First impressions mean a lot. So when I opened the door to my room at Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort in Oxnard and instantly saw a giant picture of sand, palm trees and ocean shimmering through the glass patio door, I knew I was in for something special.
My getaway to the ocean-front, Spanish Mission-styled resort began Tuesday morning when a friend and I checked into a beautiful suite, located steps from the sand and about 150 yards from the water.
The luxurious room featured a master bedroom and bathroom with tub and shower, flat screen TV, and ocean views; large living room with couch, loveseat, flat screen TV, separate bathroom, dining table, refrigerator, coffee pot, microwave, and sink. The 1st-floor room also boasted a patio with lounge chairs sloping down a grassy lawn, overlooking all the beauty.
Besides offering a front-row seat to the ocean and sand, all 248 suites at Embassy Suites also come with numerous resort amenities such as a giant pool and two Jacuzzis, fitness room, tennis courts, on-site restaurant with bar and live music, business center, and bicycle rentals. And all of it is surrounded by rocky waterfalls and caves, serene ponds and tropical vegetation.
One of my favorite amenities is the Manager’s Reception. Held daily in the Surf Room, the reception is a chance for guests to mingle and enjoy complimentary cocktails and snacks. Breakfast is another complimentary amenity held in the Surf Room. Featuring a made-to-order omelet bar and a buffet bar with sausage, bacon, eggs, potatoes, fruits, breads, coffee and juices, the morning feast is a great way to start a day at the beach.
When I wasn’t partaking in these tasty conferences, I spent my time at Embassy Suites lounging poolside or on the sand in front of my suite. I like the sand at Mandalay Beach because it is speckled with dunes and ice plants, giving it a beautifully unique appearance. Another thing I like about this beach (and all Oxnard beaches) is that it is usually empty compared to the beaches around Los Angeles and Orange County.
After a day of relaxing and swimming, my friend and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at
Capistrano’s, the resort’s signature on-site restaurant. Here we enjoyed fried calamari and steamed mussels in curry sauce for appetizers. For a main course I had seafood risotto with clams, shrimp, mussels and scallops; and my friend enjoyed grilled center cut filet mignon, with
roasted red peppers, potatoes, garlic butter and pinot noir demi-glace.
After dinner we strolled into the bar for a cocktail and free salsa lessons from some seasoned local experts. We concluded the evening with a stroll along the beach. In the morning we enjoyed the buffet breakfast and then rented a four-wheeled surrey bike and rode along the gorgeous beachfront promenade. For lunch we drove a couple miles to Channel Islands harbor, where we had fish and chips and watched yachts sail around the bay.
For more information on staying at Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort, call (805) 984-2500 or visit: www.mandalaybeach.embassysuites.com.