Expect Less and You’ll be Happy at Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay Beach Resort
because this hotel has 2 stars for customer service but 5 stars for its location and amenities!
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I promised you guys that I would take you with me to our family travels with the intention of helping you plan your vacation if you go to the same destination. And I have been truthful in all my reviews so you will know what to expect when you get there.
Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay Beach Resort is located in Oxnard, a city along the Southern Coast of California, about 30 miles south of Santa Barbara, and 30 miles north of Malibu.
The property is beautiful, from the imposing mission type front building, the modern design lobby and the perfectly manicured lawns and tropical landscape.
The relaxing atmosphere of the lobby is very inviting. There are plenty of room to lounge and relax and to wait for your turn at the front desk. We arrived on a Monday about 3 pm and there was not a wait for check in.
The usual feature of a relaxing atrium of Embassy Suites hotels is replaced at this branch by an outdoor heated swimming pool with the tropical landscape of towering palm trees, cool green plants, cascading water falls and beautiful bridges.
The resort has a large outdoor swimming pool which is surrounded by the buildings where the suites are.There are two large spas in separate areas as well.
We have been a Hilton Honors members for quite awhile now and we usually use our Hilton honors points when we stay in a Hilton hotel. Embassy Suites is a Hilton brand, and its set up is pretty much the same everywhere.
Here are the reasons we decided to make Embassy Suites by Hilton our family’s favorite hotel so far!
The two room suite: The smallest room accommodation in all Embassy Suites is a 2 room suite. It is a one bedroom, with a separate living room equipped with a full or queen size pull out sofa. There is a small dining area, a kitchenette with a sink, a small fridge and a microwave.
If you book a premium room, you will enjoy the upgraded premium wifi, Keurig coffee brewer, snacks and drinks in your room. There are 3 bedroom suites as well for larger family group and for more comfort.
The two room suite is economical for us because our 2 big boys Tyge and Treigv can sleep on the sofa bed, and Tyreen can sleep in our coleman cot that is comfortable and does not take up as much space compared to an airbed. And Troy can sleep with us in the bedroom with 1 king bed. This way, we don’t have to book 2 rooms to accommodate our family of 6 compared to regular hotel rooms.
Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort rooms have 600 sq. ft. of space with two full granite bathrooms. The bathroom inside the bedroom has the his and hers sink, a small bathtub and a separate toilet. The outside bathroom has a shower. This is very convenient for a family with kids like us since it provides privacy for the kids and us parents as well.
The premium suite we stayed in which we paid with 83000 Hilton Honors points per night or $331 per night if you paid with money, was very clean. But the cleaning service was disappointing. We stayed for 2 nights/3 days. On the 2nd day when we got back to our room around 3 pm, our bedroom was not cleaned at all, wet towels not replaced and our snacks, drinks and kcups were not replenished.
I called and asked for the cleaning service and hoped that they will comply. We went to evening reception and went back to the room and still not cleaned. I called again and was assured that they will send somebody to clean our room. We went to dinner and when we came back to our room at 9 pm, still our room was not cleaned and no clean towels.
That was really not cool because by this time, everyone was tired after a day at the beach and it was late. So we called again and they finally gave us the towels, but we have to contend with our room not refreshed.
I noticed this type customer complaint about rooms not being cleaned is not new because if you check out reviews from Tripadvisor, multiple reviewers have the same complaints and even my friend who stayed there a week before us with her husband and their little girl had the same issue. My friend’s experience was worse though because they got their fresh towels at 11 pm, and their room was not cleaned either.
I don’t understand why the management of this branch of Embassy Suites is failing in their attempts to improve in this basic customer care that every hotel should provide. That basic service of daily clean room for their customers should be a priority because that is what they paid big bucks for.
The Manager’s Evening Reception: In all Embassy Suites Hotels, they offer manager’s evening reception from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. The light snacks they offer differ from each branch. The Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay Beach Resort offers chips and salsa, pretzels and veggies and dip.
The best part though was having the complimentary drinks. They offer non alcoholic beverages like sodas and juices, a mocktail which was shirley temple all ready for everyone to enjoy, 2 choices of cocktails, beers and spirits. You can ask for a martini as well. This feature is very refreshing after a day on the beach or an excursion to nearby attractions.
I actually felt like I am on vacation when I sit there with my family relaxing and enjoying our complimentary snacks and drinks, watching other guests and their families do the same. As a working mom and a mother who wants an economical good evening, this is my most favorite part of the Embassy Suites brand.
You can find the evening reception at the activity center building, in front of the big water fall, very close to the swimming pool.
The Complimentary Made to Order Breakfast:For families, this complimentary breakfast is very convenient and saves you money. This is another reason why we like this branch of hotel by Hilton. Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort breakfast area is huge. It even has a place for children to eat and be entertained at the same time by providing an eating area with counter chairs and TV with children shows.
The signature made-to-order omelette is always a hit and Mike at the grill was awesome. Mike was patient and pleasant and accommodating despite the “multitude” of clients lining up for his omelettes. He was the best part of the breakfast experience.
This branch is huge and since the location is on the beach, people come and stay at this resort despite the poor service. The number of people who went for breakfast both days we were there was impressive. There were so many customers and the food at the breakfast buffet were not replenished promptly, they always run out of clean plates and their coffee cups and glasses for the juices are disposable ones.
Breakfast buffet is until 10:30 am but by 9:15 am, they did not replenish the pastries anymore. The juices tasted very diluted and nasty. The toast station has white bread only, a bagel and english muffins.
Again, Tripadvisor reviews reflected these shortcomings but the management has continued to fail to improve in this aspect. I understand that its complimentary but the room rates are expensive and since complimentary breakfast is a signature feature of this hotel ( hence the expensive rate),refill the pastries and fruits and yogurt station, or at the very least, the service should be above standard.
The most coveted feature of this hotel is that it is on the beach. The wide expanse of beautiful beach with its fine sugary sand, coupled with the warm Southern California weather and the resort’s beautiful amenities are the reasons why people come and stay at this property.
There is a rental for beach umbrellas and chairs. It is expensive at least for me ( $40 for half day rent for a set of 2 chairs and a beach umbrella).If you have room in your car for these items, you can save by bringing your own.We also brought our own mat and a small cooler for drinks.
We hang out at the beach for most of our stay. We figured we usually drive 3 hours from where we live to Northern California Beaches and now that we are staying at a property on the beach, we would enjoy the beach as much as we can before heading back home.
There is also bicycle rental just outside the back gate.
Other resort amenities are the tennis court located beside the parking lot for building 9, a fitness center, a spa, and a guest coin laundry.
The onsite restaurant is the Coastal Grill which has an outside patio seating with fireplaces lit at night, making the ambiance romantic and relaxed.
Things to do around Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay Beach Resort: Aside from the beach, you can walk 2 blocks south from the resort and do kayaking at Channel Islands Harbor. There are also local restaurants that offer fresh and delicious sea foods and sushi. Walk nearby north along the beach and you will find the Mandalay Beach Park and Ventura County Fairgrounds. You can also visit the Ventura County Maritime Museum, nearby Channel Islands National Park and the Ventura Pier.
Rate: The cheapest 2 room suite rate I found was $274/ night with Hilton Honors discount and the most expensive 2 room rate is $399. They have 3 bedroom suites and rates starts at $759 to $900/night. This does not include the parking fee of $22/night for self parking and $26 per night for valet parking. There is separate parking area close to each building which makes it easy and accessible for guests to self park.
We would definitely go back in the future once we accumulate enough Hilton Honors points because we won’t be paying $331 a night for a hotel stay. We never have and we never will. And if there is no change in the service, we will make sure at the start of the day to find a cleaning staff and politely convey our request for our room to be cleaned.
I did not really find a staff that was only hanging out and not doing anything. The place most likely is understaffed because it is huge with a lot of guests. Most staff at the resort that we saw and interacted with were mostly on a rush, but not rude though. It was summer time, and even on a weekday, the resort was fully booked.
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