Huntington Beach (HB) is a seaside city in Orange county in Southern California, and offers an uninterrupted 10 miles of coastline making it very popular among surfers, and often called the surf city.
Shark or no shark, HB here we come. The day before we checked-in at our hotel for an overnight stay, the city closed the waters of HB to the public due to reports of a surfer encounter with a baby shark. Luckily, to surfers and swimmers delight, the waters opened to the public the next morning.
We however, came to HB to check out Hyatt Huntington Resort & Spa. We are sort of doing Hyatt-hopping, and had stayed at Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, Hyatt in Palm Springs, and next month is going to Hyatt Indian Wells Resort & Spa with my RN group (“Retired Na”, retired already) consist of me, my husband, two sisters and brother-in-law who plans on retiring next year. BTW, we normally make award booking when we stay at Hyatt properties using award certificates, Hyatt points or Points and Cash.
Review of Hyatt HB Resort & Spa
Hyatt HB is a category 5 property, and requires 20,000 Hyatt points or 10,000 plus $125 on Points & Cash per night which is how I booked our two rooms. Otherwise, a standard room will cost almost $400 per night inclusive of taxes and resort fees ($25); and a suite over $500 per night. Parking only by valet is extra and cost $35.00.
With my Hyatt Gold Passport (HGP) Diamond status, one of our rooms was upgraded to a suite using a suite certificate and the 2nd room received free upgrade to a deluxe room. Our rooms are on the top floor overlooking the pool and with partial view of the ocean. Our suite (4366) has a living room with a desk, the bedroom area, and has two bathrooms….one with a deep tub and a separate one with a shower. It also has an expanded balcony big enough for lounge chairs.
Love all the perks that go with my elite status. For my welcome amenity, we chose a bottle of Merlot wine with cheese, crackers and 1,000 Hyatt points for the other room.
Another perk resulting in big savings for meals is the free access to Club Lounge for daily breakfast, snacks & beverage (11:00am -5:00pm); appetizers (5:00pm -7:00pm) and desserts (8:00- 9:00pm). The rosemary roasted almonds are so good, as well as the different flavored macaroons, and two kinds of cookies to tide your hunger over until dinner time. To quench your thirst there are waters, sodas, bottled juice, yogurt; for caffeine-seekers there’s coffee and cappuccino.
The property is right on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Beach Blvd, occupying the entire block. It is huge, sprawling and consist of over 500 rooms, housed on two main buildings. There is a main pool for adults with cabana, equipped with TV and mini-fridge; a kid pool with sliders, and three jacuzzi pools.
The grounds are well-spread, and simply but beautifully landscaped. I can’t help and kept comparing it to Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad (another Category 5) which I initially liked better being nicer, more luxurious, and very colorful landscaping. But HB Hyatt grew on me, that in the end like it more for being on the beach and convenience to But honestly, I won’t mind going back to either one as long as I have points to cut down the cost.
There is a bridge from the hotel that leads directly to the beach. The staff will set up chairs & umbrella for you on the beach, for free. Awesome!
It is a fully equipped or contained resort, with a small general store, a small shop, 4 or 5 options for dining from casual to fine dining. There are fire pits scattered around, perfect to gather round on chilly nights and for making s’mores. The store sells the kit with everything you need to make a gooey & delicious s’mores.
A very enjoyable getaway
A short stay it was, but we managed to experience and do lots of activities. A little bit of this, and a little bit of that made this getaway enjoyable and lots of fun. Would have been perfect, if we got to the Spa earlier to use the sauna, steam bath and Jacuzzi; we missed the pool sliders which closed at 7:00PM, and my brother-in-law got to swim in the ocean.
Location of our hotel is perfect, right on the beach and convenient. It is walking distance to the Main street where many restaurants and small shops are located. It took us less than an hour to drive to HB, and since it was too early to check in to our hotel we drove around to kill some time. We spotted a bunch of tents set up by the beach so we parked our car to do some shopping. Us, three sisters are thrilled to find some good buys…bangles, sunglasses and cover-ups.
A short walk across the bridge, we’re on the beach! Mr G wanted so much to swim on the ocean, but did not have the time. Instead, we walked barefooted, rubbing the sand between our feet, heels & toes (to exfoliate), got wet with strong rush of water from big waves.
The hotel was fully booked, and all the pools were so crowded earlier in the day. But in the early evening hours, the crowd dissipated and we found one of the 3 jacuzzi pools empty. Aahh, felt so good and relaxing.
Nothing more spectacular and romantic than watching sunset on the beach.
WALK TO THE PIER
Next day, after a good breakfast at the Club Lounge, a walk to the pier sounds perfect. A great way to exercise while enjoying the beautiful view of the beach which looks amazing now empty (the weekenders have gone home, and it’s still quite early in the morning). There is a paved pathway from the hotel all the way to the pier (about a ¾ mile), so there are many joggers, and bikers; as well as interesting sightings.
Interesting Sights on the way to the Pier
One for all, all for one
The pier is a place for all to enjoy. To go fishing, for friends to catch up & chat, for old folks to relax & enjoy. For surfers & learners, to play volleyball….
Normita Surf City Tacos: We stopped here for lunch before checking in at Hyatt. It’s a tiny place with only four small tables outside, and no more than 10 seats for eating at the counter. Their taco is the best, with a good size crunchy & moist fillet of Mahi served with a special sauce and definitely worth $4.40 each. A better deal is the Taco plate for $9.50 that comes with 2 tacos, rice, beans and chips. We came back here the next day, only to find out it’s closed on Mondays.
Hyatt Club Lounge: The buffet breakfast is awesome, with variety of food: sliced fresh fruits, prosciutto & salami, eggs, smoked salmon, bagel, cream cheese & capers. There are healthy options such as hot oatmeal, cereals, milk & yogurt.
Pete’s Sunset Grill: One of the restaurants at Hyatt, and ate here for dinner. We had the best poke I’ve ever eaten (better than Maui). The bowl consists of green rice, big chunks of ahi tuna, seaweeds and topped with tiny salmon eggs….delish! The price is very reasonable at $14.00 and comes in big portion.
Mo Ran Ghak: Searched for this place based on good reviews on Yelp to have lunch before we head home. With a big crowd waiting in front of the restaurant, we knew we made the right choice. We ordered bibimbap ( a typical Korean rice dish mixed with meat, vegetables, chili paste topped with egg) served on a very hot plate that resulted in crunchy bottom layer of rice “tutung”. Really good.
THE SURF CITY
And rightfully so, just see for yourself why many flock here; the learners, beginners, intermediate and the experts. And why US Open Surf Tournament will be held here in a week.
Only an hour drive from home. Comfortable and nice accommodation. Good eats and good view. Relaxing, combined with some exercise and some shopping. Truly, a perfect beach get away.