Maryland’s Best Kept Secret: The Hyatt Chesapeake

The Eastern Shore of Maryland is known for its legendary seafood, gorgeous beaches, and hidden treasures – and the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort is definitely one of those treasures. I keep saying it’s one of Maryland’s best kept secrets.

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This luxurious waterfront resort that is tucked away on Maryland’s scenic Eastern Shore offers relaxation and adventure for families, couples, and even solo travelers. I generally think of resorts like this as existing only in tropical locations, but the Hyatt Chesapeake has all the amenities of a luxury family resort vacation, and it is right in my own backyard.

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Paul and I recently visited for a press trip created to familiarize local bloggers with the resort. Ironically, we had already made reservations to stay in one of their family suites for a few nights next month, but we didn’t see any reason why we shouldn’t go twice, so we called in my mom to watch the kids and made plans to go.

When our visit was getting close, the weather looked dicey, and we were even given the opportunity to put off our trip to a better time, but we decided to gamble, and I’m so glad we did. Even though it was raining when we left home at noon on Friday, the sun was shining by the time we arrived at the resort and we were able to get some great pictures.

JL at hyatt

We enjoyed a gorgeous Friday evening and most of Saturday. In fact, Saturday wasn’t just sunny; it was quite warm. We hung out by the infinity pool for the better part of the day, and Paul even braved the water for a few minutes.

paul infinity pool

It rained for an hour or two early Saturday evening, but the sunset was lovely, and Sunday morning was bright and beautiful, although cold. We definitely timed it right to get the best case scenario with this crazy weather we’ve been having.

While the Hyatt Chesapeake is definitely a luxury resort, it isn’t stuffy. In fact, they cater to kids and families. Every night, weather permitting, they build a wood fire in the outdoor fireplace. Everyone sits around and enjoys the ambiance while the kids run around, and they even provide marshmallows for roasting and s’mores fixin’s.

outdoor fireplace

The Hyatt Chesapeake is all about the s’mores this summer. Their restaurants are featuring s’mores-inspired cocktails, the spa has s’mores pedicures, and they are celebrating National S’mores Day on August 10th with Girl Scouts from Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania competing to build hundreds of s’mores in the fastest time.

Other activities include mini golf, frisbee golf, tennis, and a giant chess game on the deck by the infinity pool. My husband and son love to play tennis, so they always bring their racquets.

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Boating and fishing activities are available at their River Marsh Marina, plus guests who dock their boats at the marina overnight enjoy guest privileges throughout the resort.

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We usually spend most of our time at the pool. The activity pool has a huge waterslide, and you can purchase pool toys to help keep the kids occupied. The last time we went as a family, we bought one of those huge blowup whales, and the kids played on that thing for hours.

There is poolside food and drink service, so you can pretty much sit out there all day and never move except to get in the water to cool off. In fact, that is pretty much what we did! Oh, well, we did break mid-day for massage services. I know, rough life!

margarita poolside

Speaking of the spa, the Sago Spa & Salon offers a full range of treatments including massages, facials, haircuts, manicures, and pedicures. Part of our stay included a 60-minute massage (or I could choose a boat ride or a round of golf; let’s just say, that was a no brainer!) I was pleased with my spa experience. It was incredibly relaxing, and my masseuse applied exactly the right amount of pressure after I told her where I was having issues and how I liked my massages to feel.

In addition to their regular activities, there are special events all year round at the Hyatt Chesapeake. Their 7th annual Crab Week  is coming up this August with crab-inspired activities, contests, and delicious seafood. They will have cooking demos, crab specials, DC’s famous Feelin’ Crabby Food Truck, and a crab feast at the Infinity Beach overlooking the Choptank River.

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If this interests you, overnight guests can receive $200 in resort credit per night when you book the Take the Credit package. (The credit can be used towards dining, golf, spa treatments, Camp Hyatt, and more.)

Oh, that reminds me. Camp Hyatt is perfect for families traveling with small kids. The adults can get some alone time while the kids are occupied and making new friends.

Plus their championship golf course at River Marsh Golf Club offers programs like the Family Golf Loop, Family Golf Clinic, and Let Kids Swing Free. You can get info on all of that on their website.

If you like to run or walk, there’s a crushed shell trail that winds around the property. I enjoyed a brisk run by the water before we left for home on our last morning.

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There are plenty of adult-only areas as well if you are there for a getaway. The infinity pool is a quiet pool for people over 18 years of age, and the lounge (Michener’s Library) is a kid-free zone. There’s live music in the evenings, and plenty of cozy nooks for sitting and chatting with a drink and a snack before dinner.

As far as dining options, there are two restaurants on the property. Blue Point Provision boasts fresh, local seafood and a water view. I had the most delicious shrimp & grits there on Friday night. (I’m a self-proclaimed shrimp & grits connoisseur. I order them every time they’re on the menu.)

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And Water’s Edge Grill serves traditional American fare overlooking the crescent pool. We ate breakfast there both mornings, and it was very good.

breakfast

In addition to those two full-service restaurants, Michener’s Library serves cocktails and light appetizers, and Dock’s Poolside is a great little snack bar and grill for when you’re hanging out by the pool. In the off-season, it is open inside by the indoor pool, and during the high season, they open an additional location outside between the two outdoor swimming pools.

Finally, Bay Country Market serves Starbucks drinks, snacks, and breakfast pastries. In other words, there is no need to go off property to eat!

That said, Cambridge and nearby St. Michaels have some restaurants worth trying, and there is a cute little winery in St. Michaels that offers wine tastings. We didn’t get over there this trip, but when we were here by ourselves a few years ago, we did the wine tasting, and it was really fun.

As far as the accommodations go, we stayed in a standard water view guest room with a king bed. It was spacious, clean, comfortable, and inviting. This was our view.

view from our room

When we go back next month with our three kids, we are staying in a suite (they call it an over-sized room) with a king bed, a set of bunkbeds, and a pull-out couch. There is also a sitting area with a 2nd TV. Traveling as a family of 5 is always a bit of a challenge because a standard hotel room isn’t large enough, so I was thrilled to discover this option.

If you’re in the mid-Atlantic region and looking for a family-friendly (and pet-friendly) resort destination that is within driving distance, I highly recommend looking into the Hyatt Chesapeake. Being there last weekend just got me all the more excited to go back with our kids in a few weeks. I can’t wait!

By way of disclosure, I was not paid for this post, but I did receive our accommodations for both nights and a complimentary massage to facilitate this review. All opinions and editorial decisions are my own and presented without prejudice.