by Christine Koubek
The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina strikes an excellent balance between kid-friendly and adult escape, with numerous relaxing nooks for reading, an award-winning golf course, a gorgeous lobby lounge with stone fireplaces (named Michener’s after the author of the epic novel Chesapeake), a game room with air hockey and foosball that’s as fun for parents as it is for kids, and Camp Hyatt — a program of supervised activities for kids so that parents can play tennis or relax at the spa. Add special seasonal events like Crab Week and Family Iron Chef competitions, and it’s easy to see why people find any excuse to return.
School break, getaway weekend, birthday celebration, New Year’s Eve, winter storm or even a power outage at home — are all reasons to justify a jaunt to Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. And it’s easy to see why as soon as you arrive!
Our Editor Loves
- Beautiful indoor and outdoor pools
- Numerous family games and activities
- Camp Hyatt
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
Guestrooms are like a page out of Coastal Living, decorated in cocoa brown and golds, with indigo carpeting, a hardwood entry foyer, comfortable furniture and artwork inspired by the Eastern Shore. The 400-square-foot Water View King and Water View Double two double beds) rooms have a 37" flat screen TV, mini-refrigerator, hairdryer, iHome radio, coffee maker, robes, safe, wireless access, and a tawny leather armchair with ottoman. While standard rooms have balconies, they are the step-out only kind. Request ground floor if you prefer a patio.
Note: ask about Hyatt's Family Plan program, which offers 50 percent off the rate-of-the-day for a second connecting room.
The larger 550-square-feet Waterview Petite Suites come with either a king bed or two doubles and include everything the above standard rooms offer, plus a sofa bed and a balcony big enough for a table and two chairs.
The similarly sized Petite Suite, Resort View King (family suite), has a sitting area with two oversized chairs, a second 26-inch TV, bunk beds, a step-out balcony, plus plenty of room to add a crib or rollaway.
The larger Chesapeake Suite can be configured as a one- or two-bedroom suite. The parlor has a sofa bed, dining table for four to six, and its own full bath. Each parlor then connects to either a king and/or a room with two double beds to create a one- or two-bedroom suite, where each room has a balcony with furnishings.
While requests cannot be guaranteed, request a room in the wing overlooking the outdoor fireplace to be closer to the pools and other outdoor amenities.
Pack n' Plays, rollaways, cribs and bedrails are all available, gratis. A limited number of microwaves are available upon request. You can do your own laundry in washers and dryers located on the resort's 3rd and 5th floors, no coins required, or use the standard pay-per-item dry-cleaning service available through your guestroom.
by Kathy L
Wonderful experience. From beginning to end, we were treated very well. Even when the resort was full, we received excellent service. The staff members were friendly and helpful. The recent updates were nicely done.
I have no specific suggestions. This seemed to be a nice place. This is a beautiful setting. Food was quite Good. The room was quiet and clean. I do not think there is anything I can really think of that could be better.
Few Mid-Atlantic resorts pack as many amenities into one place. There are scheduled family activities like cookie decorating, Ping-Pong challenges, family Olympic tournaments, Tug-O-War, scavenger hunts, and Dive-In movie nights as well as a teen lounge with a dance floor (during Spring Break).
Family activities you can enjoy anytime include playing mini-golf, sand volleyball, tennis, basketball, or 9-hole Frisbee golf; making S'mores at the outdoor fireplace; taking nature hikes at the attached 18-acre Blue Heron Rookery; or playing outdoor checkers and chess with a set of pieces the size of a toddler.
Pools and Water Based Fun
The glass-enclosed Winter Garden pool is open year-round and has a basketball hoop, football toss and a giant hot tub with a wall you can swim under between its indoor and outdoor sides. Perhaps the best part for the kids is that rafts are allowed, and the pool shop sells several, including a giant turtle that holds multiple kids at a time, and a whale. Cushioned lounge chairs surround the pool on either side making it easy to keep an eye on the kids, toss dive toys, or just gaze up at the faux seagulls dangling from the rafters of the glass ceiling.
Outdoors the camelback shaped Activities Pool has a waterslide (kids must be 42-inches tall and have a permission bracelet from the folks at the towel hut), and a smaller children's pool for wading. Depending on your vantage point, The Infinity Pool looks like it's spilling into the Choptank, which makes it fascinating for older kids and teens to swim in despite its more adult ambiance.
For boating fun, rent kayaks, catamarans, paddleboards, or white swan paddleboats for a cruise around the river. You can even rent various types of motorboats at the River Marsh Marina, located near Blue Point restaurant.
Captain's Parlor Game Room
Just upstairs from the pool, a large game room has foosball tables, two Ping-Pong tables, air hockey and shuffleboard games, all free to use.
Camp Hyatt Pirate's Cove (for ages 4-12) offers activities that focus on the culture, history and environment surrounding the Chesapeake Bay. The program offers pirate-themed play, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts activities and much more. The full-day option runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the half-day program runs from either 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. There is an additional fee for the program, which does include a meal.
The evening program includes dinner and is from 5 to 9 p.m. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance. The program is open every day, Memorial Day through Labor Day, Friday, Saturday and Sunday only for the remainder of the year. Children must be toilet trained and out of diapers and pull-ups to attend. For in-room babysitting, stop by the concierge desk for a list of recommended local babysitters that have had background checks and are CPR certified.
Hyatt Chesapeake's River Marsh Golf Club was named on Golfweek's list of "Best Places You Can Play" in Maryland. The club's Golf Academy offers golf clinics for junior golfers (ages 12-17) and adults. The clincs include instruction, practice time on the course, and video swing analysis (with complimentary video).
Bay Country Market is part cafe (Starbucks) and part general store stocked with snacks, resort logo gifts, newspapers, books, toys and a small variety of grocery type items. The marina store, Quarterdeck (open April to October), is located at the dock and sells snacks, boating supplies, bait and clothing items. Golf aficionados can buy custom fit clubs and the latest golf fashions at The Golf Shop at River Marsh Club.
Each season includes a variety of themed weekend events from pirate weekends to iron chef competitions for families to beer crafter's dinners. In August, the resort's annual Crab Week celebrates all things shellfish for two full weeks, including a crab cook-off contest, "Krusty Krab's" arts and crafts activities, a crabby tattoo parlor for kids, pool races with marine animal floats, deck parties and a bounce house with an inflatable slide.
Water's Edge Grill
Family-friendly Water's Edge Grill is the resort's full-service restaurant offering breakfast buffets (with an excellent cooked to order omelet station), lunch, and an elegant setting for dinner featuring fresh seafood, pastas and steaks. The two-story restaurant has stone fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Bay Country Market
Bay Country Market is the place for Starbucks coffees, cappuccinos, lattes, breakfast pastries, yogurts, egg sandwiches and more. Best part: keep your coffee cup for free refills. Take breakfast or a lunch "picnic to go" and walk the long dock out to the rocking chairs on Breakwater Pavilion where you'll feel like you're eating out in the middle of the river.
Blue Point Provision
Don't miss dinner at Blue Point Provision, the resort's seafood specialty restaurant located off the main property and on the waterfront near River Marsh Marina. The restaurant has a coastal theme both in decor and menu, with classic wood furniture and walls of glass. Regional seafood specialties include locally harvested Blue Point oysters, rockfish, and crab cakes. Sit on the outdoor patio for sunset views.
Dock's Poolside is a small pool-area eatery that's good for hot dogs, sandwich fare and a creative list of frozen cocktails.
Even if you don't golf, try the scenic Golf Club at River Marsh for grilled sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads and regional draft beers. And from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Vinny's Family Barbeque is held at the Eagle's Nest in the Golf Clubhouse, offering ribs, brisket, slow-cooked chicken, pizza, wings, salads, side dishes and sweet tea.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Crib rentals are not only gratis, but also come with complimentary baby shampoo, lotion, powder, and even a Melissa & Doug baby crab toy. To borrow toys for all ages, visit the concierge and pick from a list of more than 25 toys that includes things like LEGOs, TONKA trucks and board games. Hyatt's Babies Travel Lite service allows parents to preorder diapers, formula, food (including organic choices) and more, prior to your stay so that you can save valuable packing space.
Stillwater Spa - The resort's 18,000-square-foot, European-style Chesapeake day spa, was named "one of the Best in the Mid-Atlantic Region" by Southern Living Magazine. The current full menu of services features a "Baby-on-Board facial," treatments for teens, and a mini-menu of services for kids age 10 and under that includes haircuts, manicures and polish changes for kids.
The fitness center has treadmills, elliptical trainers, a recumbent cycle and Summit trainer strength equipment, free weights and Stayfit balls, all of which you can use while enjoying bay or pool views. Nice perks include: Garmin personal trainers, cold towels, ice water and fruit. Yoga enthusiasts can choose from nine on-demand, in-room yoga videos (yoga mats are available through housekeeping). But don't just stay indoors; jogging maps detail a 3-mile jog route through the resort.
The Art of Smart Timing
Midweek is typically the least crowded. Bargains can be found in most seasons including special package deals like "Winter Escape," which includes a complimentary S'mores kit to roast by the outdoor fireplace and "Summer Sizzle."
The resort is located approximately 90 minutes from Baltimore International Airport and an hour and 45 minutes from Washington D.C.'s Reagan National. Rental car, taxi or independent shuttle services are available from the airports to the hotel.
Rental car, taxi or independent shuttle services are available from the airports to the hotel.
For Mom and Dad
Reserve a table for two near the fireplace at the resort's Water's Edge Grill. After dinner, sneak off to one of two cozy spots for two -- Indoors, bring a bottle of wine and take the left elevator in the bank closest to the restaurant. Press the top button labeled "Raven's View," and you'll be whisked up to a small room with nothing but two comfy leather chairs overlooking an expansive view of the Choptank River's inky waters below. For a blissfully quiet outdoor hideaway, take the path to the Blue Heron Rookery. When the path opens up near the river, there is a double-glider swing where you can snuggle and listen to the waves lapping the rocky shoreline.