erc

Driving Central California Coast with Marriott

Discussion created by erc on Oct 4, 2014
Latest reply on Oct 6, 2014 by dth61
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:

20141001_174138.jpg
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.

20141002_160238.jpg
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'.

20141002_212431.jpg
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,
  

20141002_175752.jpg

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

 

20141002_205324.jpg

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

20141002_192814.jpg
One of the several nice marinas and harbor villages (this was Ventura) along our coastal drive.

20141003_092419.jpg
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.

20141003_130443.jpg
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.

20141003_133708.jpg


20141003_180329.jpg
Another BOGO - a nice pre-dinner cruise.

20141004_094517.jpg
Breakfast on the patio at the Ventura Beach Marriott. Several hummingbirds made a special appearance.

20141003_194855.jpg
View from my unrequested, hospitality suite (word is out, I've gone soft - no longer a rabble rouser).

20141003_194924.jpg
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.

Outcomes