This Stay-cation shouts "Luxury!" at the Hyatt Santa Clara
By Kathy Chin Leong
Exotic palm trees and orange curtained cabanas surrounding the pool and hot tub make you feel as though you are in Hawaii, not the heart of Silicon Valley. But hey, no complaints here! The Hyatt Regency, smack dab across the Levi's Stadium and Great America theme park, is an oasis of calm with every amenity and luxury required for a stay cation or vacation away.
I live in Silicon Valley just 15 minutes from the hotel, so coming here feels like I am light years from home. First, I don't have to cook or make anyone's bed. Next, I don't have to drive far or use up hundreds of dollars in gas. (Good for the environment, yes?)
To come to the Hyatt, in this strategic location, makes spending the $200 to $300 a night worth every penny.
Rooms here are high luxury with beds tucked with white linens and pillow topped mattresses. My room number 1244 has an upfront view of the gargantuan Levi's stadium. The rooms come equipped with small refrigerators hidden behind paneled doors of a modern extra-wide desk equipped with all the plugs and lighting you need to plug in your wares to check emails or finish up that important business document. Many folks these days are on work-cations as well.
As far as parking goes, the good news is that it is free. Consider parking here as opposed to spending a wad for parking at the theme park for or the stadium. While others are frustrated with opening up the wallet for these expenses, you just walk across the street.
I love this location in addition to the quality of the hotel. Walking distance to the two obvious tourist spots, you are also close to movie theaters and low-cost eats at the outdoor mall less than one mile away. If you tote along your bicycles, you can tackle the well-paved San Thomas Aquino Trail that is a good four miles in length. Bring your kids, rollerblades, and your wheels, and you can get some exercise while you are here.
When you simply want to relax, hang out at the pool, which has plenty of umbrellas and cabanas. I am sure no one in your party will mind. The weekend I was here several families were enjoying the outdoor amenities. A little girl was practicing her diving while her dad looked on. Another mom was catching her email, hopping on the hotel wireless Internet. The alcoves of cushy couches were a nice sight. Sorry, no fire pits for roasting marshmallows. Perhaps next time.
Everything in this hotel looks well kept and new. The hallways to the rooms are painted in a pale, aqua blue that provide that I watery serenity were all crave these days.
In the lobby, there is automatic high-tech check in for people who have downloaded the hotel app. For groups, the Hyatt offers plenty of outdoor and indoor party spaces to make that celebration special.
When we stayed here for a reception, we were treated to a special Farmer's Market brunch where the catering staff went all out to present individual food stations of freshly squeezed juices, instant ice cream and waffles, pastries of gluten-free muffins and cro-nuts (a croissant and donut combo), and seafood and egg entrees. With small wooden market boxes of fruits and veggies to decorate the tables, the Hyatt staff has proven it has the creativity and ambition to make their table presentations jaw-dropping at every meal.
Visitors can look forward to seeing a refreshment of soft goods and a gold rush theme decor in every room that will be completed by Feb. 2015. The gold and red wallpaper looks like flecks of gold splashing out of a gold rush pan. The hints of gold in the bedside lighting are also noticeable, but not overwhelming.
With rates between $169 and $300, the 500-plus rooms are reasonable in pricing and makes for an ideal weekend away with the kids or a multi-generational family event.
A sample itinerary could include the following:
FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Check in hotel and catch dinner and a movie at the local Mercado Shopping center.
SATURDAY: Go for a morning swim, eat breakfast at TusCA (hotel restaurant), and head out for a tour of the Levi's Stadium. If Great America is still open, walk over to the theme park for the day.
SUNDAY: After breakfast, ride your bikes or walk the San Thomas Aquino Trail. Visit the free Intel Museum where you can get a free tour. Just call ahead of time. It is a fascinating place well worth an hour or more. Return to hotel to Check out before noon.
Hyatt Regency Santa Clara
5010 Great American Parkway
Rates: $169 to $300 (on non-49er game weekends)