The hotel we know today as the Wyndham Irvine – Orange County Airport opened on August 1, 1986 and was initially operated as a Holiday Inn. It was purchased by the Wyndham Hotel Group, the world’s largest and most diverse hotel company with approximately 7,490 hotels worldwide, in August of 2013.
The Wyndham Hotel Group invested ten million dollars in a renovation of their Irvine hotel and the rooms are now fully renovated. New furniture is going to be installed in the lobby this week along with new carpeting.
My wife and I decided to take a weekend “staycation” at the Irvine Wyndham Hotel this weekend. We don’t get to be by ourselves much but our adult daughter was happy to look after our ten-year-old son, and so we headed for Irvine.
The Irvine Wyndham is located a few miles from the airport not far from other local hotels, in the heart of Irvine’s business district. The hotel offers a shuttle service that will take you anywhere in a three-mile radius, at no cost. It is not far from major regional shopping centers such as the South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island and the Irvine Spectrum and the beach is just a few miles away as well.
Attention to the Details that matter
As a business traveler I have stayed in hotels all over the U.S., from Washington D.C. to Denver, CO, to Kansas City, MO, to Tucson and Phoenix and even Seattle, WA. In all that time I have come to appreciate the details that matter, such as comfortable beds and pillows, the availability of Wi-Fi and clean bathrooms with water that gets hot quickly.
The folks at the Wyndham Hotel Group paid attention to those details as they renovated their Irvine hotel. The bed I slept in was amazingly comfortable and the pillows were nothing short of fantastic.
My wife and I stayed in a corner suite with an amazing view and after a full day we were tuckered out so after dinner we sat down to watch T.V. Our room was furnished with a sofa and easy chair. The sofa was set in front of the television, which was an LG model with great clarity. We hadn’t seen the Oscar-nominated Gravity, so we selected that film and enjoyed every minute of it!
The bathroom was a real highlight with a very well-lit mirror, and hot water that comes out quickly. The new decor is classy and subdued and we appreciated that the lights in the bathroom come on automatically. That comes in handy if you have to get up at night to use the restroom.
I started writing this post on Sunday morning and appreciated the adjustable desk chair that allowed me to type comfortably at the desk in my room. The wi-fi throughout the hotel is strong and easy to access with all the security business travelers have come to expect.
The Wyndham also goes out of its way to make you feel welcome. They left us a nice gift basket with an apple, crackers and cheese and mixed nuts. And the closet held not only an iron and an ironing board but also matching bathrobes! They were as soft and luxurious as the cotton towels in the restroom.
What about the food?
There are plenty of restaurants in the Irvine area but if there is one truism about business travel it is that after a full day of working you are often too tired to go out. When I travel I keep this in mind and try to pick hotels that have decent restaurants and room service.
I stopped by the Irvine Wyndham Hotel for lunch the day we checked in, while my wife was dealing with our son’s Little League (yes she is the team mom). The Paradise Cafe is located on the hotel’s ground floor. It has been owned and operated by Vince Kikugawa for over fifteen years. He has designed a menu that ranges from American classics to Italian and Asian fare.
I had their Mediterranean Salad. It was more like a Waldorf Salad, with sliced apples, candied walnuts and bleu cheese, in a light dressing. I had them add seasoned chicken to it, which was served warm and contrasted nicely with the fresh greens, which also included dried cranberries and diced beets. I washed it down with their Tropical Iced Tea which was terrific.
My wife and I later had dinner at the Paradise Cafe. We started with the Paradise Platter, an array of their top appetizers that included marinated beef skewers served with a Ponzu sauce, coconut shrimp, fried calamari and seared Ahi.
My wife ordered the Rib Eye steak. It was accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes and tasty grilled assorted vegetables. The steak was tasty and was prepared medium, which is how my wife likes her steak. We took turns dipping it in the leftover Ponzu sauce, which was like a spicy soy sauce. The Paradise Cafe adds thinly sliced Jalapeno peppers to their Ponzu sauce and the results are mouth-watering.
I ordered a fettucine dish with shrimp in a spicy cream sauce. It was spicy enough to make me sweat but was absolutely delicious. The noodles were served al dente and were served with diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts and fresh parmesan cheese.
We took some dessert up to the room. They make their desserts fresh daily. We tried the Key Lime pie and the New York Cheesecake. They were both great but I really appreciated the sweet tartness of the Key Lime pie.
My wife and I enjoyed the brunch at the Paradise Cafe on Sunday morning. They offer plenty of healthy options but my wife went right for the French Toast. Other hot dishes available include home-style potatoes, with onions and peppers of course; fresh scrambled eggs; bacon and savory sausage. They also have a juice bar and an array of breads including sliced bread,breakfast bread muffins and even bagels with all the toppings including butter, margarine, cream cheese and an array of jellies and jams. The server also brought us a carafe of steaming hot Starbucks coffee.
You can order breakfast off their menu too. I overheard a group of businessmen ordering omelets, which the kitchen turned around quickly. They looked delicious and the travelers appeared to be pleased with their orders.
Service at the Paradise Cafe is top-notch. They also have a nice bar next door with a decent array of high quality liquor including fine tequilas, whiskeys and vodka. The happy hour specials are worth checking out and if you like sports you will appreciate the three big T.V.s in the bar.
Amenities you will appreciate
I also had a chance to meet with the hotel’s Assistant Guest Services Manager, Sofiane Lahouasnia, during my visit. He was born in North Africa, raised in Venice and speaks six languages! He brings a distinct European flair to the operation but was most proud of the fact that all of the furniture in the hotel is made in the U.S.A. His dedication to world-class service is palpable and appreciated.
The Irvine Wyndham Hotel features a heated indoor swimming pool, with its own elevator, and they have a putting green and a basketball court, plus an indoor gym with state-of-the-art exercise equipment. Parking is convenient and they offer valet service too.
While 70% of the Wyndham Hotel’s guests are business travelers this is a great family hotel too. The rooms are spacious and many of the rooms offer great views as well. The rooms are a real bargain. Click here to check out the rates for yourself.
If you are traveling on business you will really appreciate the Wyndham’s business center and the office furniture in every room. These allow you to type in comfort when you have work to catch up on.
The Wyndham Irvine also features over 7,500 sq. feet of meeting space and three executive boardrooms. When I was there a group of war gamers was having a mini-convention and they looked like they were having a great time.
The Wyndham Irvine is located at 17941 Von Karman Ave., in Irvine. They are mere minutes from the 55 and 405 Freeways and the John Wayne Airport. Call them at 949-863-1999 or click here to check out their website.