As much as I love the Mar Monte in Santa Barbara, we’ve found a new Southern California weekend getaway at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, which checks off (almost) all the boxes for my family and is particularly generous to World of Hyatt Globalist members.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Review
We spent Thanksgiving weekend at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach (we had to skip our usual journey to the Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn this year due to work obligations). We also spent a night there after the tree accident earlier this autumn. This review will cover both of these two stays.
Nightly rates vary from $228 to over $500 depending upon the time of year and demand. Our nightly rate was $309.
As this is a large resort with 517 guest rooms (including three presidential suites and 57 total suites), I encountered a line to check-in on both visits. However, the line moved rather quickly and I was graciously welcomed, thanked my for Globalist status, and upgraded to a room with a king and queen bed with partial ocean view.
The common areas are fairly limited indoors, but there are gardens and fountains located throughout the property.
Our room, 2309, was very spacious and provided more than enough space for my family of four. In addition to the two beds, there was a desk with chair, patio with two chairs, and a large bathroom with two sinks, shower, tub, and a toilet. Shower amenities were from Pharmacopia in large bottles attached to the wall.
The room even had a walk-in closet:
Power plugs were located on each side of the nightstand between beds, which was appreciated for device charging.
In fact, our second room had USB-C charging as well (no picture).
Internet was complimentary and worked seamlessly throughout the property.
As a large resort, the hotel has several dining options including:
- Watertable: Contemporary American
- Pete’s Sunset Grille: Casual, cocktails
- Mankota’s Bar & Grill: Poolside casual (seasonal)
- Tower 15: Pizzeria (seasonal)
- Slyders Poolside Bar & Grill: Poolside casual (seasonal)
- Shor: Beachside Casual (seasonal)
Let’s start with breakfast at Watertable. First, you should call ahead before going down. We went down at 10:30 am for breakfast and was informed there would be a 45-minute wait for a table (thankfully, it ended up being only about 20 minutes). Breakfast goes until 11:30 am, which I love…the buffet was really not removed until after noon.
We ate outdoors.
Although an a la carte menu is available, the breakfast buffet here is quite nice and my family loved it. Particularly, I enjoyed the omelets made-to-order, the nuts including pistachios and Marcona almonds (yum), fresh berries, and the cold cuts like salami, bresaola, and cheese. The buffet had a wide selection of baked goods, hot and cold cereal, breakfast staples like bacon, eggs, sausage, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, and a salad bar with smoked salmon.
Coffee was just okay…I had a cortado and it tasted like Starbucks espresso (which strikes me as likely considering there is café serving Starbucks on the premises).
Breakfast was fully covered as a Globalist, including gratuity (as it should have been, but sometimes hotels play games…not this one).
All sorts of poolside dining was available and the Tower 15 pizzeria was very crowded in the evening. Adjacent to the lobby is a courtyard with the grocery store, pizzeria, restaurant, and a clothing shop.
As a Globalist member, I was offered $25 credit at Surf City Grocers. This was quite useful since the room only had a Keurig machine (worse than sludge) and so we got our coffee here. Mind you, I’m not a fan of Starbucks coffee, but it was certainly better than Keurig. Breakfast burritos are available here too along with sundries, drinks, ready-to-eat food, ice cream, and candy (I ended up using my remaining credit to buy my kids some Sour Patch Kids, their favorite candy).
I’m still not comfortable taking the kids to nice restaurants for dinner because my little one has trouble sitting still. We actually enjoyed Thanksgiving leftovers in the room…it was perfect. The other night we went out to Whole Foods, located right down Beach Boulevard (though not within walking distance).
A daily $42 resort fee is collected, though waived for Globalist members of the World of Hyatt program. It includes:
- Access to the resort’s heated pools, hot tubs and waterslides
- In-room refillable water bottles (2 per stay)
- Hydration stations located throughout the resort
- Premium high-speed internet access
- 24-hour fitness center with Peloton bikes and the latest equipment
- Beach essentials: chairs, umbrellas and towels
- Sunscreen at pools
- Daily koi fish feeding
- Firepit experiences
- Fitness classes (seasonal)
- Outdoor movies (seasonal)
- Cosmic sliding (seasonal)
- Dig It! interactive sandcastle building (seasonal)
- Two-for-one half-day bike rental at Toes on the Nose
- In-room refrigerator, safe and coffee/tea setup
- In-room Chromecast streaming service
- Surfboard, golf club and luggage storage
- Boarding pass printing
- Local and toll-free calls
- Incoming and outgoing fax service
- Personalized guest request texting service for 24-hour assistance
I loathe hidden fees but Hyatt now adds this amount to the room fee when booking online or on the mobile app, which is greatly appreciated.
If you like pools or your kids do, this is the hotel for you. There are large pools and small, deep pools and shallow, pools intended for children and an adults-only pool area (spa grotto). There’s even a saltwater pool (Mankota’s).
Most importantly for our purposes, the Slyders Water Playground was simply ideal for our kids. There was a one-foot (depth) pool that my daughter could frolic in without me having to hold her and both kids loved the water slides.
A 24/27 fitness center is located next to the spa and includes mostly cardio equipment as well as a range of strength-training equipment and stretching gear like mats and foam rollers (something I am spending more time on these days…).
My favorite part of the hotel is the Pacific Waters Spa, which offers excellent wellness facilities including a sauna, steam room, and whirlpool.
Access to these amenities is $30/day, but waived for Globalist members.
There’s water and tea available, as well as treats like cake, fruit, and nuts.
There’s also an indoor and outdoor relaxation area.
Treatments like facials and massages are available, but quite expensive…think $200/hour. I find that rather difficult to justify.
Spa hours are limited: the spa is only open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Unfortunately, the locker room is closed when the spa closes, so you cannot use the steam room, sauna, or whirlpool early or late.
If you have young children, don’t miss the daily fish feeding outside the spa at noon. I really feel sorry for these poor desperate koi, but my kids loved feeding them…in fact, they were delighted.
The hotel makes beach access quite easy with a bridge linking the property to the beach. My kids greatly enjoyed building sand castles and running along the beach into the waves.
Dogs are welcome at this property, but at a charge of $175 per stay up to six nights:
- Only dogs weighing 50 pounds or under are permitted (service dogs excluded)
- Two dogs may stay in a room, provided their combined weight does not exceed 75 pounds
- A pet information card must be filled out at check-in
- A reservation inclusive of a dog must be made three days in advance of arrival
- Dogs are not allowed in restaurants or pool areas (service dogs excluded)
My only complaint at this property is that the parking is expensive and not at all convenient if you wish to self-park.
At such a large resort, it is quite reasonable that only valet parking is available. The cost is $49/night ($29 for up to 12 hours).
Electric vehicle charging stations are available to hotel guests based on availability, but you have to ask (which I neglected to do and ended up stopping at a Supercharger on the way home).
Heidi and I drove separately since she was coming from work and so we paid $100/night for parking plus tip…not ideal.
When you want your car, you can scan your claim ticket on a kiosk and it will be brought up from the covered carpark below.
Metered street parking is available for $3/hour (no charge between midnight and 6:00 am). You can also park in the public parking lot for the beach across the street. It’s $15 to get in and then $15 per night (so $30 for the first day and $15 for each day thereafter). Cars must be parked by 9:00 pm and obtain an overnight parking pass from the hotel valet.
I really like this hotel and the amenities it offers. It is extremely family-friendly without feeling like it is only for kids (like the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa) The breakfast is great, the beach lovely, the pools perfect for my kids, and the spa great for my wife and me. We will return…and return often.
Finally, it is also nice to run into readers. I ran into Ismael and his children outside the spa and it was great to say hello. Do say hello if you see me or my family.