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“Unexpected Delight.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Park Hyatt Aviara Resort

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Park Hyatt Aviara Resort
Ranked #4 of 36 Hotels in Carlsbad
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
89 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Unexpected Delight.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2012

My husband and I took a spontaneous trip from Los Angeles to Carlsbad this long weekend. We jumped on the southbound Amtrak train, and started looking for places to stay along the way. Luckily Amtrak's own website recommended the Park Hyatt Aviara property. $337 a night with AAA discount includes free breakfast for both of us. Not exactly a bargain, but we took the bait.

We were promptly upgraded to a king bed room on the 4th floor with view of the Pacific Ocean. The grounds reminded us of another similar resort up north in Santa Barbara (start with a "B" and ends with an "A"), but we found the Park Hyatt Aviara far more pleasing and expansive. The grounds were well manicured and lush.

We then learned this property used to be a Four Seasons resort not too long ago (a juicy tale in its own right). Having been to a few Four Seasons, and no Park Hyatts, we were curious. Hyatts are not known in the US as top end properties. But in the rest of the world (at least in Asia), the Grand Hyatt and Park Hyatt brands are very exclusive. Think Park Hyatt Tokyo in "Lost in Translation", or the magnificent Park Hyatt and Grand Hyatt in Shanghai. Turns out although this is not a Four Seasons, and some attention to detail is nolonger, we sort of enjoyed a best of both worlds situation.

First, the price. Ever heard of Four Seasons offering AAA discount?! Free breakfast (har har har~)?! Free Wi-Fi (well hidden in Hyatt's daily $25 "Resort Fee" actually)?! I think if this was still a Four Seasons property, we would have paid at least $100 more per night.

Then, the service. Park Hyatt kept most of the same staff that was with the Four Seasons, and it is a good thing. Everyone we encountered from the numerous restaurants to the spa are very friendly and accomodating. Everyone we met at the halls greeted us.

And the facility. Perch high up on the hills (some might say the compound is a bit too massive and too sprawling --- one bank of elevators, really?!), the place is part of a planned community of "Spanish" resort architecture: lots of greenery with buildings of white stucco and red ceramic roof tiles. The interior of the Park Hyatt Aviara is a Four Seasons thru and thru. There is no hiding the grand lobby with the light wood panels because all its cousins in Las Vegas, Miami, and even Istanbul Sultanahmet have the same opulent spatial relationships and aura. The carpet might be a bit spotty if you look closely (they can keep dimming the hall lights!), the furniture might be stained and falling apart a little, the caulking might have cracked at some places, but we were only there for 2 nights, and (sorry to say) for an American-managed propery, this is *may* be as good as it gets. Did I mention the fantastically huge free breakfast buffet?!

Since the reason we took the trip was for a weekend getaway, we were very pleased that south of the property is the Batiquitos Lagoon. There is a very pleasant trail for walking or jogging. It rejuvenated us with its peacefulness. Except the part right near the 5 freeway, which got a bit distracting due to the traffic noise (and much to the chagrin of the cute senior volunteers in the Lagoon's Nature Center).

The floral arrangement in the front entrance was a bit of a disappointment. It wasn't terrible, but the styling was old-fashion and tiny compared to the entry space that for a moment I actually thought they might be fake flowers (I never got close to check, since it was not very interesting). Usually visitors gawk at the entry area flowers of a 5-star facility and would rush to take photos next to the arrangements. I did not witness any of this during my stay there. Well, at least there was the cool outdoor heater at the port cochere... you know the kind were you can see the giant flame?

And the toilet paper in the guest room is... 1-ply SUPER thin. Incredibly rough too. Part of my AAA discount, no doubt.

The in-room TV had lousy picture quality. Giant blurry pixels. They have not heard of HD TV here. Ironic with the huge modern flat panel TVs, only to have analog reception. The TV's show guide was also very confusing, since some programs follow East Coast times, others West Coast. So the guide was useless for half the programs, but we don't know which ones for sure! Frustrating. After this, I refuse to order a movie for $18!

The Fire and Safety video (yes, I even watched that...) had no mention of what to do during a fire, only to not "let strangers into your room" and "use common sense" type of information. Hmmm...

We did blow our money at the wonderful spa. Highly recommended to decompress from the hustle and bustle of life. My husband and I both received great servcie (My person was Tammy. Excellent!) The 80-minute massage was the perfect after our time at the lagoon and the fitness center. The aromatherapy oils were fantastic, and really soothing and relaxing.

The food was terrific. The poolside restaurant hits the right spot for lunch (we went back twice!). Love the jumbo shrimp cocktail. Vivace is their flagship Italian restaurant. Service was excellent at the restaurant. We did not go to their steak house, but did stop by downtown Carlsbad for some interesting French fusion at Paon. Did I mention the gigantic breakfast buffet? The staff there does tend to get flustered when it gets too busy.

All in all it was a delightful and unexpected experience. Just go see for yourself. And enjoy your free breakfast buffet.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Redraisinz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2012

This was a great resort. I was so impressed with the customer service. Every person to a tee that I had contact with remembered me by name, from the valet to the restaurant .

Room Tip: Room 451 overlooked the main pool with nice balcony
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dwhite5149
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2012

Arrived late at night after long, harrowing journey from LA on freeway after travelling from Whistler, Canada. Rooms very comfortable, spacious. Food excellent. Buffet breakfast great value. Staff very helpful. pools looked great unfortunately weather not hot enough to do a lot of swimming. great location, 10 mins to Legoland and outlet shopping. 10 mins to lovely town of Carlsbad. easy access to large shopping malls for extra shopping if required. highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank judy1762
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2012

Stayed here for a few nights around New Years. The staff were friendly under the pressure of a New Year's crush, the room was excellent, clean, modern. The facilities are perfectly designed and maintained, and it was a great pleasure to stay there. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good getaway near San Diego.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sfpo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
58 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2012

This was the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed at. It used to be a four seasons and that was obvious. The hotel was sprawling and grande. The views were breathtaking. It had the most elaborate pool area with multiple pools and levels. The staff couldn't have been more helpful including putting your towels on the chairs for you at the pool. The food was awesome and they had live music at night in the lobby. The mini bar was stocked full of options and the bathroom was big enough that me and my boyfriend didn't have to fight to be in there at the same time. We also had a spectacular balcony overlooking everything. Would definitely reccomend the splurge! Their Del mar Turf Club Package was well worth it as we had no problems with our tickets to the track either. Only downfall is it's not near anything. And when we checked in at 11pm there were no restaurants in the area that were open. We ate room service 3 times while there and I would definitely reccomend that and the specialty juice they make each morning for breakfast!!!!

Room Tip: All rooms are good rooms!
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kapricca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2012

This hotel was amazing the check in was quick and easy, the front desk was attentive and above nice. I cant say enough about the staff I enjoyed talked to everyone at the property they took the to know us and our children. When we left for an outing we were given water bottles and aked it there was anything else that would make our trip special. We had rented a convertible and had a hard time putting down the roof the gentalman helped us and spent time showing us how to do it. The rooms were beautiful and very clean the pool bar had great drinks and food. We enjoyed out time and cant wait to return it feels like we would be visting family! Everyone go, stay and spend time it is wonderful!

Room Tip: If location is important ask to be closer to the elevator.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shelly1760763
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greenwich, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2012

What a shame. The Four Seasons Aviara had such wonderful service, Now that this hotel is a Park Hyatt, the physical property remains the same, but the service has declined considerably. The staff is very friendly, but must be asked several times for everything from bringing an extra cot to making up the pull-out sofa to adding Hyatt points to the reservation. They even promised the kids cookies upon arrival that never showed until I mentioned it two days later. There is no service by the pool for food or towels, unless you can manage to find someone. There is no family restaurant for dinner during the week, so families must eat in the bar area, in the dark, huddled around small cocktail tables. We have stayed here before when the hotel was a Four Seasons, and we were very disappointed with the Park Hyatt Aviara.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Familyof5_2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Park Hyatt Aviara Resort

Property: Park Hyatt Aviara Resort
Address: 7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Carlsbad
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Carlsbad
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Carlsbad
#2 Spa Hotel in Carlsbad
#2 Green Hotel in Carlsbad
#3 Romantic Hotel in Carlsbad
#7 Family Hotel in Carlsbad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Park Hyatt Aviara Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 329
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On California’s sun-drenched Pacific coast, in the seaside community of Carlsbad, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort lies on the north shore of Batiquitos Lagoon – a vast protected wildlife sanctuary and an enclave of natural beauty. From atop the highest ridge, overlooking the ocean and the lagoon, the AAA Five Diamond San Diego resort provides a respite from the ordinary. Located amid 200 acres of verdant hillsides and rolling valleys, within the master-planned community of Aviara, our North San Diego luxury hotel and resort provides an appealing setting for any function. The resort’s Spanish colonial architecture welcomes with a sense of casual elegance. Each of the 329 spacious guest rooms – including 44 suites – features a private balcony or landscaped terrace offering magnificent views. Expansive facilities for meetings and special events are enhanced by complete resort amenities, from acclaimed dining to a full-service spa, swimming, tennis, a fitness center and an Arnold Palmer-designed 18-hole championship golf course. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Park Hyatt Aviara Hotel Carlsbad
Four Seasons Hotel Carlsbad
Four Seasons Carlsbad
Aviara Resort
Carlsbad Four Seasons
Four Seasons Aviara

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