There are all kinds of beach communities up and down both coasts of Florida, but usually you’ve got a lot of resorts jammed up next to each other. At the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa south of Fort Myers, however, you’ve got a panoramic view for sunset and nothing around to block it. The resort runs a boat shuttle to its own beach area, but then also has a vast pool complex with kids’ areas and a quieter adult pool.
Based on so many other Hyatt Regency hotels I’ve been to in the past couple decades, I was expecting a convention hotel without a lot of personality, the kind of place 500 pharmacists or engine parts dealers gather at to talk strategy for the coming year. That may be the case sometimes—there’s more than 82,500 square feet of flexible function space for meetings and exhibitions. But this is an excellent getaway resort for sun and fun that any leisure traveler on vacation could love.
The 454 rooms are distributed throughout a 12-story high-rise with extensive grounds and a striking open lobby with inlaid dark marble and granite. Windows all around allow in plenty of natural light, however, and the champagne welcome drink was an unexpected surprise. There’s also water flavored with fruit or cucumber out during the day.
There’s a coffee shop, bakery, and essentials store in this area, as well as a few high-end boutique shops. When you keep following the wide hallway toward the water, the space opens up again and there’s a large sitting area with sofas between one of the many restaurants and main indoor lounge. If you hang a left instead, there’s an outdoor courtyard area with fountain that has entrances to other dining and drinking spots.
Outside, the emphasis is clearly on fun. There’s a putting green, a climbing wall, cornhole, and a giant Connect 4 game. The pool complex has a long lazy river and two different pools with very tall slides that snake down to the water. You’re going to get hit with a resort fee for all this, but at least the kids will have plenty to do all day while you’re ordering cocktails or a craft beer by putting up your flag on the lounge chair. (There’s also a staffed kids club on site.) You get a big plush towel as well and this is not one of those resorts where you have to sign them out and in like a suspected criminal.
There’s an additional “Adult Lap Pool” and hot tub for those who don’t want to be around kids and a waterfall pool near it. One restaurant serves this area and you can also get a few items from the Food Trailer that’s by the lazy river pool.
You’ll have eight bars and restaurants to choose from in all, open at different times. The main Tanglewood grill is open all three meals, while the other non-bar dinner choice is the seafood restaurant Tarpon Bay. You can expect beach resort prices at all of them, but if that gets to be too much after a while there are loads of typical Florida strip malls nearby with other dining options, plus two Publix stores.
The Hyatt Regency Coconut Bay has access to watersports and dolphin boat tours out at the beach, where there are lounge chairs for guests, plus there’s an 18-hole golf course. On the grounds are two tennis courts as well.
The eco-conscious Stillwater Spa is a major operation with a wide variety of massage and facial treatments. Steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools, and locker rooms are on site as well. All guests have access to a well-equipped 24-hour gym.
Rooms at Coconut Point are bright and inviting, looking new and fresh after a recent renovation. Besides very comfortable bedding and nice linens, you also get the benefit of ample outlets for plugging in your devices and good lighting all around. The work desk has an ergonomic chair and the sofa doubles as a bed for a kid or two. A fridge is a welcome addition and the TVs with DVD players are simply huge: 65 inches. The patterned carpet is good quality and there are drawers for unpacking. Electronic safes and coffee makers are standard. A furnished balcony has a view, most of them looking out at a sunset show over the Gulf of Mexico.
Baths have granite vanities with two sinks, a make-up mirror, and array of quality toiletries. Robes are only by request though.
Most of the rooms are the same size, but there are a few suite options that add another 200-400 more square feet for spreading out. Sometimes the difference in rates is not a whole lot percentage-wise, so it can be a worthwhile upgrade.
While a resort this big can easily feel overwhelming, staffers here were professional and attentive during our stay. There are bellman and valet parking attendants if you want them, but no pressure if you pass on both. This is a well-managed resort that looks brand new after a pricey refresh and it’s a great alternative to the usual clusters, especially if you have Hyatt points to cash in and are looking for someplace warm with availability.
Rates start at around $300 in high season and can often top $500—before the $33 resort fee that covers Wi-Fi, parking, and the on-site pool and game amenities. Search directly at the Hyatt site or check at Priceline and Expedia.
Editor Tim Leffel was hosted one night at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort while doing a feature story on the Fort Myers region for another publication. As always, all opinions are his own.