Posted on February 23, 2015
Last weekend Katie and I flew back to Maryland so I could do some learning at a Cardiovascular Conference and we could both see our families. The conference was at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. This resort, which Katie and I have been to several times now, is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the town of Cambridge, on the banks of the Choptank River. This is much more of a summer place to stay than winter as there is golf, boating, swimming, min-golf, etc, but it is still a very nice place to stay in the winter as well. On previous visits we had always had a very nice stay and since I was staying there as a Diamond member for the first time I expected the experience to be even better. However, this trip truly gave me mixed feelings regarding the hotel.
Prior to our arrival I had emailed the hotel about us coming all the way from IL for only about 30 hours to stay at their resort for Valentine’s Day and that we would be arriving around 3am Saturday morning before leaving again Sunday. Due to our long journey and short stay I told them that anything they could do to make our stay special would be greatly appreciated. I promptly received an email back and to my delight it stated that there would be chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne waiting in our room when we arrived. After seeing this Friday morning I was even more excited for our trip and thought that this would be another great experience. Turns out that was not entirely accurate.
After driving 2 hours to STL, then flying to BWI and driving 90 minutes more to Cambridge, we finally arrived at the resort at 2:30am. You enter the hotel on the first floor (second level) and as you will see from pictures, the restaurants, bars and dining area are on the lower level with many balconies over looking them. When we went to check in we were told that the computers were down from 2-3am and that she could not officially check me in but could give us a room and I could come back in the morning to officially check in. Nothing was said about the Regency Club entry or where it was or the Diamond Welcome amenity. As I had emailed to say we would arrive this late I was a bit disappointed, but very tired and wanted to see our room and goodies. The mild disappointment continued as we had a lovely view of the parking lot and there were none of the goodies that were described in the email. Not only that, I found that our door panel was missing a screw and generally had to struggle to get our door shut each time it was opened. That along with the dirty glasses didn’t make me to pleased to start our stay.
I assumed this was an isolated room cleaning error until the next day when I found out one of our family members at the resort needed to be moved because of how dirty their room was and what was found in it.
Ok, so we have pretty much reached the low point of the trip and it does get better from here, but this was not a great start. The next morning I got up to officially check in and again there was no mention of the Diamond amenity or Regency club access so I specifically asked them to please activate it for me and give me the points option for my amenity. After this had been taken care of I went up to the Regency Club located on the 6th floor for breakfast before attending the conference (Katie was gone for the day doing wedding things). The spread had salmon, sliced meat, croissants, bagels, cereal, yogurt, granola, fresh fruits, eggs, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, etc. It also had an expresso machine that made fairly good lattes. I certainly enjoyed my breakfast and the large table allowed the whole family to eat together the next morning.
After attending the conference – which was very well done – I decided to walk around a little more than I had in the past. The main thing I determined during this stay was that although the resort is very nice, it isn’t really a luxury resort, but more of a family resort which could be absolutely perfect for family vacations. There were kids all over the place and as you will see in the pictures below there is plenty for those kids to do, even when they are stuck inside during the weather.
On the 1st floor and lower level to each side of the dining/bar area there are little rooms to lounge in or play pool.
After spending time at the conference, I went with my brother to the gym which has a kids game room with arcade games and table games right across from it as well as being right next to a very large in door pool area!
Coming back from the gym/pool area to your left is a Spa and turning right to go back towards the rooms there is a restaurant, Starbucks and another play area for the kids.
When I returned to my room later that afternoon I found the goodies we were promised as well as the door fixed which I was really happy about. I had emailed the hotel during breakfast to tell them that I was a bit disappointed when I had arrived but that I appreciated the thought. Apparently the gifts had been ordered but never delivered. Alls well that ends well, I guess, and I told them I was very thankful for the gift. That evening we dined at Water’s Edge. The food was OK, however the wait for the food was WAY too long. Over an hour from ordering. With the prices what you would expect from a resort I was disappointed at the quality and how long it took. Previously we had eaten at Blue Point Provision which we really enjoyed and is located on the resort but in a separate building. However, it was closed for the winter season.
I do not have pictures from this trip, but the resort also has multiple outdoor pools, mini golf, an 18-hole golf course and many other dining venues. Also, if you want to continue on to the beach for the next half of your vacation you can hop back on route 50 and be in Ocean City in a little over an hour.
This is a category 5 hotel and therefore costs 20K points per night. During the summer spending points on this resort is reasonable as it run $300-$400 a night but in the winter cash would be the better option as it is usually closer to $175 a night.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I have very mixed feelings about my stay at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay this time. I really think this facility has the potential to be a GREAT resort and especially so for families. However, it seems they don’t have either the personnel or management to make it so. I was not the only person in our family to have problems during this stay and if multiple people from our group of 8 had problems I am willing to bet some of the hundreds of people also staying there did as well. I am actually still trying to get my points, diamond amenity points and nights credited to my account. My Gold Passport number was on the room reservation which I verified several times, but for some reason because my Mom treated us and paid for the room there are big problems (actually the exact same thing happened last year). After 2 phone calls and an email to the hotel from my Mom it still has not been resolved. Maybe some of this has to do with the winter staffing for a mostly summer resort, I’m not sure, but in a well run hotel the season should not matter.
In the end I would still recommend this as a great family resort, especially in the summer time! However, I would have tempered expectations as to how you are treated as a Diamond member as well as an expectation that something might go wrong (which will likely be fixed of course after several apologies).
RECOMMEND (especially for kids) with tempered expectations