Embassy Suites Deerfield Beach Florida - A kids beach resort
June 16 to 18, 2004
Upon a recent stay in Key West my husband and I wanted to just relax for a couple of nights before heading back home to Long Island, NY via Ft.Lauderdale airport. We have never stayed in Ft.Lauderdale before but also did not want in a busy beach area as well. We opted for Embassy Suites Deerfeild Beach, Florida which is about a 20 minute drive from the heart of Ft.Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport.
We followed their directions from their website and got there easily but could not find anyplace to park our rental car. We ended up circling the property and just parked at a meter at the beach. The resort is on the beach but there is a one way road that runs between the property gate/pool area and beach. It's a very easy cross but those with small children be careful. The cars going by are not that frequent but it's still a road.
Entry from the beach to the gated pool area requires you to use your room key to gain access. Lucky for us somebody was leaving so we just zipped through the gate. The pool area was large and the pool itself was a decent size. Plenty of chaise lounges open and plenty of kids in the pool. Scanning I noticed more kids than adults. I had known that this was a family resort, I just did not picture so many kids, most being teenagers. Later I realized that there was a whole tour group there from some high school.
We made it to the lobby. The time now was 1pm and lucky for us our room was ready. The check-in clerk could have been a little bit more friendly. Very drab person with no spark. She seemed to be doing us a favor by helping us. When asked about where to park our car she replied "oh, there is a under ground parking garage that is $14 a day to park". Ok, I had already knew this but where is the entrance? Found out that it's right in front of the building but not visible from the main road (route A1A). You go up what appears to be a circular driveway and once there you will see the entrance. It would have been nice if there was a sign posted. You will need your room key to open the garage gate.
Our room was located on the South side of the building. The garage has 2 elevators to gain access to your room. One is marked North the other South. Both North & South wings have 2 elevators that go down to the main level and upper floors but only 1 elevator on each wing will go to the parking garage
Off to our room.
I was really looking forward to this. Embassy is a all suite hotel and as indicated, 2 bathrooms in every room Even though it was only my husband and myself their website made everything look really beautiful. Insert key card and right away I am not loving it. My first impression is that the room looks small for a suite. I was expecting lots of open space which is fact there was not. Yes, it is large but I think it's filled with large bulky un-matching furniture making it look smaller.
There is a large mirrored sliding door hall closet. One half of the door was broken and did not slide. There was a oversized code safe right on the floor of this closet so if you have many things to lock up then your in luck. Across from the closet is one of 2 bathrooms. This bathroom has a HUGE standup shower that can fit at least 4 people with elbow room to spare. There were amenities of Neutrogena shampoo, lotion, etc . . .the towels looks big and fluffy. The bathroom looked clean enough, just a little outdated as far as tiles, etc . . .
As you walk to the lining area there is a mini kitchen / wet bar area. Here built into the most ugly cabinet I have ever seen is a small sink. Open a cabinet door below reveals a small microwave. Very used and dirty looking. Another cabinet door (this one needed some oil for the very long and loud sqeeeeeek it made when opening) revealed a refrigerator which looked somewhat new. This was good as we had some water, soda, etc . . to store in it. However, for some reason the fridge only got cold when the sqeeeeeky door was left open. Most likely due to not having proper ventilation and overheating. We left sqeeeeeky cabinet door open the 2 days/nights we were there to avoid warm water and the sqeeeeeek.
The rest of this area consisted of another similar yet smaller ugly cabinet which housed a TV. Right behind this was the living room with a semi stained couch (I assume there was a pullout bed in this couch as well), a coffee table and a single oversized sofa chair. Next to the living area is a small dining room area with glass top table and 4 plastic covered chairs.
From the living area are sliding glass doors leading out to a balcony. Out I go to check the view. Not much to say about the view. We did not book a ocean view room but still were able to see the ocean looking sideways. We faced directly out at a apartment complex. The balcony is very long (runs from dinning area to bedroom area) but extremely narrow. There were 3 dirty plastic chairs which could only be placed sideways with no room to go around the chair at all. There was also a small broken table.
Into the bedroom separate from the living room area. We had a king size bed which was rock hard. If you like a ultra firm bed then this is the bed for you. There was a large dark wood amour which housed another TV. There were drawers below. Next to that was a light color wicker something or other with drawers. I used this to put my small rolling suitcase on top of. Right on the floor between Amour & Wicker something or other I found a discarded plastic wrapper from what could only have been from the other guests of this room. There was another set of sliding doors out to the narrow balcony from here but I only opened this set of sliders once due to a really hard time opening & closing almost causing the door to come off it's tracks.
From the bedroom is your second bathroom. This one had the sink on the outside with the bathroom being through another door. This bathroom had a tub and shower. Again outdated looking dark tiles plus a towel rack that was bent.
To sum up the room I did not really care for it. I guess I was expecting more wide open living space. Add to that the room seemed worn. I cannot expect a hotel to change furniture every year but maybe try and clean the stains on the couch and carpet would help.
Dinning - there is a restaurant and bar right off from the pool area. We ended up having lunch right in the bar area when we first arrived. Just some burgers which were very good. Large and meaty along with some fries and a pickle. Price I think was somewhere around $7.00. There dinner menu looks good but afraid we never made it here for dinner. Only lunch. I tried their coconut shrimp which was better than what I had in Key West.
Free Breakfast - Embassy in known for including full breakfast in your price. Prior to going I read about this resort breakfast not being great and while it was not 5 stars it certainly deserves at least 3. They have about every basic breakfast item you could want. There is a omelet station which is made to order. My omelet came out just fine. There is also a buffet of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, sausage, and either pancakes or French toast. There is also fresh fruit, cereal, muffins, danish, breads, waffles, cereal, juices, coffee. Your sure to find something to like.
Free Managers Reception - As with the free breakfast, Embassy also includes an nightly 2 hour cocktail reception in your price. From 5:30pm to 7:30pm, you can get yourself loaded on free booze. They have some tropical drink specials, along with tap beer, and various liquors. The line gets long so if your a drinker, order 2 drinks at a time. They also have a popcorn machine and either pretzels or munchie mix depending on the day. I have to say that this little perk is not bad. In fact the drinks are not week. You can sit either inside or outside on the patio. Just don't feed the birds. The birds will feed themselves to your pretzels if you turn your back. You'll see. It's quite amusing.
Pool / Beach - the pool as described above seemed to have too many kids and I am more a beach person anyway. You can get towels from the pool activities booth. They seemed to be a little stingy giving out towels. I requested 2 and was given a look of greed. They also have boogie boards that were really beat up looking. They only have a few and they go fast. Once you sign one out there is no time limit. As long as it's returned by 5:30pm. Cross the street and down to the beach. No shortage of chairs or umbrella's. There are 2 guys working out there to set you up with chairs or umbrella's which were plentiful. I do not think they are affiliated with Embassy. The ocean water is beautiful and refreshing. One day it was a bit seaweedy but cleared out within an hour.
For a couple without kids, I cannot recommend this place. It's not bad but I think it's more geared to large families. However, the $80/night room rate we paid, free breakfast and 2 hour cocktail reception made it worthwhile. In fact they never even charged us the $14/day parking fee. We feel it was a deal but I doubt I will go back again.