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Park Hyatt Aviara - REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Park Hyatt Aviara - REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Jul 7, 2010, 11:47 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I will stay there in the coming weeks for one week. I hope it is not like that cause I will use 1-2 free nights out of the whole week.
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 11:18 am
  #32  
 
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Mrs. pdx_fam and I are here on a four night BWB stay and are having a fantastic time. I had one minor issue of push back from the front desk on requesting a move to a room with a better view, which I may have deserved being on an award stay. But it was a request (it's our anniversary), not a demand, and they accomodated us wonderfully. We also received a card and complementary bottle of champagne.

All of the staff have greeted us warmly. All smiles, no grumpiness.

We had a fabulous dinner at Vivace.

I will write a full review later... it's time for breakfast!
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 9:10 pm
  #33  
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We have a stay this Saturday, meeting friends there for lunch. I've been there several times when it was a 4S, but don't remember the details.
Simple questions:

Is there direct access from the hotel to the lagoon trails?

Where is best (least expensive) place for lunch? At the pool? Up the street?

I read the self-park information, what does it cost to self-park? What about our friends who will just be staying for lunch?

I'm only Gold, can I expect anything? Free internet I think. Is late checkout possible?
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Old Jul 8, 2010, 9:42 pm
  #34  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Originally Posted by lili
We have a stay this Saturday, meeting friends there for lunch. I've been there several times when it was a 4S, but don't remember the details.
Simple questions:

Is there direct access from the hotel to the lagoon trails?

Where is best (least expensive) place for lunch? At the pool? Up the street?

I read the self-park information, what does it cost to self-park? What about our friends who will just be staying for lunch?

I'm only Gold, can I expect anything? Free internet I think. Is late checkout possible?
The lagoon trails are a fair walk down a steep hill from the hotel. If you ride the shuttle down to the tennis center or golf club, it wouldn't be a bad walk.

We haven't had lunch onsite. The lobby lounge would probably be your best value option, but I don't know for sure if they do lunch. My wife and I split a slice of cheesecake with fresh berries next to the fireplace last night for $8.50. They have a gentleman in the evenings playing guitar and singing in a soft jazz/Bobby McFerran style.

I assume that your friends could be validated for valet parking for lunch, most Socal Hyatts do that. YMMV. I am not using the valet parking, per the earlier remarks. I will find out at checkout if it worked for me

Internet is $13 per connection (24 hrs?) if you have to pay. I would inquire about late checkout with the front desk. If you have a special situation, they may accomodate your needs. Perhaps you should call ahead and inquire?

Hope this all helps. Enjoy your stay!
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 10:20 am
  #35  
 
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One time $85 credit for lunch--amazing. But apparently only for Diamond pay stays? From prior posters it seems that drinlks around the pool could be part of it during the day?

Originally Posted by musikdude
Is this offered to every diamond? Just on paid stay or award stay as well??
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 11:02 am
  #36  
 
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This place is empty

I arrived on 7/7 and am departing 7/10. I'm surprised PDX_fam didn't mention that this place is empty. Both yesterday and today, went to breakfast a little after 8am and there were only two tables in use when we arrived. Last night there were only a handful of folks at Vivace.

I spent a couple of hours at the tranquility (adult) pool yesterday and for almost the entire time, I was the only one there.

With so few guests, no problem with service. I did see one of the staff giving a bunch of folks a tour of the place (looked like new hire orientation).

The facilities need some work. I wonder if Four Seasons scrimped on maintenance for the last year or so. Hyatt has already started some work (saw painting yesterday), but a bunch needs to be done.

I'll give a full review after I leave.
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 12:38 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by dashark
I wonder if Four Seasons scrimped on maintenance for the last year or so.
I'm not sure if FS was the one who neglected to properly maintain the property. They were the management company and perhaps needed the authorization from the owners for non-urgent maintenance.
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 7:58 pm
  #38  
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Here's some snippets about hotel facilities from a press release on the property:

http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article46705.html

Four restaurants, ranging from a poolside caf, an airy bistro, a contemporary steakhouse, and an elegant dining room serving a regional Italian menu offer guests exceptional cuisine. All guestrooms are beautifully appointed and feature a marble bathroom with a commodious bathtub. Of the 329 rooms, 44 are suites and all rooms have a private balcony or a landscaped terrace.

..the resort boasts an 18-hole championship golf course ranked as one of the top courses on the West Coast. The course, designed by Arnold Palmer, features exceptional practice facilities and a two-story Spanish colonial clubhouse. Club-fitting and instruction are offered at the acclaimed Kip Puterbaugh Aviara Golf Academy and TaylorMade Performance Lab. The six tennis courts, managed by Peter Burwash International, include two clay courts and four hard courts. There are 78,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space.

..Mark Stiebeling, general manager, Park Hyatt Aviara.

Park Hyatt Aviara also features a Beach Butler who provides complimentary transportation to the beach (a 10-minute trip) and all the necessary amenities: chairs, beach umbrella, towels and blankets. The Beach Butler can also recommend locations and contacts for kayaking, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing and other aquatic activities
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Old Jul 9, 2010, 10:00 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Originally Posted by dashark
I arrived on 7/7 and am departing 7/10. I'm surprised PDX_fam didn't mention that this place is empty. Both yesterday and today, went to breakfast a little after 8am and there were only two tables in use when we arrived. Last night there were only a handful of folks at Vivace.

I spent a couple of hours at the tranquility (adult) pool yesterday and for almost the entire time, I was the only one there.

With so few guests, no problem with service. I did see one of the staff giving a bunch of folks a tour of the place (looked like new hire orientation).

The facilities need some work. I wonder if Four Seasons scrimped on maintenance for the last year or so. Hyatt has already started some work (saw painting yesterday), but a bunch needs to be done.

I'll give a full review after I leave.
Upon our arrival Tuesday, we saw more staff people than guests and I was concerned about Hyatt's future here. Apparently all of the 4th of July guests left before our arrival. The hotel has become noticeably fuller each day since then. We have been getting to breakfast at between 9:30 and 10AM and it has gotten busy. This morning we noticed that they had opened up a third dining room at California Bistro, and I would say that there were between 50 and 75 people at breakfast (assuming 3-4 people per table, and estimating the number of tables occupied). There are a lot of families here, so with getting the kids ready, there are probably a lot of people eating a late breakfast. I would guess that tonight (Friday) we have gotten to around 50 to 60% occupancy, but that is a very rough guess. I will know better as more people arrive, and I see what the morning crowd looks like.

The pool areas here certainly have been deserted as the weather has been overcast for days on end. We overheard one gentleman at breakfast commenting that it's the worst weather he has seen here in ten years.

We enjoyed the jacuzzi outside last night with several families from a cross-section of America. One family has come here regularly for the last ten years (not the same people as at breakfast), and mentioned that the resort seemed the same, with mostly the same staff people as under FS. They had become aware of issues regarding the changeover through research online, and had overheard problems onsite coming with previous regular FS guests raising issues with the new management after asking if the staffers were Hyatt or FS...

It was also noted that some people are here for a convention. That may be where Hyatt will be able to better out-market FS for this facility, as I note that there appear to be some fair-sized meeting rooms here.

So far, we have no complaints. Today we enjoyed the complimentary badminton and croquet. I did park away from the hotel two nights, but my TV folio shows Valet Service charges for those two nights. We will see if they will deduct those charges tomorrow at check out...

I also saw a group getting a tour today, but since one of the individuals offered his business card with the Hyatt staff person, I assume it was a meeting/convention pre-sale tour.

I am pleased with the facilities, there is obvious painting going on. What did you notice that needed maintenance?
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Old Jul 12, 2010, 12:51 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by best
One time $85 credit for lunch--amazing. But apparently only for Diamond pay stays? From prior posters it seems that drinlks around the pool could be part of it during the day?
It has nothing to do with being GP Diamond. $85 lunch credit applies to Amex bookings under FHR program.@:-). FHR rates are often not the lowest but you receive breakfasts, 4PM late checkout, $85 credit and upgrades. One needs not be a GP member.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 11:15 pm
  #41  
 
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My belated and overly long review of our recent four night BWB stay at Aviara:

Arrival: We were promptly greeted by several valets. As my wife and I travelled with rolling carryons, we did not require a porter and were directed to the front desk. The woman at the front desk was very formal and said we had been upgraded to a view room (this was a four night BWB stay). I inquired about the diamond amenity, and was offered a “strawberry sampler” or points. I selected the points. She said that there was an envelope prepared for me, and she went to a side office and came out front to welcome me again, and to give me the envelope. We headed directly to our room.

Room(s): We arrived at our room and found it to be spacious and well appointed with a king bed, sofa bed, coffee table, dresser with a 42” TV and DVD player, bar area, a desk and two chairs. The bathroom had a separate tub and shower. There were two sinks in a thick marble slab counter. The commode is located in a small room off to the side. Shampoo, conditioner and bath gel were all Portico (thankfully, not White Ginger). The shower pressure (non-adjustable head) was the best I've had the pleasure of using in years! The furniture was of good quality and appeared to be less than five years old (no serious wear apparent). The room safe was older, and a little too small to hold our laptop. There was a balcony off the rear of the room (about 6’x15’) with two reclining padded teak chairs with a matching table.
This room was on the fourth floor overlooking the family pool area. As we were on our anniversary, we weren’t thrilled with the view, but it was much better than a ground floor garden view room. I opened the envelope I had been given, and it contained a welcome letter from the manager, and had me listed as a Platinum member. As I received my Diamond status a week and a half prior, I knew we would need to revisit the front desk.
When I returned to the front desk, the same woman greeted me and after I explained the situation, she said no problem. She said that there were no vouchers since there wasn’t a Regency Club there yet (hmm…yet? Does Hyatt have plans for one here?) and that our breakfasts at the California Bistro would be taken off the bill when we checked out. I inquired about the possibility of getting an ocean view room, that were on our anniversary and we would be fine moving the next day. She stated that you couldn’t see the ocean. I asked about the large body of water that was visible from the hotel, and she said that was the lagoon not the ocean. I said “you mean that huge body of water that you can see from the lobby is the lagoon and not the ocean?” And she replied, “Well… sometimes you can see the ocean when the weather is nice.” Suddenly, her mood changed for the better and she looked at the computer and produced a map of the hotel and advised us that the even rooms 508?-516? would have the best views and that room 512 would be available once the manager has a chance to inspect it. We said that would be fantastic, so we went off to look at the hotel and then came back to our room to find a bottle of champagne and a happy anniversary card! Yes, I felt somewhat like a schmuck getting this on a free stay and after getting a second upgrade. We received the go ahead shortly thereafter and moved to the new room. Room 512 had a very nice view, showing the ocean between two ridges where the lagoon empties into the ocean. We also saw nine to ten cottontail rabbits on the grounds below our balcony each evening. It would have been nice to see the sunset, but it was overcast during our entire stay. (Overheard at breakfast: "Worst weather I've seen here in ten years)...

Food: We celebrated our anniversary with a dinner at Vivace, the upscale Italian restaurant onsite. There were several two to five course prix-fixe offered, with choices available for each course. We both selected the four course dinner. We also had one glass each of one of their more moderately priced red wines at $17 each. The wine was not memorable, but the courses were extremely good. Service was as expected, not outstanding, but on a par for that level of dining. I ordered an orange coffee beverage to help wash down my chocolate dessert course. With tip, we billed out at $211, which set a new record for us, but the food was so good, it was worth it.
The next morning, I had salmon and a bagel (with the usual onion , cream cheese and capers), my wife had the French toast. Both were good. The next day, she had the buffet and I had the crab benedict. I was impressed with her buffet selections, and unimpressed with my crab benedict. The crab was dark and had a stronger seafood taste that I expected. My wife said she could smell the “fishiness” from across the table. We both had the buffet the next two mornings. With the wide variety of selections, made to order omelets and several other hot items, it is really the way to go. Our tab each morning ran $61 to $65. One night we shared a cheesecake with fresh berries next to the fireplace in the lobby lounge for $8.50. The berries were fresh and tasty, as were the ones at the breakfast buffet.

Facilities and Activities: I was constantly looking for a left over sign from Four Seasons, but Hyatt had changed them all, including little brass signs in the elevators, which must have taken some time to get made. Some repainting was going on. Access to the game room was routed outside, as work was being done inside on the usual route. Some wear/staining was noticeable on the carpet near the elevators on the lobby floor. I thought it was from dampness from steam cleaning, but it never seemed to go away. We enjoyed the table tennis, pool and table shuffle board at the game room. There was no charge for these. Video games are also available. We also used each of the pools (nicely heated, and the adult pool has underwater music), and the outdoor spa tubs. We did not use the spa facility or fitness center. The tennis center is $30 per hour for a court, and free clinics are offered two times a week. We took advantage of the complimentary badminton and croquet. Volleyball and a basketball hoop are also available. Shuttles run between the hotel and the tennis center on a regular basis. One day we walked the lagoon nature path where we saw several large waterfowl and jumping fish. We spent a fair amount of time at the local beaches and also spent one day at the San Diego Zoo.

Departure: We checked out at the front desk and we were taken care of by a Hyatt employee that was new to the hotel. He took off the breakfasts without batting an eye, and also the two nights valet parking where we had parked down at the tennis center. I don’t believe there are any resort charges here. The valets had our car ready as usual and gave us two bottles of water.

Overall Review: We really enjoyed our stay, and other than the incident where I was told that I didn’t know what the ocean looked like, everything met or exceeded our expectations. Hotel staff were always friendly and greeted us. While the hotel was quite empty at the beginning of the week, it was at least 60% occupied on the Friday night before we left, judging by the number of lit rooms. On Saturday morning, California Bistro was filled to capacity, with two tables being placed in the waiting area, outside the main dining area. As a value-oriented leisure traveller, it was a great value with our stay on BWB nights, and I would consider a paid stay as a good value for a special occasion if I could get it in the $250 per night range. I would guess that the guest ratios ran 80% families, 15% business and 5% couples, so if you are looking to get away from children, this isn't the place. We had no problems, and actually thought most of the children were well behaved.

Last edited by pdx_fam; Jul 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm Reason: added a few details...
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 11:22 pm
  #42  
 
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There is also a Costco nearby (~3 miles). I don't know if they have Hyatt certificates, but they did have Glenlivet for $21.99

There is also an In-n-Out slightly further away, and we noticed that we weren't the only ones walking into this swanky hotel carrying their food bags...
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 10:23 am
  #43  
 
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I live right down the street, so any questions let me know. As of last week the Costco on Palomar Airport Road did have the Hyatt Certificates.
Since Hyatt took over do they still have the Argyle Steakhouse at the Golf Club?
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 10:32 am
  #44  
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Yes, Argyle and the other restaurants are the same as when a Four Seasons. At least that's what they assured me on checkin.

pdx_fam, sounds like I got the same room as a lowly gold. #437.

I'm wondering if anyone used the Beach Concierge?

Random information: Self parking is located at the Tennis Club. If using it, just bypass the main entrance and valets and follow signs to Tennis Club. Park anywhere. Shuttle on regular route takes you back to the hotel - wait at the covered shuttle stop.

Smokin' Joey's BBQ is located at the south end of Aviara Parkway (1+ mile) in the Von's Center where Tuscany is also located. And I think Daphne's Greek.
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Old Jul 17, 2010, 11:19 am
  #45  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Just stayed for 2 nights Tues and Wed and wanted to report a bit about our experience.

They asked me what my GP status was as it didn't seem to come up in their system. Then I was told that I had a letter, but that he couldn't locate it. Weren't given options for amenity and were given the "strawberry sampler". It was OK but no wine like other properties. I was "upgraded" to a lagoon/golf course view but it seemed like a standard room. We parked by the tennis courts but twice were passed up by shuttles so did a few walks up and down (good exercise). We jogged along the lagoon which was nice. As mentioned before, breakfast buffet is great and they even comped a friend's bfast.

Grounds are very nice but not very Park Hyatt (e.g. modern). The drinks at the pool are pricey as expected ~$14. The tranquility pool is nice and has a cool feature where you can hear music underwater!

We did use the Beach butler service which was pretty nice. We were driven to Moonlight beach and the "butler" setup chairs, and umbrella, towels and a couple of bottled waters.

Overall it was a good stay but the identity crisis was still somewhat evident. It wasn't great in terms of getting more for your elite status it seemed compared to other recent experiences such as Carmel Highlands.
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