Bahia Resort Hotel
998 West Mission Bay Dr.
San Diego, CA 92109
The Bahia sits on a private peninsula on Mission Bay
The Bahia Resort Hotel, situated on San Diego's gorgeous Mission Bay, is a relaxing hotel for families seeking a quintessential Southern California vacation experience. This hotel is one of three in the Evans collection, which also includes the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa and The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Of the three, the Bahia Resort Hotel is probably the most casual, possessing an old-fashioned, charming ambiance. The Bahia Resort Hotel maximizes its location on Mission Bay. Kayaking, surfing, power-boating, and sailing equipment is available for rent. The Bahia Resort Hotel also features the unique Bahia Belle, a “Turn of the Century” Mississippi-style sternwheeler that, when open to hotel guests, cruises the bay with live music and a DJ. This San Diego landmark was not available during my stay in December, right before Christmas. It is closed during the month of December for private parties, but is a special feature of this hotel.
However, being at the Bahia Resort Hotel right before Christmas was a lovely experience, as the lobby greeted us with a delightful, highly decorated Christmas tree, making the experience festive from the first step onto the premises. Several holiday spa packages were also available, with names such as Candy Cane Lane, Holiday Traveler's Escape, and Crimson Cranberry Facial. The gift shop was stocked with unique gifts for last-minute Christmas shopping. My family had fun perusing this cute little shop and I purchased some cute beach-themed items, such as mugs and pads of paper.
As we walked to the room, we noticed that the grounds had a tropical flair with ponds, ducks, and quiet gazebos. We walked by the shuffleboard area and the tennis courts, and climbed the stairs to our suite.
Two standout features to this suite for traveling families were the private balcony and the full kitchen. The balcony overlooked the beachfront active bay with fishermen, sailboats and Kayakers. It was very private and structured in a diagonal way so that no other hotel guests could see or hear me, and vice-versa. It is very annoying to sit out on a hotel deck and be forced to hear someone else's conversation and (as I've experienced at lesser hotels) sometimes even be forced to breathe in their smoke. I loved the deck layout and spent time talking to my husband each morning and writing in the afternoons without any onlookers. The suite also had free,standard Wi-FI connection. For $9.99 a day, a faster-speed option is available.
The kitchen in the suite was also amazing. Most decent hotel suites contain small refrigerators, but few possess full kitchens. Our Bahia Resort Hotel suite had a full kitchen counter, sink, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, cooking utensils, drawers with eating utensils, coffee pot, toaster, cleaning materials, plates, cups, and mugs. My family was so impressed! While one could not cook an elaborate meal, it was certainly set up for families to assemble simple meals such as sandwiches, salads, even pre-made soups or microwaveable meals. Also, the kitchen made it possible to save leftover meals bought in restaurants to re-warm the food in the microwave. This was very convenient so that my family did not have to buy every single meal in restaurants. We warmed up muffins for breakfast and actually ate some of the restaurant leftovers instead of throwing them away. This is a money-saving feature for families.
My kids were a bit disappointed that the room did not offer On-Demand movies, but it did have full cable hook up, so they found some pretty decent movies including the appropriate for the season, Fred Claus. Otherwise, the hotel's little arcade was dark and some of the games were not operating well. Also, the suite had two queen beds which our kids slept in and a pull-out bed in another room, for us, which wasn't the most comfortable. Besides these features in need of updating, the other amenities were very pleasant.
For instance, Cafe Bahia, with its adjoining seal sanctuary, was a standout feature of this hotel. We did not try the other eating opportunity, the Tangier Bar, but we loved the restaurant which was quaint with a fountain in the courtyard and good service. The menu offers innovative food choices, particularly the appetizers such as Baha-style spring rolls and flower squash filled with feta cheese, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes, which was my favorite. The kids' menu is a great bargain, as all entrees, (grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, etc.) were only $5.00 each and came with ice cream for dessert and refillable beverages. The portions were very generous and tasty. My kids could not finish most of their food, but luckily, the in-room refrigerator could store their leftovers.My kids enjoyed watching the rescued seals in their nearby sanctuary, which are fed twice daily and available for guests to view.
The pool was constantly steaming over, and my daughter several times pointed this out to me to remind me that the pool was appropriate for night swimming, even in December. The jacuzzi was jumbo-sized, much larger than most hotel whirlpools. The hotel also has tennis courts and a nice fitness center.
My kids also spent a good deal of time playing several rounds of shuffleboard, which is situated within the hotel's tropical flora. It was a great after-dinner activity for them before heading back to the suite to watch the lights dancing on the bay.
One of the most prominent features of the Bahia Resort Hotel is its outstanding location on a Mission Bay, which offers scenic walks and very close proximity to top kid attractions, including SeaWorld and Belmont Park, both reviewed on this site. My family took long walks around the bay from the hotel, heading both east and west.
One day we actually walked to Belmont Park from the hotel, a vintage-styled San Diego attraction park, which resembles more of an old-fashioned beach fair than the typical overrun amusement park of today. We could also walk to several shops and restaurants surrounding Mission Beach, which are all a short walk from the Bahia Resort Hotel. You could also almost walk to SeaWorld from the hotel, but you're probably better off driving. So, once you're resigned to driving, you will be just 10-20 minutes away from other highly popular San Diego destinations: Old Town, Seaport Village, Balboa Park, and Horton Plaza. For a great family hotel, try the Bahia Resort Hotel. Remember that San Diego has a year-round mild climate, so even in December, this hotel is a great treat for your family.