Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina

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The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Resort & Spa is in a prime spot, perched on the edge of Mission Bay. It is located about 15 minutes away from San Diego Airport. The property used to be the Islandia hotel and then about 7 years ago it was taken over by Hyatt.

I pulled up to the hotel around 5pm. There was a self-park option before getting to valet, but they were both $35. Valet tends to take a while during busy times so I did self-park. The lot was large and there were plenty of spaces, though at times it gets pretty full.

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Stepping into the lobby I appreciated the lit fireplace, a welcome sight on the bay where the weather often gets chilly in the evenings. The host welcomed me and we talked a little since there was no one else waiting to check-in. He mentioned that there was a $24.75 resort fee, which consisted of two bottles of water, high-speed internet, local phone calls, bike rentals and a “value booklet”, all of which are included as a Hyatt Diamond with the exception of the bike rentals. As a Diamond I used to receive free breakfast at the Red Marlin, the hotel’s onsite restaurant. They have a lounge now though, so breakfast is there instead.

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I was given a map of the grounds, which would have definitely been helpful for a first time visit. I was also given an activity guide similar to something I’d expect to see at an extended stay place, with spa specials and helpful opening/closing times for nearby attractions like SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and Legoland. There was a schedule for pool opening (6am-11pm) and Concierge favorites like a wine tasting tour and Old Town Trolley tour.

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I was assigned a Corner King (actually a Corner Suite, more like a Jr Suite), which is my favorite type of room at this hotel. There are 429 total guest rooms. A room tip is that all even numbered rooms in the Tower face the pool and bay, while even numbered rooms face the parking lot & road. There are four specialty SeaWorld Suites which are themed with fun bunk beds for kids, but since there are so few don’t get your hopes up for one.

The grounds of the hotel are lovely. I walked from the lobby down a couple stairs and to the left to the Tower where my room was. There are also some Waterside suites on the right side of the property but the bedrooms are small and dim for my liking and they are noisier since they are right next to the pool.

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Premium corner king rooms here are often a bit tricky, since one of them on each floor is located right next to the wall from a noisy ice maker.

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The first thing I did when entering the room was to look out the window. Just beautiful. It had been a while since I’d stayed at the resort so I had forgotten that while the view is lovely from either side, the odd-numbered side I had been assigned has some traffic noise. It does quiet down at night as traffic lessens, but I find the other side of the hotel preferable.

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Walking into the room I was greeted by two bottles of water. I put them in the small empty fridge just below in the cabinet.

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The closet was just inside the door, and was small but functional.

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There was a safe and coffee machine located next to the fridge.

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The bathroom didn’t have a ton of towels, but the counter space was large enough for my toiletries bag.

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I liked the larger sink, but for some reason the bathroom didn’t feel intuitively designed to me.

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I was glad to see that there was a full shower door rather than a half door or curtain.

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Bathroom.

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Out in the room, there was a corner desk with plenty of space. Overhead lighting in the room was a little sparse, but there was a nice desk lamp.

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I tilted the lamp upwards so that it filled the room rather than just the desk.

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The vent was cleverly placed over the hallway so the air wasn’t blasting right over the bed or on the desk.

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There was plenty of room to spread my stuff out. There were nods to the waterfront location like the artwork and pillows, though I was surprised that the rooms were decorated in darker woods and neutral colors rather than a fresh light blue or green palette. The rooms have been renovated recently, but some of the furniture was a bit older, and could have used an update.

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The couch was a bit hard, but the soft stools nearby were great for moving around and turning into small tables or individual footstools.

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Across from the couch was a TV, along with some drawers and low shelves.

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The bedroom was separated by a curtain that could be pulled across for privacy.

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Rooms vary in the size of the window near the bed. The regular suites tend to have a full wall window, while the corner suites have a smaller one on the side and a larger one in front next to the TV.

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The bed was comfortable, though I found the single large reading lamp either too strong or too weak, depending on what I needed it for. Two smaller ones on either side of the bed would be preferable, or perhaps some overhead can lights. I did like the shelf behind the bed, which had plenty of space for leaving reading material or items.

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I tried turning the lampshade to let in some more light, which worked well enough.

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If I had wanted dinner, there was an in-room dining menu available from 5-11pm at night.

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There was also a breakfast menu, though in the morning I went to Red Marlin, the property’s onsite restaurant over looking the water.

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The Club Lounge is open from 6am-9am M-F, and 7-10am on Saturday & Sunday, but I chose to pay and eat breakfast at the Red Marlin instead. There’s also an Einstein Bagel onsite, which is great for grabbing coffee, bagel & smear and sitting on the patio or taking to go.

The Red Marlin is open for breakfast Monday-Friday 6:30am to 11:30am, and on Saturdays and Sundays they are open until noon. Very nice, since when I’m on vacation I tend to sleep in and enjoy a late breakfast. It’s never fun to have to wake up early to get to breakfast early because they’re closing it at 10am. They’re also open for lunch from 11:30am – 3pm M-F, and noon to 3pm on Saturday & Sunday. 

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The Red Marlin restaurant offers seating outside on the patio or inside along their large glass windows for unbeatable views.

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I’ve never seen the restaurant full either, which makes it a nice quiet spot to enjoy a lazy breakfast in the mornings.

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The Eggs Benedict and Breakfast Burrito were both great.

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There was also a buffet with hot and cold items.

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The pool area is one place where the hotel really shines. There are 3 lagoon shaped pools and 3 waterslides, and there’s a separate children’s pool.

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The views are beautiful at this hotel, the pools are great and the location is super convenient for those visiting nearby attractions, but when I’m in San Diego I don’t typically need to be close to the touristy attractions. Being a Hyatt Diamond I’m also torn. The Red Marlin restaurant breakfast benefit used to be an outstanding Diamond benefit and it is still a conveniently located restaurant, but now that there is just a lounge the $25 resort fee plus $35 parking fee just feels steep.

Hyatt Category 4 property. 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points needed to redeem for a free night.

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Resort

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Good To Go

+ Great location close to many local attractions
+ 3 pools and 3 waterslides, plus kid's pool
+ Views are gorgeous, especially even numbered rooms
+ Staff is warm and friendly

Good To Know

- Parking is high at $35, whether self-park or valet
- Resort fee is steep at $24.95
- Lighting in room is awkward and dim
- Red Marlin breakfast is no longer free for Hyatt Diamonds

How many Magic Stars did this hotel stay earn?

 4/5 Magic Stars

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