We popped down to Newport Beach for the weekend to visit my newborn nephew. We decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, as it’s just a five minute drive away from my brother’s house. When we realized that my wife’s Diamond Suite Upgrades were going to expire soon, we decided to apply them to our short weekend stay.
Entrance, Check-In, and Welcome
Check-In was painless and simple. The only painful part was the $35 valet parking fee and $25 resort charge. That’s over $60 in fees per night. Yuck! Want to go low budget with self parking? You only save $8. That’s $60 in fees above the normal rate for each night. We knew about these fees in advance, but I feel like it is worth pointing them out here. The lobby of the hotel is classy, elegant, and simple. There’s a bar straight ahead and Shor, the hotel restaurant, to the left. Shor is where breakfast is served, and we ate dinner there our first night as well.
The staff did a nice job of recognizing my wife’s Hyatt Diamond Status. They noticed that she had stayed there many times in the past and welcomed her back. The hotel also honored our request to be in the main building on the ground level. Even though we chose points as our amenity, the hotel left a complimentary s’mores dessert and a fully stocked (non-alcoholic) fridge for us in the suite. Those were two great surprises!
Our suite couldn’t have worked out better. We requested to be on the ground floor, the same as the hotel restaurant and bar, so that after our 15 month old son went down for bed, we could still go out to dinner or relax at the bar. We feel comfortable doing this only if we’re on the same floor as our son and without any physical barriers to our own hotel room. We use an iPhone baby monitoring app that works over cellular. It’s great.
Speaking of baby friendliness, our suite gave us exactly what we wanted: a separate room for our son. By having two rooms, we could have my brother and his family over for drinks in a room separate from where the baby was sleeping. We could also have the baby nap during the day while we hung out in the other room. The interesting thing about our suite, 135 + 137, is that it’s two hotel rooms joined together with a connecting door. They just took one of the rooms and turned it into a living room, rather than a hotel room.
For a more detailed view, check out my video walk-through:
One great benefit of having the suite formed by two separate rooms is that we had two bathrooms. Other than that, there really wasn’t anything remarkable about the suite. As noted in the pictures, you’re basically looking at your standard Hyatt room.
Breakfast + Dinner
Shor hosts a breakfast buffet every morning, and as a Diamond Member, you can choose from either the buffet or the a la carte menu at no charge. The buffet wasn’t massive like that of some hotels in Asia, but it did the job just fine. We mostly grabbed buffet breakfast, with the exception of the last morning, where I had Eggs Benedict.
Our first night at the hotel we had cocktails at the hotel bar, followed by dinner at Shor. Shor has a slightly pricey variety of American fare. There’s a burger, a few pastas, a steak, a few salads, etc. You should be able to find something you like, and while the food isn’t going to blow your mind, it was just fine for a night in.
The staff went above and beyond to make our trip really great. When I think back on the weekend, I can think of so many individual moments that combined to just make it a really pleasant stay. When I brought baby bottles of milk to the bar to be microwaved in the morning, they jumped at the opportunity to help. When I brought a baby bottle to be heated at night, the bar tender told me that the microwave was put away in the evenings, but she would happily steam the milk for us. The valet parkers were patient and friendly, always waiting for me to make two trips with all of our luggage. The front desk workers were great. I just felt like it was smiles around every corner, and that attitude was very much appreciated.
Layout, Grounds, Amenities
I find it funny that someone decided to build a resort-style hotel right in this location. It’s not on the beach. It’s pretty close to the Fashion Island shopping mall, UC Irvine, and some offices. If you want to go to Disneyland, it’s close-ish, but there are plenty of closer properties. There’s no point in wondering why it exists. It does. It definitely has a resort layout with multiple buildings, all a maximum of three stories, all connected with paths through well maintained grounds.
It was nice having our suite on the ground floor. We were able to open up our door and go for a stroll or let our son run around outside right in front of our room. The hotel has a pool that is nothing amazing, but if you’re coming with kids, it does have a water slide!
As it’s February, the pool at the Hyatt is closed right now.
I would absolutely stay here again, but it would all come down to price. If I could get a low rate, knowing that it would be inflated by about $60 / night due to parking and resort fees, then I’d stay. Our room was really nice, the grounds are nice, and we really enjoyed how attentive the staff was to just about any request we had.