My sister and I took another little jaunt up the coast last month (I'm loving all these getaways we've been going on recently). This time we were off to a wonderful hotel and spa: the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa. I know I normally spotlight the towns we go visit, but we honestly camped out in the hotel almost the entire trip. Having recently visited Carmel by the Sea, we'd already seen the aquarium and dined in some of the area's nicest restaurants. I love NorCal, and I'm a big fan of the culture and sights they have up there. But when you find a hotel that you just don't want to leave…well, why not stick around?
First off: the room. Oh my gosh, this place was HUGE! We stayed in a king suite with two bathrooms (one with a shower that had a deluxe overhead rain faucet and a little bench that made shaving my legs oh-so-easy), a desk, a couch, two TVs (just in case we couldn't agree on what to watch), and a king bed. The living room had doors that closed it off from the bedroom, which came in handy when it was time to put Some Boy to bed in his crib for bed and my sister and I wanted to stay up and hang out in the other room. One thing I love about Hyatt hotels is that they're always very kid-friendly, with cords all tucked away and no heavy lamps or awkward furniture that I have to worry about Some Boy tipping over. And for the adults, everything is pristine, modern and uncluttered. Plus, they had a mini fridge that came in very handy for our leftovers and Some Boy's milk!
Speaking of leftovers…we at like kings on this trip. The hotel is certainly not lacking in cuisine options. We had dinner the first night at TusCA at the Hyatt Regency Monterey, where creative chefs weave Tuscan recipes together with the freshest California ingredients. The restaurant has every detail down, serving bread with fresh roasted garlic and delicious caesar salad made with real anchovies. My favorite dish was the butternut squash ravioli served with dried cranberries, but what really knocked my socks off was the Italian soda served with passion fruit. As a pregnant woman who's usually left sulking over soda while everyone enjoys their wine and spirits, I felt extra-special with my fancy drink.
We sadly didn't get a chance to eat at the Hyatt Regency Monterey's famous sports bar, Knuckles, but I had to at least poke my head in to check out the number one sports destination in Monterey. The place reminds me of my favorite bar from back in my college days: all sports, all over the place. The walls are comprised of reclaimed basketball flooring, with football-themed chairs and old gymnasium seats woven into the decor. Best of all, the bar has a “Table Tender” at a large table, which gives guests the opportunity to pour beer of their choice from two taps that are laid right into the table. Knuckles serves classic game food like chicken wings and Kobe hot dogs along with some upscale additions like wild boar ribs and crab cake sliders. And on Tuesdays, they have an extra-special event with Toss Up Tuesdays, where they toss a coin to determine if you'll pay for dinner or if the Hyatt Regency Monterey will pick up the bill!
After our filling dinner at TusCA, we tucked Some Boy into his crib and woke up refreshed the next morning just in time for some spa time. We both got to check out the Hyatt Regency Monterey's breathtaking Accista spa – my sister with a massage that she described as “amazing,” and me with a facial that was at once relaxing and refreshing. The spa customizes each treatment to the client's individual needs and attributes, so I got a serious dose of hydration for my overworked skin and she received custom-blended massage oils for her more sensitive body. The spa itself was the most laid-back and cozy spa I've ever seen, with comfortable lounge chairs, bright sunlight and natural textures woven throughout the 12,000-square-foot oasis. She reveled in the sauna and steam rooms while I relaxed in their massive waterfall showers, again not feeling left out due to pregnancy restrictions!
We wandered the grounds for a bit before taking Some Boy for a dip in one of their two heated pools. We opted for the quiet, serene atmosphere behind the spa, but another pool on the other end of the hotel offers tons of fun activities including water volleyball and ping pong tables. Both pools also have spacious hot tubs nearby.
Near the more active pool is a fire pit where we saw several groups roasting marshmallows throughout the day. The Hyatt Regency Monterey sells kits for this fun family activity, which looked really appealing as the day became a bit dark and damp in the afternoon.
I'm not a golf enthusiast, but it definitely seemed like this was the place to be for those who like to swing a club. Most guest rooms actually overlook the Pebble Beach Company’s Del Monte Golf Course, which has been ranked by Golf Digest as a top five among courses in America over 100 years old. Hyatt Regency Monterey guests get preferred tee times at the 18 hole par 72 championship golf course, with private and group lessons available for players of all skill levels.
For lunch, we nestled into the comfortable Fireplace Lounge in the Hyatt Regency Monterey lobby, aptly named for its huge crackling fireplace. The lounge serves lunch from the TusCA menu as well as signature cocktails and wine and cheese from the adjacent Wine Room. The place offers live jazz on weekend nights and Sunday mornings, but we enjoyed a quiet afternoon atmosphere with incredible service from an attentive waitress who oohed and aahed over Some Boy. I dare say that the lunch menu was even better than the dinner menu we enjoyed the night before, and my sister and I gorged on cobb salad with a delicious mustardy dressing, an English-style club sandwich with avocado, bacon, turkey, egg and lettuce complemented by perfectly crisp fries followed by fresh halibut that was crispy on the outside and tender inside. We didn't think we'd be able to manage another bite, but the waitress talked us into trying some of their white chocolate bread pudding. It was TO DIE FOR. And that's coming from someone who is, honestly, not so big on bread pudding. I would go back there just for that dessert.
Finally – after a long food coma nap back in the room – we were escorted to off the hotel property to Monterey's finest restaurant, Pacific's Edge. My sister and I both drew sharp breaths when we stepped into the restaurant and found ourselves floating in the clouds. It was a steep ascent up to the restaurant in the Hyatt Carmel Highlands restaurant hotel, and the restaurant has the most fantastic view I've ever seen. “It looks like God painted that,” she remarked as we took our seat overlooking the Pacific.
Ah yes, the food. The restaurant served delicious brioche rolls where were just like little croissants in roll form. Someone remind me to look up a brioche recipe, okay? I would eat that any day, and Some Boy sure enjoyed it. For an appetizer, we chose brussels sprouts served with grapes and pine nuts, which is one of my favorite ways to serve it. Butternut squash soup was next because we just can't seem to get enough of butternut squash, and then we had deliciously fresh salmon and my absolutely favorite part of the meal: short ribs. Their signature dish, the short ribs are removed of fat and bones and marinated a long time so they're tender and juicy and don't come with the usual hassle of the actual “rib” part of ribs. And for dessert: creme brulee, which was some of the best I've had (and I am quite the creme brulee expert). This was absolutely the finest meal I've ever eaten, and I've overheard my sister brag about it to more than a couple family members.
Then, we made our way back to the Hyatt Regency Monterey and topped off our elegant evening the classiest way we know how: with an all-night marathon of Lifetime movies.
Until next time! Oh yes, there will definitely be a next time. I'm totally set on coming back to the Hyatt Regency Monterey.