Hotel Review – Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach near Santa Barbara

Embassy Suites, Hilton Honors, Hotel Reviews, Travel Tales 0

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The Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay is not like the typical Embassy Suites you’re used to.  It is a massive resort located right on the beach in Oxnard, close to Santa Barbara and north of Los Angeles.  The location is fantastic and the resort has some great amenities.

We stayed here as part of the Hilton “Stay a night on us” promotion after our HGVC timeshare tour a few months ago. With this promotion $200 of our hotel cost will be reimbursed when we send in the form, resulting in this stay costing us less than $100.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay panoramic view

Check in at Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay

Before we left home for the resort, we were able to check into the resort on my iPhone.  I selected the upgrade option and even selected the specific room we’d be staying in!  How cool is that?  That was my first time using that feature of the Hilton iPhone app.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay iPhone room options

The lobby was really impressive with the huge wood beams, grand staircase, mural on the wall, and the really high ceiling.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay lobby

When we checked in, we were provided with a goodie bag for our son and daughter. It has an Embassy Suites rubber duckie, baby wipes, crayons and coloring book, stickers, and some other goodies.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay treats for children

We weren’t recognized for our Diamond status, nor did we receive the two bottles of water that is part of the Diamond benefits.  [When we checked out, we were given some extra waters for the road to make up for not receiving the waters upon arrival.]

Valet parking is $16 while self-parking is $12, so the convenience may be well worth it to valet.  There is a really large parking garage underneath the property, so there is plenty of parking and the resort is so large, that you’d most likely be closer to your room if you parked yourself instead of using the valet parking.  There is parking next to the resort that is used for beach-goers, but that parking closes at dusk.  The streets are available for parking at no charge, so be on the lookout for free parking to save a few bucks!

We paid $18 extra to upgrade our room to one that is one the first floor, where we can walk right out onto the beach.  Totally worth it!!!

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay patio

Our room at Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay

Our room was the typical Embassy Suites configuration…. living room with a pullout couch and a separate bedroom with a door for privacy.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay living room

The room overall was very spacious and well appointed.  A small fridge and a microwave were hidden in the cabinets. There were two full bathrooms, a living room area with pull out couch, a king size bed in the separate bedroom, and sliding door out to our patio.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay kitchenette

From our patio, there is a grassy area for the kids to play in while we watch from the two chairs and table – perfect for a couple of beers or a bottle of wine.  There is a path along the beach where you can walk, run, or ride a bike.  The beach was just a few steps to our right, so we’re looking forward to some beach fun.  What an awesome feeling!

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay lounging on patio

The bedroom was comfortable and spacious.  The king-sized bed was plenty big for Anna, me, and Baby Scarlett.  Timmy stayed in the living room on the pullout couch with Grandma.  When we pulled out the couch for our son, there was no blanket, so we had to ask the front desk to deliver one to us.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay bedroom

The master bathroom offered dual sinks and a shower/bathtub combination.  The toilet was in its own room, which allowed privacy.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay master bathroom

A pleasant surprise was the second bathroom that also had a shower in it.  This was a major help when everyone was trying to get ready for dinner after some fun at the beach… as well as in the morning before heading to breakfast.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay guest bathroom

Booking your own room at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay

If you’d like to stay at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay, rooms are available for 50,000 points a night.  Cash prices vary, but I’ve seen the rooms as low as $129 a night during promotion periods or as high as $249 during the peak summer months.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay cash prices

If you’d like to book a room at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay or any other hotel, use our affiliate link with Otel.com for the best prices…

Dining at Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay

We ate a late lunch at the Coastal Grill with mixed results.  The food was tasty, but everything was brought out at different times, so we each had to watch each other eat.  My mother-in-law got her sandwich first, then about 5 minutes later, the pizza came out.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay pizza

By the time we were finished with the pizza, the quesadilla and fries came out. Unfortunately, the fries were cold, so we had to send them back. Instead of getting me a fresh order, you could tell that they just threw these ones back in the fryer. #FryFail!

In the morning, Embassy Suites offers daily complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast in the Coastal Grill.  Aside from the normal continental breakfast, you can get eggs and omelets cooked the way you like.  Since it is a buffet, you can get as many servings as you like, which is great.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay breakfast buffet

The next day, we tried to eat lunch at the pool.  We ordered a couple of drinks, and I ordered a hot dog.  The dogs weren’t ready yet… so I kept returning, yet they still weren’t ready.  After about 30-45 minutes, I gave up on the dog and ordered some chicken fingers from another server at the pool.  The food was prepared fairly quickly, but it was now about an hour from when I first ordered, so I was starving (and greatly disappointed) by this point.

The pool at Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay

The pool was in the center of the complex and near the restaurant.  It was heated, which made swimming that much more comfortable.  It was June when we visited this resort, but the ocean was still a little chilly.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay pool area

The spa was really large, which allowed for many people to be in the spa, yet still provided some personal space.  As much as I enjoy meeting new people, I don’t really want to be sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay spa

The ocean and beach

The beach is just steps away from the Mandalay Bay resort.  There are a few chairs and umbrellas set up, but you actually have to walk 100+ yards to get to the water line.  Once you’re at the water, the fun begins!

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay Timmy and the beach

I had a great time playing in the water with Timmy.  He’s 4 years old and, up to this point, didn’t like to get his face wet in the water.  We played in the waves and had so much fun!  I think this was the moment where he started being ok with the splashing water.  I was such a proud Daddy watching him entertain himself, and then helping him to enjoy the waves.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay beach with Timmy

Extra Goodies at Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay

From 5:30pm to 7:30pm, there is a Manager’s Happy Hour Evening Reception where you can enjoy free drinks and appetizers at the Splash Zone near the pool.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay evening reception

At 8pm, there is a “Dive-In” movie on the pool deck.  The night we were there, the movie was Big Hero 6.  You can choose to swim during the movie, or sit on the deck chairs.  I suggest getting there a little early to secure a prime deck chair location.  We showed up as the movie was beginning and had to sit far off to the right to avoid trees in our line of sight.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay dive in theater banner

When we left Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach

We asked for a late checkout beyond the normal 11am time, another Diamond benefit.  We were told to call back in the morning to see if one was available, and the most they would be able to provide is an hour.  Ultimately, it was ok, but having another hour or so would have been great!

Before we left, we rented a bike for our family to cruise around the beach trails.  It was probably one of the highlights of the trip.  At one point, Anna was laughing so hard, she couldn’t breathe.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay bike ride

We were definitely sad to be leaving the Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay.  Luckily, it is only a 3 hour drive from our home, so we’re looking forward to spending more weekends here in the future!

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay beach sunset

The opinions expressed here are the author's alone and have not been reviewed or endorsed by any company or third-party, unless clearly stated otherwise. The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the advertiser. It is not the advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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About the author / 

Lee Huffman

Lee grew up loving to travel with his parents. Now he explores the world with his wife, Anna and his two children Timothy and Scarlett. He enjoys being spoiled as a Kimpton Inner Circle Member and taking full advantage of Southwest's Companion Pass. Lee wants to teach his readers how to 'Travel More. Spend Less. Live Better.' using miles, points, tips and tricks.

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