Family Fun at Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa (Hotel Review)
I can't say enough of the beauty of Monterey Peninsula on the Northern Californian coast. We love visiting Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea on weekends, and there are family-friendly activities year-round.
On our recent weekend trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa. The hotel is 5 minutes by car from the beach and is located mid-way between Monterey and Carmel (10-minute drive for both), so it's a convenient base from which to explore the Monterey Peninsula.
The other location highlight is that the resort sits on Del Monte Golf Course, part of the world-famous Pebble Beach golf courses. So naturally, this resort hotel attracts many golf-loving retirees, but as you'll see from our experience, it's also a family-friendly resort for travelers with young kids.
With over 500 rooms, Hyatt Regency Monterey is a popular choice for conferences, weddings, or golf events. When visiting without kids, you can see my recommendations for several boutique hotels in Carmel downtown. But if you're traveling with kids, especially young ones, this hotel provides lots of outdoor space and activities which will make the down time more manageable.
The lobby sets an inviting tone with a central fire place surrounded by cozy seating, all under a high vaulted glass ceiling. There's something magical about fire places, perhaps it's that primal instinct for us to gather around fire to get both heat and human warmth.
At the Fireplace Lounge, there are live jazz sessions every Friday and Saturday night. Once the kids fall asleep, it's time to grab a glass of local wine and have a tête-à-tête by the fireplace, with fluid counterpoints resonating in the background.
The room has the standard contemporary Hyatt design, comfortable and functional. My only complaint is that the stand-alone air conditioner was very noisy, but given the mild climate of Monterey Peninsula, we could easily live without the air conditioning.
But the best way to enjoy your stay at the hotel is to spend most of the time outside the room, and preferably outdoors. The sceneries beg for it, and there are many spaces designed to let you enjoy the outdoors with lots of cozy measures.
Want to watch a game on the golf course? Lean back in the lounge chairs.
Fancy making some s'mores at an open fire? There is a fire pit in the garden.
Craving some pool time? There are two outdoor pools at the resort, each has lovely landscaping, cabanas, lounge chairs, and a hot tub.
Guests of all ages can enjoy the perfect Californian climate by splashing around to their hearts' content.
We also found a highly entertaining game feature by the pool. A pool basketball hoop is such a small and easy feature to install, yet it provides so much fun.
But there's more. There's a giant checker game! Even for the non-checker players, it can be a fun stacking game.
Last but absolutely not least, if you fancy trying your hands at a game of golf, you've definitely chosen the right place. Del Monte Golf Course is "the oldest course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi", established in 1897. Although golf is probably not the best idea for families traveling with toddlers.
But it definitely seemed irresistible, even for those that were way too young to play.
Maybe when you're older, young lady.