Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa, and Marina. Bottom Line Guest Review.

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The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay resort interests me for several reasons.  First, there simply aren’t that many nice points-bookable resorts in the U.S. outside of warm weather or skiing destinations.  Second, this one is a category 4 Hyatt which means that it is bookable with Category 1-4 free night certificates that you can get from the World of Hyatt credit card, from Brand Explorer awards, from Milestone Rewards, and from miscellaneous other Hyatt promotions.  Third, it’s a Hyatt.  I’m a big fan of Hyatt’s loyalty program and I currently have top tier Globalist status which offers benefits like suite upgrades, free breakfast, free parking, and more.

I haven’t yet been to the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay resort, but a reader named Lynn has been there many times and offered up the following review…

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina
Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. Photo courtesy of Hyatt’s website.

Everything that follows, including photos, is from a reader named Lynn:

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort Bottom Line Review

As a Category 4, this is an excellent value and good time for a long weekend. Would I pay $500+ per night? Probably not. But in the shoulder season rates are often in the $250/night range. At least in the summer, it is very much a family resort and there are kids everywhere. With pools, a waterslide, a billiard room, mini-golf, volleyball, and an arcade, it pretty much has everything a family could want in a vacation. If you are looking for a peaceful, adults only retreat, come in May or September. But my husband and I managed to have a relaxing time using our balcony and the adults-only lounge-chair area.

  • Points Price: Category 4, 15K points per night standard room. Annual free night certificates are valid, and easy to use here. The hotel has always been good about allowing me to upgrade to a better view/room for a nominal cash fee.
  • Cash Price: Varies. During our stay over July 4 weekend, cash rates started at $563 per night. It is often possible to book suites with points, with a Standard Suite at 24k and a Premium Suite at 30k points.
  • Club: None. There used to be an excellent club at this resort, but it closed several years ago as part of a renovation.
  • Points Value: Excellent.
  • Rooms: 400 rooms, including 47 suites, all with sliding doors. The majority of rooms (including standard points rooms) have balconettes – you can step out, but there is no furniture or space to sit. To me this is a huge missed opportunity at this hotel, where the views are wonderful. Ground floor rooms all have walk-out patios with seating, and there are several water-view rooms that feature full balconies. The hotel has been generous with upgrades in the past to these rooms when not at full capacity, and for this visit I called a few weeks ahead of our visit and was able to secure a balcony room with a reasonable cash payment.
    • King Room Water View Balcony: Beautiful view from balcony. Nicely appointed, including with a bar sink and mini-fridge. Clean and modern furnishings. Comfortable bed. Although the room itself was very nice, the bathroom was very basic. Single sink, standard tub, no separate shower. The tile is well kept up with no chips, cracks, or visible mildew, but is a little dated. However, large bottles of the toiletries are mounted and locked on the shower wall, which is a huge plus for me. Those tiny, environmental nightmare, single-serve shampoo bottles always make me feel guilty.
    • King Room Water View Standard Room: I’ve stayed in these rooms many times before. They are very similar to the balcony room, but with only a “balconette.”
  • Resort Fee: $39 per day, waived on points redemptions. Includes: Self-parking, miniature golf course, 24-hour fitness center, basketball court, 9-hole frisbee golf course, horseshoes, tennis courts, volleyball court, complimentary water (must ask at desk when you want more but pleasantly handed over). In other words, all the stuff that should be free at a resort!
  • Parking: Free self parking. Valet was not operating, but the valet lot was available for self-park for $10 per night. The free lot is not far at all, and I don’t think the extra $10 is worth it.
  • Pets: The Hyatt allows dogs of all sizes – 2 per room! Pet fee is $150. Over the July 4 weekend, there were lots of dogs at the resort. None were bothersome and we like dogs, but if you don’t, you might not care for this policy.
  • Spa: Excellent. I had a massage, which was very good. The locker room, sauna, and relaxation room were all comfortable and full of anything you might need to freshen up afterward. In the past, there was flavored water in a pitcher and light snacks available in the relaxation room, but this time my therapist simply handed me a bottle of water. I assume this is due to Covid.
  • Pools: There are 3 pools at the resort. An indoor pool with huge glass doors that open to the outside in nicer weather. A pool with a waterslide for the kids. And an infinity pool with beautiful views of the water. There is also an adults-only hot tub. There is no adults-only pool (which would be nice) but there is a separate “adults only” lounge chair area near the infinity pool which did a good job of separating us from the noise and chaos of where the kids were playing. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas (never had trouble securing some), and several well-placed trees provide natural shade. There are a few lounge chairs (but no umbrellas) on the “beach,” but I rarely saw them in use except by parents whose small children were digging in the sand.
  • Kids Club: There is a Kids Club, but since we were not travelling with children, we didn’t check it out.
  • Housekeeping: During our stay, housekeeping was only upon request, unless you had elite status. At check in, I was asked whether I preferred morning or afternoon service and we got service each day at the specified time.
  • Dining: Excellent service and food. There are several dining options.
    • The main restaurant is called Water’s Edge, and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
    • Just below the lobby in the middle of the resort is an area called Michener’s Library with amazing views. There is a bar in this area, and at night there is live entertainment, but during the day they also serve food either indoors or outside. The menus were basically the same at both restaurants, and the offerings were somewhat limited, but everything was good.
    • On previous visits there was another restaurant on the resort grounds called Blue Pointe Provision Company, but it was listed as “temporarily closed.”
    • At the pool area there is a take-out restaurant and bar called Dockside (you can order through the app and pick up at the window)
    • The Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse and Grill is near the golf course.
    • The Bayside General Store near the lobby serves Starbucks coffee and has some basic breakfast items, a microwave available for guest use, and smores’ kits for the outdoor fire if you haven’t brought your own. We ventured off property for dinner for some local crabs – Ocean Odyssey is very close, casual, and had excellent seafood.
  • Service: Excellent. We found all staff members to be warm, welcoming, and friendly. I witnessed several occasions where a staff member went out of his/her way to help a guest. For instance, a man walked up to the bar in Michener’s Library (casual dining spot) and ordered a beer, and his young son wanted a root beer. The bartender told him they didn’t have root beer there, but he could get one out by the pool. A waiter overheard the conversation and offered to go out and get the boy a root beer from the pool and bring it back.
  • Hyatt Elite Benefits: There was a separate Elite Check-In desk, but no one was at the counter when we checked in at 2:00pm, so we just used the regular counter. Our room was ready and we were given directions as to which elevator to use and where to park and sent on our way. As a Discoverist, I wasn’t expecting anything else, and nothing was offered.
  • Miscellaneous: The hotel entrance is directly across from a Walmart, which is very convenient if you need anything.
  • COVID Notes: We visited very soon after the state of Maryland had removed most Covid restrictions. Nevertheless, all of the hotel staff wore masks at all times, but very few guests did. The only real effect we felt from Covid was the dining – the menu choices were much more limited than in past visits. I had been a bit concerned by some of the negative TripAdvisor reviews right before our stay, but we found things to be good. We had a chat with one of the dining managers, who told us that finding staff has been a real challenge this summer, but they were making progress.
  • Would I stay again? Yes!

Overview

The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa, and Marina is a nearly 400 acre full-service resort located in Cambridge, Maryland, an hour and a half from Washington, DC and Baltimore. For that reason, it makes a great weekend escape for people from those cities, but is also close enough to three major airports (DCA, IAD, BWI) for those coming from further away. With its large conference and event facilities, including multiple ball rooms, it is a common destination for corporate retreats and a beautiful location for weddings.

I have visited this Hyatt many times, including for work functions. For this visit, I booked in February and had no trouble securing award availability for Saturday-Tuesday over the Fourth of July holiday. I used my annual free night certificate for the first night, and 30,000 points for the other two nights. In May, I decided I wanted to change my reservation to a suite, but at that time there was no longer any points availability at all, so I kept what I had.

The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay isn’t exactly located on the Bay, it is on the shore of the Choptank River, which empties into the Bay just a little bit downstream, but the river is so wide that you wouldn’t really know that. Keep in mind, though, that although there is a small “beach” and plenty of water activities including kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis, paddle boats, and larger boat rentals, you really don’t want to swim in this water as it is teeming with jellyfish. Instead, to cool off you want to stick to the three pools that overlook the water. I don’t find this to be a big negative, but if swimming in the open water is important to you, look elsewhere.

The nearby town is not quaint or particularly notable, but from the time you turn into the resort gates and drive down the long entryway, you are transported to another world. Very peaceful, calm, and full of wildlife. We passed a group of wild turkeys, some turkey vultures, and a deer before pulling up to the main entrance.

Photos Follow

View of hotel as seen from the pier
View from our room. Some rooms overlook the pool area instead.
Beach area

Pool with waterslide
Infinity pool overlooking water
Infinity pool. Building behind is the indoor pool with the sides open. Inside that building, called the Winter Garden, is the Dockside bar & grill. You can order by the app and pick up when you get texted.
S’mores area
Adults-only hot tub
Indoor pool
“The majority of rooms (including standard points rooms) have balconettes – you can step out, but there is no furniture or space to sit. To me this is a huge missed opportunity at this hotel, where the views are wonderful. Ground floor rooms all have walk-out patios with seating, and there are several water-view rooms that feature full balconies.”
Bedroom
“Although the room itself was very nice, the bathroom was very basic. Single sink, standard tub, no separate shower. The tile is well kept up with no chips, cracks, or visible mildew, but is a little dated. However, large bottles of the toiletries are mounted and locked on the shower wall, which is a huge plus for me. Those tiny, environmental nightmare, single-serve shampoo bottles always make me feel guilty.”

Lobby
Billiard area (very popular!)
Arcade room
Michener’s Library Bar & Restaurant
Water’s Edge restaurant
Spa entrance. “I had a massage, which was very good. The locker room, sauna, and relaxation room were all comfortable and full of anything you might need to freshen up afterward. In the past, there was flavored water in a pitcher and light snacks available in the relaxation room, but this time my therapist simply handed me a bottle of water. I assume this is due to Covid.”

Thanks Lynn! Great review!

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