I’m working on some updates to try and pull together some of the content on this site to make it more accessible, and in the process of compiling some hotel reviews I realized there are many hotels I have visited with the intention of reviewing that I never quite got around to doing. Shame on me for that, but I do plan to play catch-up on some of the key misses, such as this one.

I visited the Hyatt Regency Orange County after much debate about what hotel would be best for my family while visiting Disneyland in early 2012. There is no shortage of hotels near Disneyland, but I selected this one for a few key reasons. Namely, it was affordable, I would receive my Hyatt Diamond benefits (and get stay credit toward earning status next year, I would earn Hyatt points that I value highly, it has affordable transportation to/from the parks, and it had a variety of different room types that met the needs of my friend and myself. The hotel is just 13 miles from John Wayne/Orange County Airport (which is where we flew into) or 35 miles from LAX. It is just minutes away from Disneyland.

While rates are often very affordable for this property (below $150 on a somewhat regular basis), it can also be had for just 12,000 Hyatt points per night (which of course can transfer 1:1 from Chase Ultimate Rewards).  Whether you are looking to use points or cash, this property is pretty attainable.

Check-in:

I was immediately impressed at what a large hotel this is.  According to their website they have over 200 suites – no wonder there are lots of upgrade opportunities!  The hotel is atrium style and lets in lots of natural California light.

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Check-in was very efficient and informative.  I was told I could get free breakfast in the restaurant as part of my Diamond benefits since there is no Regency Club, and I was able to purchase the tickets I needed for the transportation to Disneyland.

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 The Room:

This hotel has a reputation of being pretty generous with Diamond upgrades due to the large number and variety of different suites. When I called Hyatt Gold Passport to use a confirmed suite upgrade I was told that they didn’t have the standard suite to confirm me into, but that I should talk to the hotel directly. When I talked to the hotel I was told that I would be confirmed into a one-bedroom king suite and they never did take one of my confirmed suite upgrades, so it was basically a free upgrade. Woohoo!

My room was on one of the lower floors, and it was very easy to hear the noise from the atrium until things started settling down around 10PM at night. That could be in part as I was almost directly over the bar area.  It wasn’t terribly bothersome, but it did stand out.  The room was divided into a living room and bedroom with an actual door dividing the two areas.  Since it was just me and C on this trip as my husband had to stay behind and work, having a door wasn’t a big deal as there was no one else to talk to when she was sleeping/napping, but it is still nice to have the extra space.

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If you had older kids, it would be very easy to have them crash in the living room on the couch with their own TV.

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The bathroom is located in-between the bedroom and the living room, which was good since I kept the door open while taking the shower so I could tell if my kiddo left her post with cartoons in the bedroom and started creeping toward the living room.  Taking a shower by yourself when you are the only one traveling with a toddler is always interesting…

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My friends who were there at the same time stayed with their kiddo in a kid’s suite.  That suite has bunk beds for the little ones in a room separate from the king sized bed.  There was no living room in that type of suite.  That would have been an epic nightmare with C as she would have climbed up to the top, but wasn’t anywhere near old enough to actually be trusted to get down safely.  However, it would be the perfect room type for her in a few years.

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Amenities:

The shuttle back and forth to Disneyland I believe used to be complimentary, but it now comes with a small fee. The fee is currently $4 per person per day with children 10 and under free, but I see on their website that it is increasing to $5 beginning in 2013. I personally find the fee reasonable and very much appreciate that children 10 and under are free, but it could get pricey with two adults and some older children, so take that into consideration when deciding if this is the right hotel for you.  The shuttle was very clean and modern, and I absolutely loved that they always had Disney cartoons playing on the screen.  That made the already short trip go by even quicker.

The shuttle came pretty regularly, but I do remember it being pretty packed during peak hours in the morning, so get in line and don’t be shocked if not everyone in line gets on the shuttle.

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We ate a few meals in the onsite Tusca Restaurant, and appreciated that children 12 and under eat free (one per each paid adult). This allowed me to order something a little smaller knowing I could steal share some of Little C’s food. The service in the restaurant at both breakfast and dinner was quite good. I especially loved that the second day I was there the waitress remembered that I would want a Diet Coke to go. You can never have too much caffeine when heading to Disneyland alone with a toddler!

While I remember enjoying the dinner food, the breakfast buffet was not my favorite. I didn’t get to try the hot food station since I was alone with my kiddo at breakfast and she was quite squirmy and impatient, but the other food was certainly edible, but not my favorite. Still, I love the option of getting food that is already ready without waiting.

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My kiddo always left full, so that is what matters the most!

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In addition to the restaurant we ate at, there is also the OC Brewhouse that offers food and drinks in the main hotel lobby area.  What I loved about that space is that there is an adjacent sitting area with a TV for kids.  Just like on the shuttle, Disney cartoons were playing constantly on that TV.

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We didn’t have time to utilize the pools on our trip, but they do have both an outdoor pool and hot tub.

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Most important of all is the Starbucks in the lobby.  For me, Disney with kids requires both an AM caffeinated beverage, and a PM beverage spiked with something a little stronger!  Just like the shuttle, the AM Starbucks line can get pretty lengthy, so plan accordingly.

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I would not hesitate to return to this hotel when our travels take us back to Disneyland in the future.  It very much met our needs for this stay at a very affordable rate.

Have you stayed here?  What did you think?  Do you prefer another hotel in the area for your Disneyland trips?

Posted by mommypoints | 10 Comments

10 Responses to “Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Orange County”

  1. VG says:

    We stayed there when the kids were young enough for Disneyland and enjoyed it a great deal. The shuttle was free back then. The breakfast buffet back then included Mickey Mouse shaped waffles made to order and had a very good selection of other items. I seem to recall we would get a two bedroom suite – one for us and one for the kids.

  2. Kalboz says:

    Thank you for posting … we also had a great stay at this property. Here is our stay report: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/hyatt-regency-orange-county.3745/

  3. Tommy says:

    This is a great hotel we once was upgraded free to a large suite with a Hugh conference table in it just because our king standard room was all booked up during check in. Alot of great hotel around this area too.

    Is there a list of 1:1 transfer for UR ?
    The UR 1:1 to Amtrak to 1:2 Hilton seem pretty awesome

  4. Blaine says:

    Family and I are booked here in about a month (2br suite) for their first trip to Disney. I’m a lowly Platinum, so no free breakfast for me!

  5. Tim says:

    We use to use this for staycations/mattress runs, as a Platinum would get a suite (if no events) and breakfast rates were ~$100. But the parking at $15 and now the shuttle at $20 for 2 on one-night stay really kills the cost effectiveness, when that’s included at a lot of others.

  6. Julie says:

    Just curious…how is “california light” different than the light, say, in Texas?

  7. mommypoints says:

    @VG, a free shuttle would have made it even better. ;)
    @Kalboz, thanks for the link to your pictures/review!
    @Tommy, there are many hotel options in that area. I don’t have a chart that includes all the transfer options from the main transfer options, but maybe someone else does?
    @Blaine, enjoy the two bedroom suite!
    @Tim, those extra fees do start to add up for sure. Great rates to be found here though!
    @Julie, well there’s a bunch of songs about California Sun, but I haven’t come across any about “Texas Sun”, so there must be something magical to it. ;)

  8. DaveRamseyIsDangerous says:

    Nice post. We have stayed at the Desert Palms, the Grand Californian, and Homewood Suites (just into Garden Grove). Obviously, the Grand Californian is best at legitimate walking distance. In fact, the resort offers a private entrance to Disney’s Grand Californian. The Desert Palms is a fairly nice hotel within walking distance, but after a few days, the walk BACK to the hotel really sucks. The Homewood Suites is about 2 miles from Disneyland. Although it’s not really walking distance, the shuttle availability is wonderful. Suites are enormous, just like Grand Californian. Obviously, Grand Californian is best, but when I don’t want to drop the money to spend there, I use HHonors points to stay at the Homewood Suites, consistently the #1 hotel in Garden Grove, CA: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g32420-d217220-Reviews-Homewood_Suites_by_Hilton_Anaheim_Main_Gate_Area-Garden_Grove_California.html .

  9. DaveRamseyIsDangerous says:

    3rd sentence above should say: “In fact, the resort offers a private entrance to Disney’s California Adventure.”

  10. MaryE says:

    If you check in on foursqare, you get a 10% discount off your meal at Tusca if you need it.

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