I was talking to one of my mom friends the other day about a recent stay our family had at San Diego’s Bahia Resort Hotel (bahiahotel.com). She’s Portuguese, and for a minute, thought I said “baía”. We laughed about it later, noting that the translation from the word ‘bay’ made a lot of sense, inadvertently or not, seeing as the hotel is positioned on a sparkling stretch of private beach in San Diego’s Mission Bay. We were looking for a quick escape with the kids, and with the resort only an hour hour drive from Orange County, it was easily accessible and amenity rich - a perfect prescription for the current times.
Guests enjoy easy access to the beach with rooms and suites literally steps away from the sand. All accommodations feature relaxing views of either Mission Bay or the property’s lush private gardens and ground floor accommodations come with a private patio. The resort’s suites offer not only more space with separate bedroom and separate living room area, but some also include a kitchen with stove/oven, microwave, mini-fridge and sink for a convenient dining option during your stay.
For our part, we opted for a little of both - stocking the mini-fridge with drinks and munchies to keep the kids hydrated and nourished between activities and stepping out to dine al fresco on the spacious patio at Cafe Bahia. Only the freshest ingredients, locally sourced, make the menu. Including all of the traditional breakfast favorites and delectable dishes of ecletic American fare for lunch or dinner. Our family are particularly eclectic eaters: My husband, Tim, is a strictly meat-and-potatoes man; I love all things seafood; our son loves burgers and fries and our daughter still prefers classic kids’ favorites like Mac n’ Cheese and chicken tenders. The menu here offered something for everyone. The New York Strip Steak was griled to perfection and arrived with a side of garlic and parmesan fries, grilled asparagus and chimichurri sauce, the Ahi poke was delicious paired with wasabi cream, house wontons, fresno chiles, cucumber, avocado and seaweed salad.
San Diego is one of Southern California’s most activity-full cities itself, and the Bahia certainly takes advantage. The gorgeous year-round weather lends itself to tennis, taking a dip in their Olympic swimming pool, lounging in a cabana on the private beach, stand up paddleboarding, afternoon bike rides, boat rentals for a scenic spin around the bay or simply using the resort as a jumping off point for any one of the city’s numerous activities: from family-friendly Legoland to the world famous Wild Animal Park. Tucked away in its own peninsula on the Bay, the resort is a tropical vacation without the plane ride to get there.
Right on property, San Diego’s premier land and water sports rental company - Action Sport Rentals (actionsportrentals.com) - endeavors to meet the needs of all aquatic enthusiasts - for active options, rent a single or tandem kayak, stand up paddleboard, pedal board rental or body board rental. If you prefer a leisurely watercraft, Action Sport Rentals offers sailboats, fishing boats or pontoon rentals. For those who have a need for speed, guests can rent jet skis or a powerboat. We spent the entire day outdoors - starting with a spin around the bay aboard a 19’ Rinker. The powerboat we chose is a fast, fun craft that’s also a super comfortable ride for up to seven passengers - while boaters stay within the bay, our experience alternated between a leisurely cruise in the channels and an exhilarating ride at speeds topping 40 mph. We worked off lunch with a bike ride around Mission Bay and ended the day curled up on the patio’s lounge chairs to enjoy the picturesque marina views.
Home to all of California’s iconic palms, amazing annuals, and even a rescue seal and duck pond (our kids raced to watch the twice-daily feeding of the harbor seals), you don’t have to step far away from your room to stroll the sand at sunset or sip a your favorite drink du jour from Tangier Bar’s delicious list of offerings. No wonder TripAdvisor named it a Best Value Hotel. Don’t believe me? Take your own trip to the bay.
Bahia Resort Hotel
998 W. Mission Bay Drive