Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Review: Why Is This Property So Divisive?

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Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Review

I recently stayed at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay for a weekend and took advantage of Hyatt’s unlimited golf package. This is a property that seems to either be loved or hated. It is one of the better options in the United States for a Hyatt category 4 certificate because of how high the cash prices can go in the summer months. The hotel has been moved to a category 5 since initially writing this. I really enjoy the hotel but I don’t think I would spend the 23,000 points required in the summer now. The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is reachable from the Washington and Baltimore areas, but it isn’t easy to get to for sure. In my Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay review I’ll discuss my stay, the room, property, amenities, cost and my overall thoughts.

Update 7/2/22: I updated the post some after our recent stay last weekend. I was able to add in some pics / thoughts on breakfast and some other activities I wasn’t able to partake in last time.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Review

Booking

The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is now a category 5 Hyatt hotel. With Hyatt’s new dynamic(ish) pricing the point cost per night can be 17,000 / 20,000 / 23,000 depending on if it is non peak, standard or peak. I had visited in October when cash prices were more reasonable and I booked one of the unlimited golf packages.  So I paid $379 a night plus tax for the room which included unlimited golf for 2.  We were able to get 36 holes in and had another 18 booked in the morning that we bailed on. For the first night of the weekend I used a free night certificate (when it was a category 4 hotel).

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Review

Location

The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is located about an hour and a half away from Baltimore (BWI) or Washington (DCA).  Because of the distance, I had to rent a car and make the drive from Baltimore. I ended up renting at an off site car rental location because they were completely booked up everywhere that weekend. I even got the last car on the lot. The person in line behind me, who had a reservation, was turned away because they didn’t have expected returns yet.

Annapolis

On the way to the Maryland Shore, I decided to break up the trip a bit and stop in Annapolis for lunch. Annapolis is mostly on the way and about a half hour from the BWI airport. I recommend having a parking garage picked out before making the drive because parking can be chaotic down there. It was packed for a Friday afternoon, but it was a football weekend and UCF was in town for the game. It was well worth the detour and I can not wait to go back.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Review

Check In / Lobby

The lobby area of the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is pretty nice with views out to the water.  Check in was fairly quick, although they only have a few desks set up off to the side. I could see this being a major problem during peak summer season with a long line to check in.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Review

There is ample parking on site but depending on how busy it is you could have quite the walk after parking. Parking was $10 a night, which is a reasonable price but it isn’t in a city so should have never been charged anyway.

On the second stay I was able to park in the lot closest to the door (Globalist perk?), quite a bit closer, without a charge.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Review: Hotel Room

I was upgraded to a suite with my Globalist status although the room set up was a bit strange. It was one really long room that didn’t feel quite right.  The TV was at a weird angle from the beds and they threw a couch in there to fill up space I guess. If I were working at the location I would have appreciated the desk though.  I was most upset that I had a parking lot view instead of a water view.  I would have given up a suite for a better view, especially this “suite”, but it is my fault for not saying that at check in.  They had a few weddings going on and were pretty full so I am not sure if it would have mattered anyway.

The room was a little worn and showing its age for sure. I could see why someone paying prime time summer rates would be upset by this. The bathroom was really dated and in need of remodeling. The grounds are amazing and why you should visit the property and make up for the shortcomings in the rooms.

On our second stay in 2022 we did not receive an upgrade and once again had a parking lot view. It appears Globalists are not prioritized at this property or I was just unlucky two times.

Public Areas / Attractions

The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is a true resort.  It has a beach, infinity pool, kids pool, water slides, an indoor pool, arcade, a golf course, putt putt, kayak rentals and multiple restaurants.  The views are pretty amazing and there are even walking trails around the water and golf course.  You can spend a weekend here and have a ton to do.  I love that they have floating movie nights in the indoor pool.  There is a lobby bar on the lower level, under check in, with water views and a couple of restaurants on site. Although the one I was most interested in, Blue Pointe Provision Company, was closed for the year because of covid (it is now back open but they were only offering a dinner buffet).

The outdoor areas are the gem of this hotel.  The beach area is beautiful, although small, but I don’t know that I would swim much in it. The water is brackish and better to relax by or look at in my opinion.  There are fire places, outdoor bars by the pool and stunning views all around. I am a sucker for bridge views.

Fun Family Activities

On my second trip I brought along the wife and kids during the peak summer season. The hotel did a great job of having fun activities for the families. There was a pineapple eating contest, a water slide race, cornhole tournament, movie screening out by the pool and a ton more. They really did offer enough that you never really needed to leave the resort.

I played the 9 hole putt putt course with kids this time around too. It was very basic but still fun. We also rented two double kayaks for a half hour each and rowed along the shoreline. The cost was $30 for the half hour per kayak. I think an hour would have been $45 each.

Golf Course

I really enjoyed the golf course. I ended up renting clubs to make it easier versus bringing my own. They were Callaway clubs, and in good order, so I would probably do that again. The course was challenging but not overly tough. I wish there had been more water views but it was in great shape and I would play it again in a heartbeat.  Hole 17 & 18 are stunning as well. If you are not a golfer you can still sit on the hill overlooking hole 18 and admire its beauty. They even have a Hyatt Regency branded beer which was kind of cool. It comes from a local brewery called RAR (more on this place later).

The lounge / restaurant area of the golf course left a lot to be desired. We stopped in between rounds and the food was not very good and the service was poor overall.  I usually enjoy golf course restaurants but this one was well below average.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Review: Breakfast

The breakfast is served in the Water’s Edge Grill and a full menu credit if you have Globalist status. They also offered a buffet while we were there. We decided to do the buffet and I also ordered a fresh omelette which was another option. The buffet was your standard fare and nothing overly special. There were no complaints about breakfast and nothing really stood out either. The entire balance, including the tip, was covered as Globalist benefit.

The normal cost for the buffet would have been $25 per adult and then the kids were billed their age, so $8 and $10. The kids price offers value for sure if paying cash but I wouldn’t pay $25 for it as an adult. Although, that price is pretty standard for a hotel breakfast.

Local Area

I really enjoyed downtown Cambridge which is only a few minutes from the hotel via car.  We went downtown both nights to eat and go to RAR Brewery. If you are a craft beer fan this brewery is worth the trip on it’s own. It is WORLD CLASS.  They also had some pretty great food as well.  The second night we ate at Ava’s Pizzeria which was really good as well and worth checking out for pizza lovers.  I heard good things about Theo’s Steaks around the corner but we didn’t make it there.

If you don’t mind a little drive, and love oysters, head to Suicide Bridge Restaurant.  The seafood is really good and the views are stunning.  Be there for sunset to get this view!

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Review – Final Thoughts

I really don’t understand why this property is so divisive. The rooms are a bit dated for sure but for 15,000 points a night, or a free night cert, it doesn’t bother me a ton. If I were paying $600-$700 a night in the summer, then sure, I could see being upset by that. The real gem of this place is the common areas, particularly outside.

The views are great, the pools are plentiful and awesome. The resort offers everything you need to stay entertained for the entire weekend. Plus, there is a really charming downtown just minutes away to grab some dinner and drinks.  We finished off each night at Blue Ruin which has a live atmosphere and had some really good live music outside one of the nights we were there.

I have already booked a weekend this summer to go back with the family. It was a great way to burn up my last two free night certificates. I guess that is all you need to know to see if I enjoyed it or not.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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28 COMMENTS

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28 COMMENTS

  1. I love this location, but unfortunately it was bumped up to a Cat 5 this spring, and is not as much of a value as it used to be. The golf promo is an excellent value is you are going to play a couple rounds.

    • The golf promo was great, especially with fall rates. I agree with it being 20K now (or higher in summer peak) it isn’t as desirable as it once once. Especially when factoring in renting a car and driving an hour and a half if you don’t live in the area.

  2. I have tried to book it for August and noticed that it is a Category 5 hotel now.
    So the free night certificate doesn’t work and you need 23,000 points a night :/

  3. The beach is not a swimming beach as it’s full of jellyfish. There are signs all over the beach warning you about them. The are fun to watch from the end of the pier though!!

    I wish it was easier to find award nights in the summer. It feels like the property plays games with how many rooms are “standard rooms.”

    Overall, my kids really enjoyed it this summer, but the staff was not all polished. We had some amazing staff and some terrible staff, with very few in between. I hope they can get those kinks worked out because I really want to have a nice resort in driving distance of my house!

    We also did not have to pay for parking in the lot that’s further away from the lobby. There’s a door to the conference rooms near that parking lot so you can go in the back way too.

    • Brackish, highly simplified, is the term applied to a water body where salt water (ocean) interfaces with fresh water (rivers). The water isn’t quite salt water, nor is it fresh water. It also tends to be slow moving, I believe because the fresh water flow is backing up against the salt water mass. Many species of fish and shellfish thrive in brackish water where the salt/fresh balance needs to be in a particular range or we get killing zones, e.g., if too much rain forces too much fresh into the zone. Again, rough and simplified.

    • Must have been recent – I had not noticed. That seems a bit extreme although that location is always priced the highest through my Mlife account for some reason too.

  4. We’ve been here several times with kids and dog in tow. No major complaints after learning to go into Cambridge to eat instead of onsite, except that “premium” parking used to be free for Discoverists..

  5. Used free night certs to stay there back in February. Interesting property, and it has plenty of pros and cons which lend themselves to split/divided opinions. Nice location by Chesapeake (pro) but far from D.C./Virginia (con). Received upgrade to a larger suite (pro) but lots of empty space and dated fixtures/furnishings (con). Lots of available activities (pro) but lots of kids/noise (con). Didn’t try the golf (it was chilly in February anyway), but that does seem like a nice option in warmer weather.

  6. The real sweet spot for this resort is the dead of winter, ideally with a snow storm on the way. Rooms are $180 or so, parking is free (we’ve never had to pay for self-parking during any stay, the back lot is pretty much a wide open unregulated parking area, so unsure what gives with the $10 you paid), and you pretty much have the place to yourself, unless Congress decides to go out there to “work.” Using the indoor pool and swimming out into the outdoor hot tub is a joy when snow storm is peaking. We get so many unexpected warm swings in temp, that a quick outing for golf is also possible. They have some sort of mailing list and they often mail special $149 rate deals in the off season.

  7. Globalists get comp parking in the (much closer) closer lot. The front desk recognized my Globalist status but didn’t bring up the comp parking on their own. Once I brought it up, they programmed my room key for the lift gate.

  8. I completely agree with you with regard to suburban hotels charging for parking. Completely absurd. Did you get it comped for the award night portion of your stay (Globalist benefit)?

    • I did not – there was no one at the desk at checkout and I didn’t feel like waiting more than the 5 minutes I already did for the $10. I probably should have followed up with the Twitter team etc. on it but it slipped my mind after that.

  9. I live an hour from this property and really enjoy it. It is best to go on summer when you can enjoy the outdoor pool and relax on a lounger with a water view. As a globalist we get a junior suite with water view. The breakfast at the restaurant is very good. I agree with trying the local restaurants and also Suicide Bridge restaurant.
    Things have changed since covid with restaurant closings but this is still a lovely resirt.

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