Every time I’m lucky enough to go on a vacation with my husband and daughters, I am grateful. I realize it’s such precious time and these getaways are memories in the making. I cherish these trips more than anything.
Since time is my most cherished gift, when my family asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told them a family vacay was all I wanted. We were beyond thrilled to be able to spend an amazing, birthday weekend at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, right in our hometown.
Pacific Waters Spa
The entire idea of the trip started with a birthday gift to myself, a massage at the Pacific Waters Spa at the resort. But I thought, wait a minute, why stop there? I’ll give you a little background, we always seem to celebrate the heck out of my husband’s birthday in August, and then my birthday rolls around a few weeks later and sometimes my celebrations can be a little uninspired. Not this year. This year I wanted to go all out, and all out we did.
I booked a massage on the Friday of our weekend extravaganza. The spa was relaxing and serene in a gorgeous tropical setting. It reminded me of trips to Maui as a child, all I wanted to do was stop and feed the Koi fish, swimming underneath the tiny bridge at the entrance. I was smiling just walking in the door.
Not only was I impressed with the oasis-like entrance and ambiance in the spa, but the staff really took my experience over the top. Everyone was beyond professional, extremely friendly, and treated me like a queen. They were so welcoming and lovely, I’m even thinking of joining their monthly membership which includes a treatment credit each month, access to the fitness center (which is fully stocked and larger than any hotel gym I’ve ever seen) entrance to the pools, and exclusive spa offers. After I saw how flawless my skin looked after my signature facial (which was the best facial I have ever had in my life), and my hubby saw how relaxed I was after my signature massage, he will probably jump at the chance to pamper me every month.
Earn points by going green!
Checking in was delightful and I was super impressed to learn that as a World of Hyatt member, I would earn 500 points each day if we just skipped the cleaning services. We were still able to get towels delivered, so we thought, hey, for 500 points, we will keep the room tidy and make our own beds each morning. Talk about a win-win. Help the environment and earn points to return back to the resort? Yes, please.
The Room with THE View
Let me tell you about the rooms at the Hyatt. They are GORGEous. We picked the room with one king and one queen so it would be comfortable for our family of four and it was HUGE. It felt like a mini-suite, and we had the most breathtaking view of the ocean from our balcony. There was also a small fridge and cabinet in the room, which is prefect for us, since we are gluten and dairy free, we always travel with some snacks and breakfast items, just in case.
What a treat for dinner. Watertable is one of the two stunning restaurants at the resort and we had the best seat in the house. We were overlooking the fountain of fishes, and our table had a fire pit in the middle of it, talk about chic.
The entire staff was so cordial and helpful. We let the server know we eat gluten and dairy free and he was helpful with navigating the menu, as well as making suggestions. One daughter had a kid’s burger on gluten-free bread and the other had gluten-free chicken fingers. Let me tell you, we’ve NEVER seen gluten-free chicken tenders on any menu, so we were super stoked!
The hubby enjoyed the grilled baby lamb chops, along with sea salt & cracked pepper house cut fries and Zuckerman Farms field asparagus, with toasted hazelnut gremolata and crispy prosciutto. I was delighted with my surf and turf that I put together from their create your own menu. The 4 oz. Chilean Sea Bass, along side the house butchered 6 oz. filet and the sautéed string beans (minus the pecorino cheese, darn it) was so delicious I could eat it every night, or at least all weekend long.
The ambiance, wine list, and service could not have been any better and we will definitely have a date night there soon.
Cabana at Slider’s, Pools & Spa Oasis
Slider’s pool, spa oasis is a wonderful way to spend a few hours, or entire day at the resort. We love water slides. I love water slides. Staying at the Hyatt includes three super fun slides for the whole family, and they will keep your kids (and adults) entertained for hours.
We also had a cabana, which was amazing. It included two lounge chairs, two regular chairs, 4 bottles of water, a fruit tray and a tv to watch our college football. We were also blessed with an attendant (Daniel) and server (Adam) who took marvelous care of us all day long.
We were completely impressed that the poolside restaurant offered gluten-free chicken tenders as well (they even have a separate oven) and bread for sandwiches or burgers. They also serve salads, and the best guacamole and tortilla chips around. I mean it too, and I make a heavenly guacamole myself. It’s so nice to visit a resort where my entire family is able to eat and not worry, plus the food is seriously delicious.
Bonfire on the Beach
In the evening, on Saturday, we walked over the bridge to the beach for a bonfire. There was several groups of guests surrounding their own fancy fire pits provided by the hotel. We shared two attendants who were knowledgeable and very attentive. The set up included hot chocolate and s’mores, and you can pre-order pizza if you’d like to have it delivered to the beach. We passed on the pizza. They do offer gluten-free crust, but no vegan cheese.
We brought our own gluten-free hot dogs, sausages and buns to cook over the fire. We also brought some gluten-free graham crackers and Justin’s peanut butter cups to make s’mores. If you haven’t used a peanut butter cup to make s’mores, friend, I’m telling ya, you are going to want to do it now. Delectable, chocolatey goodness with peanut butter and toasty marshmallow on a graham cracker. Nothing wrong with that.
A beautiful, tangerine sunset surrounded us with gratitude, as we toasted our marshmallows and delighted in the family time. These nights are so very precious to all of us, and the bonfire was the perfect way to spend some quality time on our last evening.
But, the night didn’t end there. We made our way back to the resort and pulled on our swimsuits for a little night swimming. The Mankota’s main pool and spa were still open with practically no one in sight. It was so delightful, they heat that baby up to like 80 degrees, so we just swam, and did hand stands, until our hearts were full.
Easy Sunday Breakfast & Coffee
On our last morning, we drowned our sorrows in Starbucks coffee, and smoothies from Surf City Grocers. It’s a super cute, little store at the resort that carries just about anything you need. From Tito’s Vodka to beach bags, sunscreen to tank tops, and breakfast pastries, cereal and more. They also have a wide variety of snacks and beverages, gluten and dairy free options aplenty. We didn’t want to leave, but having a delicious, healthy breakfast, and some drinks before we left, helped soften the blow.
Thinking about visiting Surf City?
If you are looking for a memorable vacation, or staycation, in Huntington Beach, California, I highly recommend the Hyatt Regency. You can find specials and packages here and don’t forget to sign up for World of Hyatt to earn free rooms. We try to travel as much as possible as a family, but we know a budget is super important, and every little bit helps. If you’d like to book through a travel agent, I recommend Holly. She’s an HB native and she knows her stuff. Email her for more info.
Our entire stay at the Hyatt felt like a dream. It was like we were in a completely different state, or rainforest, or island, or somewhere else magical. And it was magical. It was full of family time, relaxation, fun, food, pampering and memories. This is not a trip we will soon forget, and we look forward to visiting more Hyatt locations in the near future.
Disclosure: I partnered with the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. Some amenities were sponsored by the resort, however these opinions and thoughts are my own and were in no way influenced by anyone else.