Have you been looking for a relaxing and romantic tropical getaway, or perhaps a fun-in-the-sun filled family vacation with the children and grandchildren, where you will be surrounded by natural beauty and well-pampered? I have the perfect suggestion for you … a resort with fabulous sunset views and superb restaurants, where every member of the staff is empowered to take the initiative to solve any problem you encounter. Look no further than the southwest coast of Florida at pristine Estero Bay, home to a gem of a Florida resort, the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa.
A destination property for many Europeans as well as North Americans, the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point offers a wide range of leisure activities including the largest resort poolscape south of Orlando, outstanding culinary experiences, a two-story 19,000 square-foot Spa with 18 treatment rooms, and 454 guest rooms all with private balconies. I flew down there exhausted from struggling with seasonal allergies, and I returned after just three days of R & R feeling relaxed, refreshed and totally de-stressed. Let me tell you why …
I was enchanted by the setting. Natural beauty is everywhere and the sound of the resort’s fountains and cascading water adds to the sense of serenity, inspiring me to slow down and commune with nature. Enhancing that experience are the daytime visits of the dolphins and manatees in the bay and the many water fowl around the property including the bay and the resort’s private beach, followed at night by the awesome beauty of the clear, starry skies. This sense of serenity and harmony is carefully cultivated at the resort which artfully uses its landscape design to that purpose.
I was surprised to hear that the hotel was fully occupied during our visit because the spaciousness of the many different spaces within the resort left me with a sense of quiet refined elegance. Two-story Ficus hedges divide outdoor areas to provide intimate spaces while Palm and Banyan trees provide shade and ambiance throughout the property as well as private areas for couples, families, or individuals … and the vibrant bougainvillea accentuate the tropical beauty. In the evening, twinkling lights appear on the trees defining the various gathering areas, the fire pits come alive, and the stage is set for enjoyment.
What did I enjoy the most? I loved the resort’s private boat ride to and from Pelican Landing Beach Park and Nature Preserve on Big Hickory Island in the pristine waters of Estero Bay where we laid back and enjoyed the beautiful, clean and calm private beach which we shared more with pelicans, egrets and other bird life than with our fellow humans. The water was calm and beckoning, and eventually we rose from our well-shaded chairs, took a long walk along the beach, and then enjoyed a swim in the refreshing waters of the Gulf. The boat ride back to our hotel was just as refreshing and enjoyable as the ride over.
Next on my enjoyment list would be the spectacular 3-story water slide which I went down following my husband, Denis. We landed into a pool that fed seamlessly into the Lazy River which was well-shaded and carried us along in peaceful bliss. Elation followed by relaxation. Perfect! Next time we go, I think we’ll try to do a water-slide hop to see which of the resort’s 5 water slides we like the best!
Denis and I loved our pampering experiences in the resort’s fabulous new addition of spacious Cabanas luxuriously equipped with flat-screen TV, plush sofas, and a mini- fridge. Facing the Adventure Pool by the Lazy River, these Cabanas offer the resort’s famous poolside food and beverage service feature. We just raised the blue flag attached to our bright orange lounge chairs and, like magic, our server appeared to take our order.
The Corkscrew Restaurant services the outdoor eating space around the resort’s 4 pools, and the cocktails and food arrive freshly prepared and delicious. Denis can never resist a burger, while I enjoyed fish tacos made with the fresh seared catch of the day. And then there were the rum punch cocktails. Awesome.
We could easily have spent the entire day enjoying the good life in the Cabanas, but we had an appointment at the resort’s very popular European style Stillwater Spa. First Denis and I took a long relaxing and detoxing soak in the Spa’s mineral water pool. Then cleansed and refreshed, we unwound some more as we experienced a marvelous couples’ massage treatment. Stiffness, soreness, any residual tension – all gone. The good life just got better! Now fully relaxed and rejuvenated, we were ready for a fabulous evening together.
The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point provided us with spectacular culinary experiences. Perhaps the most original and my favorite was having our own Chef cook us a private meal under the Gazebo which sits out on the resort’s private lake and is reachable by a long dock. The resort fondly refers to this extraordinary gazebo as “the Wedding Pavilion”. Why? Because it is famous for the magical moment when a guy drops on one knee and proposes to the woman he loves. How romantic is that!
So, after a couple of delicious tropical cocktails, with the sun setting, the lights twinkling in the distance, and the fountain in the lake serenading us, we enjoyed a divine meal starting with a sampling of the resort’s famous ceviches … the shrimp one was to die for! … followed by Caesar Salad with Asiago Crisp and Anchovy Filet, Grilled Black Grouper for me and an 8oz Filet Mignon with Marrow Bordelaise for Denis, and a variety of delicious sides. The food was fresh, flavorful, perfectly prepared, well-paired with great wines, and absolutely delicious.
Just in case the Gazebo dinner didn’t provide enough magic for the evening, we took the boardwalk to the marina for a Dessert and Champagne cruise. The evening breezes refreshed, the sound of the bay waters splashing the boat relaxed, the stars twinkled above, and we sipped our champagne and enjoyed a selection of mini deserts from Espresso Mousse to Carrot Cake. Romance in spades!
The next night, we enjoyed another superb dinner at the resort’s renowned Tarpon Bay Restaurant. For seafood lovers, this is as good as it gets. We started with an assortment of the resort’s divine ceviches, then feasted upon the Tarpon Seafood Tower featuring clams, mussels, crab legs, oysters, jumbo shrimp and Maine lobster accompanied by red wine mignonette, fresh grated horseradish, cocktail sauce and clarified butter. And if that wasn’t enough, we then moved on from Shellfish to Fin Fish(!) Denis enjoyed baked Red Snapper from Florida while I had sautéed Black Grouper from the Gulf of Mexico. I can now testify that this was a lot of food, but a lot of superb food. Shell or Fin — the fish was fresh, impeccably prepared and delicious.
To make a spectacular meal even more memorable, we finished our meal outside for the fun, ambiance and camaraderie of making s’mores on the Tarpon Bay fire-pit. For Denis and me, there is absolutely nothing like chocolate for the perfect ending to our day, and a live fire provides a unique romantic ambiance. Cooking the marshmallows was definitely rejuvenating and I have to say … I had no problem finding some extra space for a few s’mores.
If you wake up with a hearty appetite at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, the place to go is the Tanglewood Restaurant where you have your choice of either an à la carte menu with table service or a buffet breakfast with everything from fresh fruit and pastry to smoked salmon with bagels and an omelette station. We tried both options and found the service excellent. Following the season or your inclination, you can choose to eat inside in air-conditioned comfort or outside to enjoy the sea breezes and relaxing sound of the fountains.
What I enjoyed most about the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point’s accommodations is that they address every creature comfort I have, from plenty of fresh bottled water kept cold in a mini-fridge to excellent air conditioning, a good solid bed with comfy pillows, lots of natural light – especially in the bathroom – plus excellent water pressure in the shower and enough room to sprawl out with my toiletries and hairdryer in the bathroom. Add to that list spectacular views from our spacious room’s large windows and private balconies, little extras like mini facial scrubs from the spa and dark chocolate creations at my bedside to enhance my nighttime pleasures, and I am very, very happy.
I mentioned the resort’s focus on pleasing the client at the very beginning of this piece. I’d like to expand a bit upon it here because I think that service can make or break any establishment, no matter how fabulous the property or how upscale the establishment. I loved the delightful pampering and the smiling faces and friendly service I experienced throughout our stay. They made me smile in return. Undoubtedly, a major reason why this resort is so popular and has so much repeat business is that the resort is very well managed and the staff has learned to genuinely care about ensuring that their guests are happy. Personally, when I experience that feeling, I typically depart not just with great memories, but with a longing to return.
In addition to the well-managed staff at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, I also appreciated the ambiance … from serene and relaxing to romantic and inspiring …, the natural beauty of the resort, bay and semi-private island, the great fun and elation going down the water-slide, the awesome feeling of serenity while riding around & around the Lazy River, the superb, fresh & flavorful food and the fabulous Spa. Truly a gem of a Florida resort.
Many thanks to The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa for this spectacular visit. As always, our focus at BonVoyageurs is on the joie de vivre we experience when we travel, and all opinions expressed in our articles are our own.
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