By Greg Aragon
It was 42 steps across the grass from my suite at San Diego Mission Bay Resort to the sandy beach where ducks were playing in the water. I know because I took this memorable stroll dozens of times during my two nights at the luxurious, waterfront hotel.
My recent getaway to San Diego Mission Bay Resort began when a friend and I checked into a beautiful King Waterview Studio overlooking the city’s iconic Mission Bay. Boasting 670 square feet, the Southern Californian-styled room featured bright and festive hues and came with a huge flat screen TV, comfy king bed, small sleeper sofa, lounge chair and sophisticated, beach-chic furniture. The room also featured a large, spacious bathroom; microwave; small refrigerator; bar and sink; coffee maker; and super hi-speed internet.
But the suite’s best feature was its patio overlooking a large green lawn, a walking/biking path, and Mission Bay a few steps beyond. From the patio we could scan the beautiful bay, watch kayakers, kitesurfers and stand-up paddle boarders go by, ducks and seagulls play in the water, and the sun set into the horizon.
When not in our room, we spent much of our time at the outdoor, Mediterranean-inspired pool area. Here we relaxed in a shady cabana, laid in deck chairs to get some rays, and swam in the crystal-clear water. The 4,000-square-foot, family-friendly area offers a large adult pool and a small kiddie pool for toddlers.
From the pool we explored more of the property. San Diego Mission Bay Resort officially reopened in July after completing a $32-million renovation of the expansive 18-acre property. Located in the heart of San Diego on the scenic Mission Bay Park waterfront, the lavish 357-room, year-round resort is ideal for guests seeking to explore the region’s vibrant culture and nearby attractions.
“Our transformation captures the essence of everything this luxury coastal playground has to offer, and we are excited for guests to experience this iconic Southern California resort and to enjoy the true ‘soul’ of San Diego,” says Douglas Rucker, general manager of San Diego Mission Bay Resort. “We embody the genuine San Diego way of life, connecting the easy beach lifestyle to the surrounding cultural vibrancy through creative programming and thoughtful, regionalized design.”
The reimagined resort also features a full-service spa and fitness center, five tennis courts, basketball courts, gift shop, restaurant and poolside grill. Additionally, the hotel provides over 16,000 square feet of interior meeting and function space, and 9,600 square feet of outdoor meeting space.
After touring the property, we headed back to the room and relaxed on the patio. While here a friendly duck waddled near us and led us to the sand. She then hopped in the water and floated away with her friends. Since it was a hot afternoon we waded in the water, admiring Mission Bay.
Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made aquatic park in the country. It is made up of two islands, lots of coves and numerous points jutting into the water. Sandy beaches are scattered about the shoreline and because of its geography, there is lots of protection from ocean waves, making it perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding and even swimming. Surrounding Mission Bay are beautiful family parks with BBQ’s, benches, restrooms, and showers, playgrounds for kids, and swimming areas.
A highlight of the park is a12-mile-long paved path for runners, bikers, skaters, and walkers. Next to the bay is SeaWorld San Diego and Belmont Park Amusement Park.
For dinner we experienced Covewood, the resort’s signature restaurant. Inspired by Coastal California, the restaurant serves up woodfired pizzas, local beef, poultry and seafood — all ready to be paired with fine wine or food-friendly cocktails.
Our meal began with crab cakes with roasted corn salsa and old bay remoulade; tuna tartar with avocado mousse, seaweed salad and chile vinaigrette; and salted caramel brussels sprouts with gorgonzola cheese. For the main course I devoured pan seared diver scallops with sunchoke puree, bok choy and smoked tomato vinaigrette. My companion enjoyed achiote-grilled skirt steak with corn, purple potato hash and grilled scallions with chimichurri.
After dinner we sat on the sand beside one of the resort’s fire pits and roasted gooey, tasty s’mores. The next morning, we rented bikes and rode the Mission Bay bike path. After a few miles, we found a shady tree by the shore and had a picnic. Besides bikes, guests at the resort can rent kayaks, paddle boards, peddle boats, sail boats and more.
San Diego Mission Bay Resort is located at 1775 E. Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109.
For more information and reservations, visit missionbayresort.com or call (619) 677-1161.