it is booked up for weeks in advance, I discovered, when I was looking for alternatives.
Comments:1 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-06-20
Posted by BobJohn on 2008-06-20:
"If you reserve a room through Hotwire..." sums it up. If you go through a discount agency you're not going to get one of the best rooms. Airlines do the same, though they publically deny it - agency discounted ticket holders are more likely to be 'bumped' than airline discounted ticket holders on the same flight. Also, going through an online agency makes it much more difficult to get a resolution to a problem than if you book directly with a company (airline, hotel, etc). You may have done this prior to your reservation - check the hotel for any special rates or discounts like AARP or AAA and only then see what the online agency has to offer.

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