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Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa Resort & Spa




Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa RESORT AND SPA, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA

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As a child, the only thing that beat a day along the Orange County shore was rolling out a sleeping bag and spending the night along the Orange County shore. As an adult, the beach still calls, but it's amazing how much better you sleep in high-thread-count linens with nary a grain of sand in sight.

Thank you, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa.

The Hyatt Regency brought to Surf City, USA -- a.k.a. Huntington Beach -- a touch of the Orange County resort class that once was the sole purview of tonier south-county towns such as Newport Beach or Laguna Niguel. There's an embracing spa with treatments taken from Pacific Islanders, and a salon and gym. The architecture is romantically Mission Revival, with white-washed walls, tile roofing, iron work, and recessed windows, niches and alcoves, while the interior d'or and furnishings borrow from Andalusia. Accommodations are large and refined, yet intimate. Balconies serve up front-row seating to the light-show extraordinaire of a Left Coast sunset. (Be sure to leave the slider ajar at night as the onshore breezes tickle the air with the sleep-enhancing scents and sounds of the ocean.) Outdoor fireplaces and Jacuzzi grottos invite contemplation and snuggling. And the fit, finish and service -- even if you don't opt for the Regency Club upgrade -- are all Hyatt Regency-suave, teased ever so by coastal comfort.

As a Hyatt Regency, the resort's eateries are as dynamic as the resort is alluring. The look is Mediterranean and the fare is contemporary California. At The Californian, that means vibrant tastes and colors, and a bounty of ingredients as diverse as the Golden State. The adjoining Patron's Room is the spot for group dining, and the tasting menus dreamed up by the chef marry surf, turf, garden and vineyard just so. Pete Mallory's Surf City Sunset Grille has a Baja-cantina-meets-Orange County-board-factory look to it.  The chow is best described as an eclectic fusion that parallels the d'or, with influences from Hawaii, Thailand, Mexico and the good old United States, meeting in comfort food, salads, burgers and sandwiches, and seafood.  The resort also offers in-room service, plus Mankota's Grill for leisurely outdoor dining, to-go goodies from Surf City Grocers and appetizers within the sophisticated Red Chair Lounge.

Befitting the Spanish-influences on Huntington's signature resort, find time between rounds and aromatherapy to dine at Felix Continental Caf'in Orange. The caf's Cuban and Iberian fare comes out authentic, extremely tasty and in quantities and prices that don't seem to belong together.


Felix is located on the south end of downtown Orange's historic square; yes, there is a heart, actually many, to frenetic northern O.C. Tables fill up early in the morning on weekends when breakfast is served, and seats remain at a premium through lunch and dinner; it even buzzes midweek. The place is also known as "La Casa de la Paella," so while Spain's national dish of rice, saffron, seafood and meats is certainly a signature and worthy feature, I really can't suggest it over ropa vieja, various types of carne, fish and fowl, or Cuban iterations on paella, served of course with maduros -- fried plantains, not cigars.


Accent the meal with a mojito, sangria or some Spanish bubbly, and you're heading for an evening that just might beat my youthful nights on the beach.