Amid 200 acres of rolling hills dotted with wildflowers and a lagoon teeming with wildlife, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort feels more like a luxury nature retreat than a grand metropolis hotel.
Located in Carlsbad, a city 35 miles north of downtown San Diego, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel appeals to families for its close proximity to the beach and attractions such as Legoland and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Yet, with its award-winning golf course, fine-dining restaurants, live entertainment, nature trails, two pools and impressive spa, the hideaway is just as ideal for a couple’s or group weekend escape.
We’ve rounded up five of our favorite aspects of the resort — some you’ll notice from the minute the valet opens your car door while others are worth seeking out:
Boasting a superb staff with an eye for detail, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort has achieved a Five-Star rating for four consecutive years — and it’s no surprise.
From the golf club team to the room service attendants, hotel personnel is swift, friendly and happy to go the extra mile to accommodate unique requests. Have a special event to attend? Your bellman will more than likely offer to press your garments and shine your shoes for the big night.
And your four-legged friend won’t feel left out, either. Upon check-in, the front desk will send a dog bowl and treats to your room for a bit of pooch pampering.
The Golf Course
Home to the only Arnold Palmer-designed course on the California coast, Aviara Golf Club is just as stunning to look at as it is challenging to play. Named one of America’s best resort greens by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine, this 18-hole gem offers more than 7,000 yards of hilly terrain, water challenges and sand traps.
Where the LPGA’s Kia Classic tees off each spring, the resort also has the longest-running golf academy in the Western U.S., so you can study the perfect swing with the pros.
Fun fact: The city of Carlsbad is known as the “Golf Manufacturing Capital of the World” with more than 35 companies — such as Callaway, Titleist and Cobra — headquartered nearby.
After a long day of chasing balls on the fairway or running with little ones by the pool, Aviara Spa provides a well-deserved oasis of relaxation. Spend some time unwinding in the Four-Star retreat’s whirlpool, sauna and steam room, then lie back on a lounge chair with a cup of artisanal tea in the solarium.
For the ultimate in relaxation, indulge in the 80-minute Nurture at the Park Signature Massage. The sumptuous service begins with a head-to-toe rubdown using primrose and macadamia oils, followed by a coconut-sugar back scrub, a scalp massage and a paraffin foot treatment.
If romance is the focus, book a treatment for two in the couple’s suite, which comes complete with a marble fireplace, a roomy shower, side-by-side massage tables and a private patio with a whirlpool.
Whether you’re in the mood for a melt-in-your-mouth steak or handmade pasta like you had in Milan, Park Hyatt Aviara gives you two excellent options for dinner: Argyle Steakhouse, overlooking the 18th green, and Vivace, a Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Italian fine-dining restaurant.
At Argyle, your personal steak knife concierge will help you choose the right cutlery to accompany your exquisite cut of Japanese wagyu ribeye or the King Natural New York strip. Either way you slice it, your protein will be accompanied by your choice of sauce, crust and rub.
When it comes to dessert, don’t miss the house specialty: Argyle s’mores made with chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, graham cracker cookies, melted marshmallows and salted caramel gelato.
For a romantic dinner or a power meal with clients, Vivace will impress. Opt for the design-your-own tasting menu and ask your knowledgeable server for help in crafting an ideal outing. You could start with the wood-fired octopus, followed by the ricotta gnocchi with braised pork shoulder before finishing off with seared scallops or the crispy eggplant Parmesan.
The Wellness Retreat
If you’re looking for a holistic, health-focused escape, book a whole body wellness retreat through VeraVia, a lifestyle program based within the luxury Carlsbad hotel. The brand’s East-meets-West approach tailors a regimen to help you meet your individual goals by carefully evaluating your spiritual, mental, physical and social needs.
Ranging from three-day getaways to extensive four-week stays, the program includes a medical evaluation, cooking classes, meditation, state-of-the-art physical therapy treatments, one-on-one consults with personal trainers and much more.
With the goal of helping you make permanent lifestyle changes, VeraVia even includes aftercare sessions in the price of your personalized program to help ensure your healthy changes go home with you.