Cape Rey Carlsbad Resort Review: Beachfront Getaway

Sometimes a little staycation can yield some nice surprises. We recently had the opportunity to visit the re-branded Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort now known as Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort. Cape Rey, its new name, was inspired by its coastal location near the San Luis Rey River and Mission San Luis Rey, King of the California Missions. The resort was only a few minutes from our house but made for a nice little getaway to end the week.

Oceanfront Location
The hotel is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Carlsbad in north San Diego. It is only 150+ steps across from one of our family’s favorite beaches, Carlsbad State Beach. Located along the Pacific Coast Highway, the site offers easy access to the San Diego coastline and its many beaches. The highway may get busy at times, but we hardly noticed any car traffic noise throughout our stay.

Cape Rey Resort is near Legoland, and also the Carlsbad Lagoon for many water sport activities. There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants around the area and a shopping outlet and mall nearby. It is also within an hour’s drive to San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and other downtown attractions.

Cape Rey Carlsbad Resort Review - View of pool and beach
This was the view from our balcony of the pool and the ocean. It was the perfect place to watch the sunset.

Spacious Rooms
The resort’s buildings have a modern California Craftsman style that blends well with the neighborhood. It has 215 rooms but keep in mind that they don’t all have ocean views. If the views are important to you, splurge on the rooms with balconies that face the pool and ocean. We enjoyed sitting out in our balcony. It was the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. The next best things are rooms that face the pool and ocean but have no balconies.

We liked the spacious rooms with plenty of storage. They were well decorated with modern, simple dark wood furniture and muted tones. We slept well on the comfortable beds. The rooms were bright with a definite beach vibe to them. The rooms were equipped with a mini-refrigerator, a microwave and a coffee maker, all wonderful amenities to make a stay here comfortable for families.

Cape Rey Carlsbad Resort Review - Rooms
The rooms at the resort were spacious, comfortable and well decorated.

Comfortable Amenities
The resort offers plenty of amenities for guests. The hotel’s outdoor spaces were what we enjoyed the most here. My kids loved the pool, especially the comfortable temperature while swimming during a cool California evening. Inflatable toys and towels were also readily available. My kids also tried out the Jacuzzi with big thumbs up of approval for its temperature and size.

We really liked the many spaces around the pool for casually hanging out and for watching the kids. It was very relaxing to sit here and hear the ocean from across the street. Seating around fire pits always makes for a lovely way to spend the evening outdoors and several of those were available for everyone to enjoy. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to test roasting s’mores on these fire pits. The private cabanas were closed during our visit but will surely make for a great way to spend the day at the pool with some privacy.

Cape Rey Carlsbad Resort Review - fire pit
We loved these fire pits scattered around the resort for guests to enjoy.

The fitness center was well equipped and spacious. The adjacent Ocean Crest Spa focuses on natural and local products and makes for a lovely, relaxing day, especially for moms.

Chandler’s Restaurant and Lounge is the onsite restaurant with an ocean view. Try the local wines and craft beers San Diego is known for. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to eat here. For some family-friendly options nearby, we also recommend local favorites like Tip Top Meats (with many European goodies) and Green Dragon Tavern and Museum. This last restaurant includes a small American history museum my kids enjoy.

We loved the succulent and floral arrangements around the hotel. California is suffering from a drought so it was great to see them adapt these into the landscape. Their choices fit in very well with the beachside atmosphere. The landscaping was simple with an understated luxury.

Helpful Programs
Certain programs were available to make guests’ stays here even more comfortable. Want to have a picnic at the nearby beach? They’ve got you covered with pre-made picnic baskets including some food selections for kids that you can order. I like the idea of their Leisure Services Team to help guests experience the area like a local, set up itineraries and answer questions about the area. There are so many great things to do around San Diego that it can be a bit overwhelming for some visitors.

Things to Know

  • Parking is $19 for self-park and $24 for valet at the nearby parking garage. It’s a bit pricey considering mostly everyone uses a car to get here and needs to pay.
  • There is a Daily Resort Fee of $20. This includes a shuttle service that will take you within 10 miles, Internet access, a 2-for-1 cocktail coupon, local and toll-free calls and various discounts around the resort. I hope they consider including this with the room price in the future because everyone has to pay the fee anyway.
  • Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond members receive complimentary water bottles and Wi-Fi, and two $10 vouchers to Chandler’s Restaurant instead of the usual complimentary breakfast.

We had a brief and pleasant visit and wish we had more time to enjoy the pool during the day. It’s a beautiful beachfront resort that really embodies the “Southern California beach lifestyle” they are focusing on. The resort has wonderful amenities, especially its location and outdoor spaces.

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Know Before You Go

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Mary S. Are you interested in traveling to San Diego? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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