This hotel is very pleasant, well-maintained and relatively new, having been completed in 2001. The location is not all that great (intersection of Pacific Coast Hwy. (also known as Hwy. 1 or "PCH") and Beach Blvd.) because its not really within walking distance of any dining or shopping. Main street, which has some shopping and dining, is about a mile or so away, and most of the remaining shopping and dining areas are several miles away in either direction on PCH, or a few miles up Beach Blvd. toward the 405 freeway, so you really need a car. I don't believe the hotel offers a shuttle service, since we never saw any shuttles during our two week stay, but I'm not entirely certain of this.
The hotel is, however, right across the street from a good beach, and I think this is the main attraction for most people. There is a quaint bridge spanning PCH that connects the hotel to the beach parking area. Be aware that, in the summer, the beach can be very crowded, as are the local roads, and there are some very large surf competitions and other events during that time which also draw massive (and, in recent years, somewhat unruly) crowds. In the fall, when we were there, the crowds were nonexistent and the weather was still very good and quite warm most of the time. The same is probably true in the springtime.
The hotel has two very nice pool areas, including the main pool which is quite large, and a smaller one with some short water slides for kids. Food service is available poolside at the smaller pool. There is also a spa grotto courtyard which includes three hot tubs surrounded by lush landscaping. The pools are great for kids or anyone looking to relax by the pool in a lovely setting.
The hotel is very large and spread out, spanning an entire city block, and was built around three major courtyards, each of which has a water feature (i.e., one of the aforementioned pools or the spa grotto). We stayed in a spacious (1100 sq. ft.), nicely decorated two-room suite with a separate living area and wet bar overlooking the spa grotto. We had a large patio off the living room with a table and four chairs that made the room seem even larger. The rooms were very clean and have comfortable beds. Pillows are a bit soft but, since I brought some of my own pillows, it wasn't a problem. The furnishings, however, could have been a bit better; our couch and chairs were rather firm and uncomfortable for sitting for long periods. The bathrooms were large and well appointed, and there was plenty of hot water and good shower pressure. I was also pleasantly surprised that the water wasn't as hard as it is at most hotels...they must use some sort of water softening system, which I greatly appreciated.
There is a 20,000 sq. ft. spa on the property, but we didn't have a chance to go there. We did, however, enjoy observing and feeding the large Koi fish in the lovely pond located right in front of the entrance to the spa. They have an extensive kid's activity program (Camp Hyatt for kids) which includes fish feeding twice a day, which if you have kids would be a fun activity for them. Luckily, adults can join in too!
The only major flaw with this hotel is that the food is sadly lacking, especially the breakfast buffet, which is utterly abysmal, to say the least, and should be avoided. Offerings there included exceptionally dry toast and French toast, dry and bland scrambled eggs, lukewarm dry breakfast meats, a small selection of cereal and juices and an omlette station. For a hotel of this caliber, we were shocked that the breakfast was this limited and this bad. As a result of the poor quality, there is very low attendance at breakfast. Thank goodness it was offered for free as part of our room rate, because there is no way we'd have paid good money for it!!
Unfortunately, the room service breakfasts and other meals were not all that good either, just average at best, and very expensive. We ordered one breakfast that was only a little bit better than the food at the buffet and, after receiving the only dinner order we made, I had to call and complain because a $28 scallop entree was completely overcooked, rubbery and bland, but they were nice enough to remove it from the bill. Needless to say, after these experiences, we sought food elsewhere for the remainder of our stay, with the exception of a few meals at the Mexican restaurant on the Hyatt Regency property, called Pete's Sunset Grille. The staff there was exceptionally polite and accommodating, and even gave us our dinner for free one night because the meal was delayed excessively due to an error on their part. The restaurant also has a charming outdoor patio with plenty of heat lamps for cool evenings, as well as a fireplace with very comfortable seating.
As an alternative to the Hyatt's breakfasts, I highly recommend the Sunday brunch buffet at the Shades Restaurant at the Hilton Huntington Beach, which is just a block or so away. The brunch was so good there that I was motivated to write a separate review for it, which you can find by looking up the Shades Restaurant on Trip Advisor. The date of this review was November 17, 2013. There was even a very talented magician performing tricks at tables here! Very entertaining and a great meal! I would imagine that the restaurant is very good in general, not just on Sunday at brunch, so it would make a good, close alternative to the Hyatt's restaurants.
So aside from a few meals at Pete's Sunset Grille at the Hyatt, we had to go out or order out for each and every meal, which was not at all convenient and became somewhat of an annoyance after a few days. Since we were there for two weeks, this meant a lot of eating out at restaurants far from the hotel. This takes up a lot of time, and makes it hard to do other activities or just relax at the hotel because you're constantly having to get ready and go out to restaurants. The distance you must travel to reach these restaurants and the traffic you typically encounter on the way add considerably more time. Its also a big hassle in the morning if you have something to do, because you have to allow time to get food somewhere prior to doing your activity. We were hoping for a unit with a kitchenette to help with this problem and to allow us to occasionally make a meal or snack in the room, but there are no such units at this hotel. There are small fridges in each room that are empty and can be used to store food, but when asked for a microwave, the hotel stated that they stopped providing them because they were considered a fire hazard. Other hotels don't seem to have a problem providing microwaves upon request, so I was a bit surprised by this.
Regarding parking, it is valet only (no self-parking of any kind) and is quite pricey. There is little to no street parking available. However, the valets are all very polite and helpful, always offering to assist with directions or in any way they can. Bell service was prompt and courteous. The staff in general is almost universally extremely friendly and accommodating.
Please be aware that the hotel is VERY popular for meetings and events and, although there were only a few going on in October during our stay, we were warned by the staff that in the summer, attendance of these events (including numerous weddings) is huge, and there are often literally hundreds of people congregating in the hotel's main courtyards and public spaces, so I wouldn't recommend that you visit in the summer unless you're part of such an event or don't mind huge crowds. I can just imagine how slow the valet and room service must be at those times as well! If you are looking to plan an event, however, this would be a great place to do it because the ballrooms and other meeting spaces are extensive and quite beautiful. The grand ballroom and some of the other ballrooms are located in a separate building adjacent to the hotel, which is part of the reason the hotel takes up an entire city block.
The hotel is also dog friendly, which was great since we had our dog with us. The staff were very accommodating to our dog, and gave him toys and treats! The grounds are so expansive that they make a wonderful place to walk a dog and, indeed, we very much enjoyed our nightly walks around the hotel grounds and the beach area, where there were also multiple bonfires every night. Apparently you can use the fire pits for free and there are plenty of them available. There are also some small fire pits in various locations throughout the hotel grounds, and many people including ourselves bought and used S'mores kits from the little grocery store on the property, which was really fun! Its also really pleasant to sit in the outdoor public areas of the hotel in general, with their beautiful fountains with sculptures which add to the charming ambiance of the place. The furniture is also very comfortable, with several areas offering couches and chairs with tables.
Overall I recommend this hotel with the caveats mentioned above. If the hotel would just correct the food situation it would be a far better place to stay, and hard to fault.
The hotel is four stories high and the higher floors will generally have the better views. Ocean vi...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.