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“Lovely hotel in southern california”

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Park Hyatt Aviara Resort
Ranked #4 of 36 Hotels in Carlsbad
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel in southern california”
Reviewed 26 March 2012

I had the opportunity to spend last week at the Park Hyatt Aviara. It was a good choice, really stunning design inside and out. The service was great, everyone cheerful and well trained. My 2 room suite was large and attractive and housekeeping did a fine job. Restaurants on property were good and all food was well prepared. The quiet pool had a panoramic view of the lagoon hills and a touch of ocean. I enjoyed the lagoon, it was easy to get down to for a 3k walk or run in nature everyday. The fitness area was bright, clean, and equipped with cybex machines and cardio equipment. I did a nice facial and massage at the spa. The relaxation room was just lovely.
I liked this hotel and plan to return when I'm in the area.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank emmi58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Boylston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

We stayed at this hotel with our child in late February. I'm a Hyatt Diamond member so I was able to upgrade to a suite, which was beautiful. The suite had a separate living room, two large balconies, and one and a half baths.

From reading some of the reviews of this property, formerly managed by Four Seasons, you'd think it was in shambles. There seem to be a lot of "it isn't a Four Seasons" anymore type reviews. I find these inane. It's not a Four Seasons and doesn't market itself as such. It's a Park Hyatt! I understand the temptation to make implicit comparisons between the former and current management companies, but I just don't see the purpose, and I say that as a frequent guest of Four Seasons properties around the country. People need to get over it. This is a five-star hotel, and while it wasn't perfect, it's still nicer than the vast majority of properties out there. So, I'll rate the hotel on its own merits.

As stated, the suite was lovely and great for our family needs since my wife and I could lounge in the living room after our child went to bed. The main pool area is nice, with some amenities for kids including a kiddie pool and a water feature area. The "tranquility pool" which is reserved for adults, is beautiful and overlooks the bluff and landscape leading down to Batiquitos Lagoon and the Pacific in the distance. Music plays underwater in this pool, which is a relaxing feature.

Here's a summary of some of the other salient features of this property, in my opinion.

PROS:
- overall, very good service. Not great, but very good. We had two instances of lapses that were quickly corrected (an incorrect drink order, and a room service order that was incorrectly delivered to our room).
- lovely location on top of a bluff in Carlsbad
- the breakfast spread in California Bistro was first rate
- pool area, both for kids and adults
- valet parking staff was terrific
- nice locker room/spa/sauna facilities adjacent to fitness center
- lovely, sprawling property
- location was relaxed (35 min north of San Diego) but allowed access to Disneyland, SD Zoo, Sea World, etc. within 30-90 minute drives

CONS
- a few minor service lapses, as noted
- food in the lobby lounge was above average, but not great, given the prices (~$100 for tapas, 2 drinks and a kids meal)

Overall we enjoyed our stay and would stay at the Park Hyatt Aviara again.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Goldie_Mack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Des Moines, Iowa
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2012

This hotel represents impeccable service and class. The entire staff was so impressive. The grounds and the interior are maintained to the level you would expect in a five star facility. Service and the food in the restaurants was also impressive. Put it on your must stay list.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Greg271
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

Over all I liked the Park Hyatt Aviara.

The former Four Seasons is still worth the trip for the lovely accommodations and the relaxing spa. The food is a bit of a let-down, but then again, you can't have everything.

The room was well appointed and comfortable.

The spa took good care of me and lived up to the hype.

The food was generally okay, but not of 5-star quality.

All-in-all, I would give the Aviara another whirl and recommend that you do too.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank cwcharacters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2012

I have been to this property a few times. It is a nice property with a friendly staff and pretty grounds. The food is good and the spa is nice, although small. The adult pool is nice as well. But the one big mistake that Hyatt made at this property was keeping the prices for rooms, parking, food, spa treatments, and drinks at Four Seasons levels when the service is nowhere near the Four Seasons standard. It is on par with most other Hyatt resorts, which are usually comfortable 4 star resorts. It just doesn't warrant the 5 star prices that it inherited from Four Seasons when it took over from them. Service is okay but not stellar. Apparently there is a current employee shortage in a few areas and it shows. As a result, many employees are doing the work of two people which does not lead to good morale. The rooms are nicely appointed but in need of some renovations. They don't even have HDTV yet! Seriously. And Internet reception is somewhat slow. In my room, I had to run the sink for 5 minutes each time before I had hot water. And room service kept messing up my order, bringing me the wrong items and cold soup! If they do some renovations and upgrades and bring down the prices, they would have a winner. Oh, and $25 for parking in addition to a $25 resort fee? C'mon people! Lastly, it is lacking the Regency Club lounge that many frequent guests enjoy at most other Hyatt resorts.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kilarney1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pasadena, CA
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Redraisinz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dwhite5149
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 Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92011-4908
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 Top resorts Hotel in Carlsbad
#1 Business 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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