Making a lodging selection is usually one of the hardest parts of planning a trip. For Springfield, we quickly determined that the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center would be our first choice. Its location along the original Route 66 was certainly a key point. Their location also offered convenient access to the main arteries for travel throughout the city. It also has an interesting history, which makes it a fun home base for our daily explorations.
At one time, it was the largest Howard Johnson Motor Lodge in the chain. The management of the hotel is proud of the facility’s history, and wanted to play off of that point. The Oasis had recently changed brands, and received an overhaul. Colorful waterfalls flank the entrance, and the retro vibe is carried into the lobby. Here guests will be greeted by palm trees flanking the entrance, and a beautiful floor with infused glass pieces. Bright colored tile and carpeting can be found throughout the facility. The whole atmosphere is light and airy, and lends itself to a relaxed pace. It reminded us of the 1950’s golden age of auto travel, except with all of the conveniences of today.
Indoor and outdoor pools are available for guests, and continue the playful design. Lush greenery muffles the sounds in the large indoor pool area. On the outside, there is plenty of space to catch some rays, while you lay out by the pool. Being a convention center means that they also have plenty of space available to host meetings, and events. Over 30,000 feet, and it’s all under one roof. Our visit to Springfield was a whirlwind of activity, but we knew that we had a comfortable place to return at the end of our days running. All of our interactions with staff members were pleasant, and they were helpful with tips and suggestions.
Dining at Fire and Ice
They have an interesting on-site restaurant called Fire & Ice. This was a handy feature, as our last evening we decided to eat at the hotel. We had poked our head in on our arrival, and were sorry that it didn’t fit into our itinerary. The place had lively crowd at that time, and the Ice Bar was loaded with guests. On our final night a decision was made that the place we had originally picked just didn’t work for us. We decided that instead of staying at a restaurant that didn’t turn out to be what it advertised as, we would just head back to the hotel. Now we had a chance to test out Fire and Ice.
The menu at Fire and ice rotates through the seasons. This is done to allow changes based on availability of certain key ingredients. I chose the White River Beer Battered Cod. This meal comes with bacon-jalapeno hush puppies, and I added some house fries. They include a remoulade dipping sauce, which is similar to tartar sauce, but has more flavor. I was surprised how much I liked the dipping sauce, and even used it for my fries.
Crystal went for the Caesar Salad, and added grilled chicken to the meal. The salad comes with a balsamic glaze, which added a new depth to the taste. They also include a Peppercorn Parmesan crisp for some crunch. The grilled chicken ended up being a good addition. As we waited for our meals, we watched the flames dance in the open air kitchen. The curved bar includes a six-inch wide trough that is filled with ice. This keeps guests drinks chilled, while they watch the kitchen staff feverishly preparing dishes. The entire experience makes for an entertaining show, which we are glad we got to witness firsthand.
*While we did receive support from Oasis Hotel, all of the writing and opinions are our own, as well as hauling the luggage.