11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 6, 2014 3:19 PM by dth61 RSS

Driving Central California Coast with Marriott

erc Platinum
Currently Being Moderated
We enjoyed a nice (and triple digit heat) week staying at the Oxnard Ca. Residence Inn and the Ventura Beach Marriott.
  
  The Residence Inn is home to the Dallas Cowboys Summer Training Camp and is a sprawling 222 unit campus next to a golf course. Staff are very personable (the front desk associate allowed me to select my own room location), breakfast is well run, opening on time and well furnished from beginning to end. Newspapers arrive early and on time in the large, television and seating lobby which also houses 24/7 coffee. The Manager's Toast and Evening Receptions were excellent. Overall a very nice property with well maintained tennis courts, a good fitness room, outdoor pools and hot tubs, and a pleasant fire pit with an outdoor patio seating area. They had two tiers of internet (both free to Plats/Golds) a high volume, high speed for $6.95. As has been the trend of late, the rate at check in was $40 higher than my reservation.
  
  The Ventura Beach Marriott was a fine property (enjoyed dinner) made superb by the generous interaction with front office supervisor Brian (random good luck that we got him), who after schmoozing a bit and smiling at my Insiders' tales and exploits, upgraded us (without my asking, I only sought a 'pleasant view' where we could enjoy some of our California wine) to a terrific trip topping hospitality suite with an over sized patio (one where you start thinking, "who can we call - Cali, Pluto, come on over"). Whereas not on the beach, a very easy walk to the beach and a breakfast that started at 6 am on weekends, great for our early morning drive back to LAX. This rate (meaning my reserved 'regular' room) also increased over $35 since my reservation.
  
  Here's a pictorial collection of some of the highlights of our week:

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A stress free drive from LAX up the PCH took us to Duke's of Malibu. Although we have several clear pictures, in keeping with our Witness Protection contract, we remain in the shadows. Visiting Duke's over the past decade has been a tradition with us, starting with celebrating Pepperdine baseball victories. Duke's, like a frat house, provides warm memories, even though it hasn't been updated once. Excellent seafood, prices less than Geoffrey's, and as shown, great views, keep bringing us back.

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From Oxnard to Ventura and up to Santa Barbara, (next trip Solvang and Paso Robles), we enjoyed tasty California wines. This was at a stop in Ojai (as often is the case with yours truly, a BOGO).  Squeezing in a couple of brewpubs as well with the several daily wine tastings may have lead to me mistakenly using the Paul Mitchell Body Lotion as Hair Conditioner ( red flag warning, very dry and dusty up there in the mountains, I washed my hair and couldn't do a thing with it!). Fortunately in California, my Jerry Lee Lewis hairstyle raised few eyebrows as the natives figured it was just someone using 'product'.

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This actually was a helpful tag, preventing an oftentimes intrusive call from the front desk confirming that I didn't need maid service. But, knowing Marriott, be on the lookout for the next line of tags, "Do you need more than one pillow?", "One towel is enough, correct?" etc,
  

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Jeremy Mancuso, Employee of the Month, personally nabbed four offenders in Septemeber.

 

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Cowboys take over the Residence Inn a few weeks each summer. River Ridge Golf course in background.  

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One of the several nice marinas and harbor villages (this was Ventura) along our coastal drive.

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As an East Coast early to bed/early riser, I love the West Coast mornings. Here at the Residence Inn fire pit patio, I meet with all Greater Team members who acted this year on our valued input 'passed along' from our reliable moderation team.

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Had a terrific Electric Bike ride (my first) along the Santa Barbara waterfront (below) all the way up to the Four Seasons Biltmore formerly (in 70s/80s) the Santa Barbara Marriott Biltmore. We could pedal or switch on the electric (around 15mph) and as a BOGO (of course) it was a blast.

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Another BOGO - a nice pre-dinner cruise.

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Breakfast on the patio at the Ventura Beach Marriott. Several hummingbirds made a special appearance.

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View from my unrequested, hospitality suite (word is out, I've gone soft - no longer a rabble rouser).

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Capping off our trip was a terrific room and weekend at the Ventura Beach Marriott. We enjoyed fine California wines on our private patio overlooking the pool view above. I believe this photo was taken when I was on the phone with Oprah, agreeing that we must do lunch and take a meeting, "have your guy call my guy".

Fun time had by all - next stop, my FlashPerks deals in Boston and New York.

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Oxnard, California, USA Residence Inn By Marriott Residence Inn Oxnard River Ridge
  • Re: Driving Central California Coast with Marriott
    painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Beautiful, the recap is well written and the pictures are top notch...

     

    Please clarify the  checkin rate was $40 higher..... Are you saying the hotel tried to charge you a higher rate than your reservation?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Driving Central California Coast with Marriott
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks for kind words (I still would have answered without them ).

       

      No, the properties were both all aces at check in and throughout the stays . What I have been observing is the strength of the market. Being the n'er do well that I am, I have the good fortune of having the luxury of planning trips well in advance, often going where there are low prices and good values. Back in the ol' days (2012-13) even those well in advance rates would occasionally decline for even more savings. This year, every one of my rates have gone up (the only one I have saved on is the Brussels Marriott and that is due to the strengthening of the dollar vs. the euro).

       

      So, in summary, I booked a rate at both hotels months in advance and the rate at check in had gone up $35 or more, which gave me a warm fuzzy, but I would have much preferred switching to a last minute deal. Marriott currently holds all the cards (except in my hometown Washington DC where we/you/pluto and others have snagged excellent deals at The Mayflower and other nice properties).

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Driving Central California Coast with Marriott
    jakeal Gold 15 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great write-up erc.  Glad to hear it was a successful trip.  Any of the wineries or brewpubs that you visited that you would highly recommend?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Driving Central California Coast with Marriott
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      Of the three brewpubs we visited, all of which I enjoyed the flights; 

      Oxnard - BJ's Brewhouse

      Ventura - Anacapa Brewing Company

      Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara Brewing Company

      my favorite for best tasting brews (and best food and service) was Santa Barbara on corner of State St. and Haley

       

      My wife enjoyed all of the wineries (which essentially were tasting rooms - some in industrial parks, some in retail shops, and several in converted former business uses like tire shops and warehouses, etc) her favorites, which I also enjoyed were;

      Casa Barranca in Ojai (Reds and whites and a good way to get out into the mountains (about a 30 minute drive from Oxnard)

      Gone West in Ventura (Reds - cabs, merlots, petite syrah and blends - they also offered whites) smack dab in the middle of farms in an industrial office space that (as you can see below) the proprietors cleverly and effectively decorated (with a nice television for the games as well ). Perhaps my vote went here because they also offered beers and I had a pumpkin pie beer - which was a tasty pumpkin beer with a brown sugar/cinnamon coated rim.

      Santa Barbara had about a dozen all together downtown on Anacapa St.

       

      It was hard to go wrong with wine in Central California.

       

      Also as jerrycoin wrote - we were right in the middle of farm land going from Oxnard to Ventura (on Gonzalez) and stopped at several farm stands (after noting how hard and long in very hot temps the farm workers toiled) for berries, grapes, and tomatoes.

       

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      Gone West - excellent food, nice flights, seasonal beer, great folks, terrific time

       

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      Saturday college football added to the good times

       

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      You may have to look him up jakeal, but that's Roy Rogers, "King of the Cowboys". Roy actually was a business partner with Marriott back in the 70's and Mrs. Erc has a very similar photo with the real deal, so this was a must. The Wurlitzer is a reproduction made in the 80's (it holds records made of vinyl that play music ).

       

       

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      No beer or wine, but across the street from the Ventura Beach Marriott - tasty shakes.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Driving Central California Coast with Marriott
        jakeal Gold 15 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Thanks for the recommendations, erc.  Pumpkin beer with a brown sugar rimmed glass sounds great!  I didn't need to look up Roy Rogers, but had to look up Wurlitzer

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Driving Central California Coast with Marriott
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc,

     

    Looks like a wonderful trip!

     

    I must share with you, I have only been to an IN/Out place once, and it was in Oxnard, and it was terrible.  Maybe, the wrong thing was ordered, I don't know, it was just a hamburger?

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    Maybe if I go back, it would be better?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    Location Brand Hotel
    Oxnard, California, USA Residence Inn By Marriott Residence Inn Oxnard River Ridge
  • Re: Driving Central California Coast with Marriott
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc,

     

    Wonderful pictures and report!

     

    Have a great time!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Driving Central California Coast with Marriott
    californian Platinum 37 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Nice pictures.  I must not have heard the phone ring when you called to invite me onto your balcony.  It would have been nice.  It makes me think about taking a weekend up there.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Driving Central California Coast with Marriott
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Very well done ERC, love the pictures and had you not gotten all the BOGO you'd have disappointed all of us! 

     

    Who cares if you couldn't do a thing with you hair, after all......"cause the free wind is blowin' through your hair".

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Driving Central California Coast with Marriott
    dth61 Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great info! Thanks for sharing. We are currently planning our January trip and looking to return to California. We were just there two weeks ago at the Pier South Resort, part of the Autograph Collection, and that review can be found here. We are hoping to avoid some of the issues we encountered then by reading up on the experiences shared here on the forum. (Seattle/Vancouver in November and thankfully I have personal experience with Marriott there through work so I think we are good to go)

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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