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Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

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Newport Beach, CA
posts: 77
reviews: 11
Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

I need your advice... my wife and I are planning a trip up to Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur area this summer. We will have a 3 month old newborn with us as well.

I am looking to turn in some hotel points, and I see both the Hyatt Highlands in Carmel and Hyatt Regency in Monterey. I've read reviews of each property, and both have mixed reviews - however, they are free with points.

For anyone with insight or may have stayed at each, which would you choose? Highlands in Carmel is certainly more "expensive", but that doesn't always mean better.

We are in our early 30s, enjoy being outdoors, love a good glass of wine and great food. We are driving up from Southern Cal, so we will have our car with us. We want to do the Aquarium, see Big Sur, and all the other "touristy" stuff. Knowing we will have an infant with us, certain activities will be very limited. A picnic is likely somewhere in the area.

If the baby isn't cooperating though, I'd like to be able to enjoy the hotel itself.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Newport Beach, CA
posts: 77
reviews: 11
11. Re: Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

We are planning a road trip weekend from Orange County. Too aggressive to drive up all in one day with a newborn (3 mo), or should we break the trip up with day one in Cambria/Morrow Bay Area? We only have 3-4 days.


Edited: 4:51 pm, April 06, 2013
Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 15,856
reviews: 8
12. Re: Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

Hi dprocuk

With only 3 or 4 days, you're going to have to plan on one day of travel either on the way or the way back. Otherwise you're only going to have one night in the Monterey/Carmel area.

Your original idea of just driving straight there would be the best choice, IMO. Especially if you can leave OC early enough in the day. Take Highway 101 up to Salinas and take the Monterey Peninsula exit and watch for the sign indicating the left turn onto Highway 68 toward Monterey.

Then, drive down Highway 1 at leisure enjoying the sights as you go and stop for the night in Cambria, Morro Bay or Pismo Beach. Of course, staying in Pismo puts you that much closer to home, but your little family might be tuckered out by the time you descend from the twisty, elevated Big Sur coast.

Definitely wait until Monday to return home to maximize your time and avoid the heavy Sunday afternoon traffic through Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, etc.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 15,940
reviews: 3
13. Re: Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

Yes, break up your trip. My son joined us in Tahoe when their baby was only a month old. They stopped in Bishop the first day to shorten the drive to 5 hours. If the baby needs changing or feeding you can't reach around and pick them up while the car is moving. You have to pull over and take care of those needs. Hopefully the baby will sleep a lot.

You might return home on The 5 to make better time.

Posting same time as Kibblesmom. Her suggestions are good too.

Edited: 7:32 pm, April 06, 2013
San Francisco...
posts: 3,507
reviews: 123
14. Re: Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

You can save some points by booking the highlands as a vacation club property. So check into that. The hotel is also on a hill so be prepared to push your stroller uphill. When i stayed there, we saw some families and infants because of the timeshare units.

Our kids love the recreational amenities at the Regency as well as smores by the fire pit by the golf course. But your infant probably doesnt care.

If it looks like you will want to visit Carmel or point Lobos, i would pick the Highlands.

Wine on the balcony at sunset overlooking the pacific ocean with a sleeping baby inside... Priceless. Just dont set the fire alarm off like i did at 7 am

Edited: 2:47 am, April 24, 2013
Newport Beach, CA
posts: 77
reviews: 11
15. Re: Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

I will look into the vacation club to save points. We are only staying 2-3 nights, so I'm not sure if it will require more nights for the vacation club.

Wine on the balcony sounds perfect...my wife has been craving it, so it will certainly be a treat.

San Francisco...
posts: 3,507
reviews: 123
16. Re: Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

Something to look forward to then: …tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/02/d8/03/84/h… or tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g32172-d1249…

You have to call to redeem vacation club awards -- from hyatt.com/gp/en/awards/hyatt_free_night.jsp

Hotel Category:Hyatt Vacation Club Resorts


One Bedroom:15,000

Two Bedroom:23,000

Three Bedroom:30,000


Hyatt Carmel Highlands, A Hyatt Vacation Club Resort (Carmel)

Edited: 2:33 pm, April 24, 2013
Newport Beach, CA
posts: 77
reviews: 11
17. Re: Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

Excellent! I will call them immediately.

Does anyone have experience from both the standard ocean view units vs the vacation club residences? It seems as if the difference is the vacation club units have a full kitchen and jacuzzi tub.

Monterey Peninsula...
posts: 1,950
18. Re: Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

Some of the rooms at the Highlands that have kitchens have sliding partitions to open things up or close off different sections to make smaller private spaces. I don't know what these rooms are called, but you might ask about that from their reservations agents.

-Mr. Toy


Newport Beach, CA
posts: 77
reviews: 11
19. Re: Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

So we didn't do the trip as planned, but are now planning to go this April. Baby will be 11 months.

Hyatt Highlands or Monterey Plaza?

We will do the aquarium in Monterey for sure. Others likely Lobos, 17 mile drive, see Pebble Beach.

Hyatt is 22,000 points per night (vacation club is a no go). Reg rates for king ocean room is $500 per night.

Monterey Plaza is $260 a night for garden view (23,000 credit card points). If wanting king bed and ocean balcony, it is $529 per night (53,000 points).

So between the properties....hyatt highlands at 22k per night for ocean and balcony, or plaza without view or balcony for same price?


San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 27,026
reviews: 132
20. Re: Hyatt Highlands (Carmel) or Hyatt Regency (Monterey)?

With a kid I think Monterey plaza . Without kids I think highlands.