Ramsey Qubein
Hotels Examiner


Arrival Experience: The proximity to Orange County Airport is exceptionally close, as are many airport hotels and the city of Irvine. The Embassy Suites Irvine has a free shuttle makes regular pickups without much wait time. The reception area is cozy with conversation seating and scented water. Guests are quickly drawn into the main atrium where tall trees and splashing fountains make a welcoming first impression. The sense of space is one of Embassy Suites' hallmarks, and there are plenty of seating areas, coffee tables, and tall work stations with convenient power ports that encourage guests to linger.

Dining: One of Embassy Suites' most popular features is the cooked-to-order breakfast, which is just as expansive here as other properties. Various stations help to minimize the lines as guests have hot coffee and oatmeal, fresh fruit and yogurt, scrambled eggs and sausage, or a personalized egg or waffle dish. There are plenty of seating areas, and business guests do not have to search far for an electrical outlet. During the evening hours, a cocktail reception is hosted in the same space with complimentary wine and beer, crudités, and light munchies. Essentially, the entire hotel is one large concierge level, which at other hotels in the area is reserved for guests willing to pay more for the privilege. This is why business travelers and families favor Embassy Suites for the strong value it provides. Lunch and dinner are served at Ha'Penny Pub and Grill, which features a lively Irish pub atmosphere and plenty of brews and cocktail concoctions.

Rooms: Every room is a suite here comprised of a large living area with sofa bed and armchairs facing the flat-screen TV plus large work desk that doubles as a breakfast table. A small kitchenette with refrigerator, bar sink, and microwave is excellent for business travelers that prefer to work and dine in their suite. Families love the flexibility it provides. Further inside, the bedroom features duvet-topped beds with stacks of pillows. A second flat-screen TV faces the bed, and full-length mirrors cover the closets. Bathrooms have scores of towels, curved shower rods for extra stretching space in the shower, and Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries.

Amenities: Four meeting rooms draw corporate events and the occasional social function. A business center provides free high speed Internet and a printing station. On the lobby level, a fitness room, indoor swimming pool, and whirlpool provide recreation for those that want a workout. Despite proximity to the airport, there is no disturbance of passing planes. This is the most value-packed option by the runways in Irvine and has a loyal business clientele. Families should also consider it for weekend trips in the neighborhood.