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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HADLEY V. BAXENDALE

First, I was looking to burn some Cat 4’s that have built up over the last year so I chose this property and was more than happy as a Globalist.

Buffet breakfast and tip were taken care of as a Globalist and since I was there last Sunday, my information is up to date. In addition to standard omelets and other breakfast fare, the buffet included as much lox as you wanted!!

I spent only 1 night there — a Sunday night — and when I arrived at around 5 PM I was told that room was not ready as they were still cleaning from a sell-out weekend. However, a supervisor overheard and found us a parlor suite — which is an upgrade from the normal petite suite that Globalists are given gratis — essentially a large 1 bedroom king with a connecting room with dining table and bathrooms (which we did not even use). It overlooked the entrance area and did not have a balcony where one could sit — not did we care to do so anyway.

We loved the pool and the adults only area and having come from Assateague/Chincoteague after hiking in the sun with the skeeters, it was most welcome and the views were great. Given that we did not have to wait for our suite to be cleaned, and were able to enjoy the summer evening in the pool — I think the pool closes later than 7 PM when the lifeguard go off, but I could be mistaken, it was great!

I did not know about the mini-golf or frisbee golf courses, so that is now a plus as are the billiard tables.

I went only with my wife and the resort was not jam packed on a Sunday and likely during the week, as well.

Finally, I have accumulated free nights from several programs and I was in the area having spent Friday and Saturday night at the Hilton Suites Ocean City, MD — and that was a great place to blow those nights — the room rate was not justified nor the points price, but since I was able to find standard rewards rates (people canceled at the last minute because of the tropical storm which turned out to be a non-event) and I was able to scoop the room up with the free night certs.

Finally, I was not going to take I-95 home towards the NYC area on a Sunday night or afternoon during the summer, so the Hyatt layover worked out perfectly for us and I encourage all to take a trip there this summer and fall.

In fact, I am going to repeat my voyage next weekend in its entirety and plan to go there in October when the weather is cooler, the leaves may be changing and the skeeters will be non-existent to do some hiking and bird-watching in the nearby Blackwater wildlife refuge — and that will be for a Friday and Saturday night overnight weekend. The crowds and the traffic home should be much less than in the summer but still a delightful way to spend time and your free nights!

Bird migrations are at peak in September thru November, I am told, and the Chincoteague ponies are great to see, as well!

Christine

I just stayed here the end of June with Globalist status. Had the Chesapeake Suite. I was not impressed with the hotel. For one, the balcony was extremely dirty. A bird nested in the light above the chairs and it was a mess . Yes the view was beautiful overlooking the water. But, our balcony was immediately caddy corner from another balcony so there was no privacy. The other people were like 6 feet away from us when both using the balcony at the same time. We had two bathrooms and both were out of shampoo and conditioner. Called for them to refill, and they gave us individual bottles which was fine. Corridors in the hotel were never vacuumed – they were quite dirty and I took pictures of how dusty the furniture was. I was most disappointed with breakfast. Maybe because I have had some incredible breakfasts all over the world as a Globalist. The buffet was the only option, with eggs or omelette made to order. There wasn’t too much to choose from. Again, I have been spoiled with so many awesome past breakfasts. I realize this is only a category 4, but I have stayed at other cat 3 and 4 hotels that are much nicer. We went here because we could drive from Ohio, however don’t think I would go again.

Christine

Just to add, for anyone that does go, take the 40 minute drive to St. Michaels. It’s a quaint town on the water. Cute waterfront restaurants, we did the bay boat tour as well. Walk the Main Street looking at shops and getting ice cream. Fun day.

James

Your review is pretty spot on. I stayed 2 nights in June as a Globalist. Was hoping for a Chesapeake Suite but sadly ended up with a Petite Suite (River View). View was decent but the room was quite underwhelming, similar to the breakfast… Either way, nothing is really all that nice, except perhaps the variety of water activities. Overall, a decent cat 4 (for local DMV folks) but def not something I would want to revisit. I would say it’s pretty comparable to HR Coconut Pointe, but HR CP def has my vote with the lazy river, water slide options, regency lounge, etc.

christine

Yes – for those that love water activities, this hotel had a ton. We almost rented a swan boat for my 2 girls, but after seeing all the jellyfish in the water, I decided against it. There is a small beach with free water activities, then you can rent motorized vehicles as well. We did make use of the mini golf as well. It could be a really nice hotel, but it is quite rundown and needs a lot of TLC. I thought Globalist recognition could be better too (I never received any free water – I didn’t realize you had to ask for it – and I myself inquired about the breakfast) I’m wondering if they just don’t have the staff to take care of it. On the other hand, I loved HR Coconut Pointe!

John

This property has always intrigued me because I have seen so many glowing blog reviews about it. But I have passed many times on my my to the eastern shore, and it is not in a very exciting area. And when I read the reviews for things to do at the hotel or nearby, I am totally underwhelmed. Glad to see that the comments here confirm that this is maybe a good property if you have some expiring Hyatt nights but not really worth it otherwise.

Nathan

I love this hotel and easily accessible from DCA and BWI. Just watch the bridge traffic.

BethC

We also stayed on a work from Hyatt rate last October.I was an Explorist at the time, They upgraded us to a nice suite which had a separate huge room off of the bedroom, with a dining table that could seat 6 and a balcony. Due to Covid, the hotel was nowhere near full. Lynn did an excellent job of describing the place. There is a really pretty dock that you can walk out on. There is also a nice walking trail along the river. We drove about 20 minutes to a nearby national wildlife reserve and did some short hikes along with their self guided driving tour. We found decent pizza and a good lunch place for takeout in Cambridge, but if you want decent dine-in places, you need to go to St. Michael’s, Easton, or the Oxford area, which are all about a half hour away. We also took a boat trip on one of the rivers. Seven days was a LONG time to be there, but if you are looking for a place to chill, it works.

Kate

Nice review, and obviously people looking for different experiences. I stayed as a diamond many years ago, two adults, and I found the property sort of basic, agree with above poster not much to do, particularly if it’s not one’s first time on the eastern shore. Even so, if I haven’t managed to use my certificates by end of November, I guess I would consider it for a change of scene, but with no great enthusiasm.

Andy

i stayed here earlier this year in February on a work from hyatt rate at about $125 per night. i enjoyed my stay overall and definitely have no complaints but its not a resort i would consider going out of my way for and certainly not at the regular rates that are being reported. i am pretty shocked to learn that even shoulder season rates are $250 per nights and for peak season to be $500 per night. the resort itself is fine but certainly nothing luxurious or fancy and in my opinion there really isn’t much to do in the surrounding area either. my purpose for the stay was mainly due to the cheap rate and to qualify for the globalist double nights promotion earlier this year.

Quo Vadis?

Good job by Lynn on the review. Wife and I stayed there over Valentine’s Day weekend. The weather was obviously colder and with Covid, the pool was closed IIRC. This property is well suited for redemptions of Category 1-4 certificates, and as everyone has noted, this property serves a lot of families with children. The staff was friendly and helpful and got good marks in my book. This property is a bit on the dated side, however, and could use a refresh (although I wonder if that would kick it up to a Category 5). All in all, had a pleasant stay and think it worth a visit if you have some free night certificates to burn.

Träger

Having been there, I would say the resort is appropriately priced at Category 4. The summer cash prices are outrageous and only driven by the huge numbers of families with young children who visit the resort. Don’t let the cash price fool you into thinking this is a luxury resort. It is a beautiful, peaceful area, but it is in the middle of nowhere and caters heavily to the family demographic. There is also a very stark racial divide in staff. Front desk and lifeguards are predominantly white, while housekeeping and restaurant staff are predominantly black. The colorful front desk uniforms and black housekeeping/restaurant uniforms draw attention to this awkward divide. I would highly recommend this resort for families and people redeeming points, but no one should pay the peak cash prices. As a Globalist, I did not receive a room upgrade (my room overlooked the parking lot) or any elite perk except the delicious breakfast (the buffet is also an option if you prefer quantity over quality).

Pam

Thank you very much for the write-up, Lynn, I have been considering this property to unload some free nights. Your detail reminds me of the east coast version of Hyatt Lost Pines near Austin in Texas. Will pursue after school’s back in session!

JoshF

Great review, thanks! My buddy turned me on to this place and I’m going to check it out for the first time in Sep with the fam. Best part is being able to use our free cert for it.