Bradonregional first

An embarrassingly nice stay at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort.

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$135 for a $500 suite on a business trip?  Yeah, I'll take that deal.  

This is the first time I've ever stayed in a Park Hyatt for work, as well as the first time I've ever paid rather than used an award redemption.  These hotels are typically outside the my personal budget, as well as beyond what I can typically justify for a business expense.  I've been very impressed with my past Park Hyatt stays in Washington, Melbourne, and Tokyo.  There are several other excellent Park Hyatt reviews on this site.  Needless to say, its a great brand, and an excellent value via relatively attainable Gold Passport points.

Many of my paid Hyatt stays are relatively short, or in hotels that don't have a great suite options, so I sometimes end up scrambling to use my Diamond Suite upgrades before they expire.  I don't often have the opportunity to maximize these, since they are only useable on paid stays, and many vacation stays are via points.  This year, I upgraded stays at the Andaz San Diego, and another multi-day stay at the (now former) Hyatt Regency Dearborn.  I figured a suite at the Park Hyatt would be a good use of another upgrade, even though I only was staying for 2 nights.  

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The $135 I paid for a Park King (and then upgraded) was much less than $295 that those rooms were selling for on Hyatt.com thanks to my corporate rate. The Park Suite where I stayed was selling for $495. I’m certainly happy with the value I got for my Diamond Suite upgrade. As the title of this post alludes to, I felt somewhat embarrassed to have stayed in a place like this for my work travel. I have stayed in plenty of nice hotels for work trips, but the norm is the range of Sheraton, Hyatt, and sometimes Aloft or Hyatt Place. 

Typically when I stay at a resort, I'm on vacation, and I spend more time on the property, as they would intend. My work schedule didn’t allow this to happen for the 2 night stay. Still, I tried to make the most of my visit. I explored the spa and fitness center, and enjoyed the excellent buffet breakfast in the California Bistro. The hotel is located a few miles from the ocean, but on a golf course. It’s also close to the Batiquitos Lagoon, that has a nature trail around it where I went for a run one morning.

Now for a photo tour of the property and my suite:

 

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Seasonal decorations in lobby

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My upgrade put me into a Park Suite, which consisted of a large 2 room suite on an inside corner of the building facing the pool. There were 2 bathrooms, one near the entry way and a full bathroom with a separate tub and shower. There was a large walk in closet. Both the bedroom and the living room had balconies.

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 park-hyatt-aviara-living-room

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front bathroom

 

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The bathroom was stocked with the new Le Labo amenities.


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Dawn view from my balcony with the Batiquitos lagoon in the distance.  

 

The Diamond breakfast was the full buffet in the California Bistro.  I didn't get photos due to not wanting to disturb fellow diners (including some senior executives from my company...).  Pictured below is the house made vanilla bean yogurt which was amazing.

 

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The décor of the hotel was a little bit dated for my taste. This isn’t really a complaint, as the hotel and the staff were excellent, but I guess I prefer the more modern design of the Park Hyatts in Washington or Tokyo vs. the older design of Melbourne and the Aviara.

 

The Park Hyatt Aviara is an excellent hotel, and I would certainly return on future trips to the area if I can get a rate like I did, or even something close. 

 

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Comments

#1
Mitch December 20, 2012 at 02:24 pm

Aviara is a very nice property (my family and I have stayed there before)... partly due to the hotel formerly being a Four Seasons resort and changed to Park Hyatt when the owners at a dispute with FS corporate a few years back... FS still has their residence club next door...

#2
BR December 20, 2012 at 05:58 pm

Oh nice...I thought the only Park Hyatts in the US were in DC, Chicago, and Colorado. Forgot about this one. Like you said, it looks pretty outdated, but for $135/nt definitely worth it.

#3
Brad December 20, 2012 at 06:26 pm

@Mitch Thanks for the information on the history of the property. I saw the residence club, and your information explains the layout.

@BR There are 4 Park Hyatt properties in the US, plus the one in Toronto, and lots more in Europe/Asia/Australia. Supposedly, my corporate rate is going to hold through 2013, so hopefully I'll get the chance to return again.

This was a weak Four Seasons. Nice for the Hyatt flag, but this property never got to the proper FS level of service. Unusual location, too.

At the price point you're getting, certainly a value!

#5
calvatheson December 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Did they charge for WiFi?

#6
Brad December 22, 2012 at 01:06 pm

@Tom: Agreed. Its an odd location, there is a golf course, but otherwise its surrounded by housing developments

@calvatheson: Internet access on the resort is not free, although Hyatt Platinum and Diamond members have these charges removed from their bill.

#7
Steve June 5, 2013 at 08:39 pm

This location is a bit out of the way - but for seclusion, proximity to the ocean, exquisite service and ambience, it is the equivalent "to some extent" of the North County's version of the Hotel Del Coronado.

No other nicer property by far in North County. A bit pricy but extremely classy, traditional and intimate. Got to find those "special" deals to really pencil!

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