Arts & Entertainment

Summer Getaway to Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard

gregsgetawayEmbassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort is a tropical paradise on the sand in Oxnard. Sprawling over eight acres, the resort is a mixture of ocean-front buildings, pools, ponds, waterfalls and lush gardens.

Because of its proximity to the San Gabriel Valley, the resort can make a great week or weekend getaway. It may only be 60 miles from Los Angeles, but it has the feel of a faraway island.

So close is the hotel that I recently went from a hot apartment in Sierra Madre to a beautiful ocean-front suite in about 90 minutes. And this includes parking and check-in.

My getaway began Friday afternoon when a friend and I pulled off the 101 Freeway in Oxnard and drove a few miles south to the coast. Here we turned down a small street and spotted Embassy Suites and its large signature bell tower sitting on the sand like a big beautiful mission.

At the hotel, we parked underground and took an elevator to the lobby and checked-in. We then walked across the grounds, through Capistrano’s Restaurant and past the pool to our suite.

Facing the water, the second-floor suite featured a large dining room with table, sink, microwave and coffee maker; and a living room with a sleeper sofa, big chair and large flat screen TV. The bedroom boasted a queen-size bed and another big flat screen TV; and the bathroom offered a sunken tub. The room also has a bathroom near the front door.

But the highlight of the suite was its location, steps from the sand, looking over the water, feature enhanced by the room’s full balcony.

After relaxing in the room for a while and watching dolphins play in the water from the balcony, we walked out the property’s gates onto the sand for a stroll along the beach. And thanks to Oxnard’s consistent marine layer, the weather was a cool and refreshing contrast to LA’s August heat wave.

It was such a nice day that we decided to rent a surrey bicycle from the hotel. Made in Italy, these bikes have four wheels and resemble cars from the 1900’s. With the ocean on one side the hotel on the other we pedaled down the bike path to the Channel Islands pier, where we encounter a tall ship preparing for sail.

Back at the resort we joined the manager’s daily cocktail reception. Free for all hotel guests, this fun afternoon affair offers a full bar of popular drinks and beers, as well a tasty buffet of salad and nachos. After this we laid by the pool and tropical waterfalls.

For dinner, we went to Capistrano’s, the resort’s eclectic Californian seaside restaurant. Here we enjoyed steak, shrimp, salad and martini’s in a classic summer atmosphere.

Embassy Suites is currently offering three Summer Fun Vacation Packages, ranging from three nights to seven nights. For more info on these and other specials, call 805-984-2500 or visit www.mandalaybeach.embassysuites.com. The resort is located at 2101 Mandalay Beach Rd, Oxnard 93035.

August 13, 2009

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