A tale of two adjacent Hyatts: Mission Pacific Hotel vs. Seabird Resort
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I live in Northern California, and Southern California not only offers beautiful spots for a weekend getaway, but getting there is an easy hourlong flight. When I found out Hyatt was opening not one but two new beachfront hotels in Southern California, I had to be there.
Hyatt recently opened two brand-new properties in Oceanside, a laid-back beachfront community 38 miles north of San Diego: the Mission Pacific, a Joie de Vivre hotel, and the Seabird Resort, a Destination by Hyatt property. The two hotels are located across the street from each other and offer sweeping ocean views. Both are Category 5 World of Hyatt properties, requiring 20,000 points per night, and offer similar amenities.
While the Mission Pacific and Seabird have many similarities, they also have a few differences that can determine which one might be a better fit for you. So how do these two brand-new Hyatt properties stack up against each other and which one should you stay at? Here’s an in-depth look, based on my recent stay:
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The Mission Pacific Hotel and the Seabird Resort are located across the street from each other and face the ocean. Sounds peaceful, right? However, Amtrak tracks run behind both hotels and the station is right behind the Seabird. While this is great if you want to get to Los Angeles or San Diego without dealing with rental car drama or surge pricing on ride-hailing apps, it’s not so great in terms of noise levels. During my stay, I kept hearing train horns throughout the day (and at night).
This has been addressed now that Oceanside has been designated a quiet zone by the Federal Rail Authority. However, keep in mind that there is a one-year “break-in” period when train horns will be used in some cases, including emergencies.
The noise level in the “bridge” section of the Mission Pacific (between the hotel’s two enclosed wings) was significantly higher than the Seabird. The hallway is open and the room doors aren’t soundproofed.
I’m not a light sleeper by any stretch — I’ve slept through earthquakes before — but when that Amtrak train blew its horn in the middle of the night, it woke me right up. I did not have this issue during my stay at the Seabird Resort next door, likely because the hallways are enclosed and blocked the noise.
At the Mission Pacific, you may get a quiet room if you’re in the enclosed wings of the building. I didn’t stay there and can’t say this for sure, but I assume it to be true because those wings do have enclosed hallways.
Both properties are Category 5 Hyatt hotels, requiring 20,000 points per night for a standard room. The cash rates at the two properties don’t vary much either. Both properties often display identical rates on the same date.
Property type and amenities
The Mission Pacific is a hotel, while the Seabird is a resort. The main difference is that the Seabird has 65 more rooms and an on-site spa. However, it’s worth noting that Mission Pacific guests have access to all the amenities at the Seabird and vice versa.
Your Mission Pacific keycard will get you into the Seabird’s gym and pool and you can charge meals at either property to your folio, regardless of where you’re staying. If you’re a Hyatt Globalist, you can have your complimentary breakfast at either hotel – I highly recommend Seabird’s Piper restaurant.
Both properties have an on-site gym featuring high-tech equipment and a pool overlooking the ocean. The Mission Pacific’s pool is located on the rooftop, while Seabird’s is on the second floor.
The gym equipment at the two properties is almost identical, except the Seabird has one Peloton bike and the Mission Pacific has two. Both gyms were empty most of the time due to capacity limits, but if you’re worried about working in a ride, you can always cross the street from the Seabird to the Mission Pacific.
Both properties forgo traditional bottled water, instead offering two free refillable bottles per guest room. You can fill these up with either room temperature or cold water in the ice room.
A series of retail shops will be opening at each property, though they were still under construction during my stay. While having on-site retail shops is convenient, it’s not entirely necessary since both hotels are just steps away from lots of shops you can visit if you need anything during your stay.
Nowadays, more people are working remotely and taking “workcations” at hotels that offer scenic views and workspaces. Both hotels have spaces designed for that purpose. The Seabird has a library which functions as a coworking space, with a large table in the middle and a dedicated desk.
The Mission Pacific offers a seating area that resembles a coworking space. However, it’s sandwiched between the lobby and a restaurant that gets decent foot traffic during busy periods. So if you want a quiet place to work, you’ll want to either stay at or work out of the Seabird Resort.
The Wi-Fi at both properties was great, so there shouldn’t be issues on that front.
Both hotels have two restaurants operating at the moment, with a third one under construction. I did venture out and sample the treats at Parlor Doughnuts and try a burger at Ty’s Burger House. There are lots of other options nearby, so you are by no means limited to what these two hotels have to offer.
The Seabird has Piper, which is open for breakfast only and features a beautiful indoor dining area and a heated outdoor patio. I’ve said it before — the French toast at Piper is probably the best I’ve ever had and I’d rank it among my top five hotel breakfasts.
Seabird also has a poolside restaurant called The Shelter Club, which offers casual dining and food that is way more delicious than it has a right to be. This became my go-to lunch spot during my stay at both properties.
The Shore Room Bar and Lounge will be opening later this year. It’s a gorgeous space in the hotel lobby and offers comfortable seating both indoors and outdoors. Outside, there are fire pits to keep you warm while you listen to the waves and breathe in the crisp air.
The Mission Pacific has a cafe just off the lobby called High/Low. It operates from 7 a.m. to sunset and offers brunch, lunch, appetizers and drinks. I had room service breakfast delivered from High/Low and it wasn’t great. The avocado toast consisted of small strips of bread with a smattering of avocado and one of the items they delivered wasn’t what I ordered.
Still, High/Low is a good place if you want a nice spot to hang out. They have an outdoor patio facing the pier that makes for a nice place to people-watch.
Mission Pacific’s Rooftop Bar is a hip and happening place where lots of locals hang out. The space is adjacent to the pool and overlooks the beach. While the food was good, the service was slow. I also discovered lipstick on my water glass and the utensils were not clean.
The food options and service at Seabird were much better than at Mission Pacific. That might change as the hotel becomes more established and opens its Mexican-themed Valle Restaurant later this year.
The rooms at both hotels are coastal-themed, with a mainly neutral palette and pops of color to liven things up. That being said, I found the room at Seabird to be a bit dull. It definitely could have benefited from some colorful art and throw pillows.
Meanwhile, the rooms at the Mission Pacific were beautifully decorated. There was a custom headboard, lots of art adorning the walls and the seating on the balcony was plush and comfortable. It felt more like a boutique hotel, while the Seabird’s rooms had a generic corporate hotel vibe.
In fact, in some ways it felt like the Mission Pacific’s room decor would have been a better fit at the Seabird and vice versa.
The mattress at Mission Pacific was super comfortable and I managed to sleep well despite the Amtrak train horn going off in the middle of the night. The mattress at Seabird was just a little too springy. If you like a firm mattress, definitely consider the Mission Pacific over the Seabird.
The service at Seabird was much faster and more polished across the board. I will say that the front desk staff at both properties were top-notch. The disparity was more apparent at each hotel’s dining facility.
I didn’t care for the slow service at Mission Pacific’s Rooftop Bar or the way the lipstick on the glass was brushed off until I pointed out how bad it was. Aside from this, the staff seemed to really care about guests. Everyone from the hotel security guard to the valets would chat with guests about their stay.
I also had a billing issue while checking out at the Mission Pacific that wasn’t fixed days later. However, a manager handled it over the phone and apologized for the inconvenience.
Considering both properties had been open for about a month, I had low expectations and was willing to give them some grace on the mishaps. That being said, I definitely think Seabird did better on the service front than Mission Pacific.
Mission Pacific vs. Seabird: Which hotel should you choose?
Now that we’ve covered the similarities and differences between the two hotels, you’re probably wondering which one you should book for your Oceanside getaway. Normally I would recommend staying at the cheapest of the two hotels, since they’re so close to each other and their amenities are available to you regardless of which property you choose.
But both hotels are Category 5 Hyatt properties requiring 20,000 points per night and their cash rates on most days I’ve searched are identical. So I would recommend choosing a hotel based on the kind of traveler you are.
Family travelers: The Seabird Resort
If you’re traveling with a family, you might find the Seabird Resort to be the better option. The resort’s two restaurants offer a wider selection of kid-friendly meals than the Mission Pacific, which has a rooftop bar and a single cafe that lacks kid-friendly foods. Once the Mission Pacific opens its ice cream parlor (located inside a Victorian cottage that was featured in “Top Gun”), I’m sure lots of families will flock there, but that’s an easy walk from the Seabird Resort.
The Seabird has a kids club on Friday and Saturday nights from 5-9 p.m. The location varies, but kids can participate in various arts and crafts activities. The fee is a bit steep at $70 for the first child and $55 for the second.
The on-site resort even offers spa treatments for kids, which means you don’t have to worry about leaving your kids behind for some much-needed R&R at the spa.
Related: Our 6 best family award trips — ever
Leisure travelers: The Seabird Resort
The Seabird is ideal if you want a property with an on-site spa. Sure, you can cross the street from the Mission Pacific and be there in a minute, but some people value proximity. I will say, the bathrobes at the Seabird Resort are my favorite I’ve ever come across – so if it came down to the wire, I would stay there for the bathrobes alone.
One huge factor to consider is noise level. If you end up with a room on the “bridge” side of the Mission Pacific (between the two wings), you may hear the Amtrak train horns sounding off – this won’t happen often, since Oceanside has been designated a federal quiet zone by the Federal Rail Authority.
I didn’t encounter this noise at the Seabird, even though the hotel is also behind the Amtrak station. I think the difference can be attributed to the fact that Mission Pacific has an open hallway, where noise can travel more easily. The Seabird’s closed hallway helps insulate against noise. But again, this might not be an issue at the Mission Pacific if you are given a room in one of the wings that does have enclosed hallways.
Business travelers: The Seabird Resort
It’s kind of odd to recommend a resort for business travelers, but the Seabird offers several amenities that cater to this group. The property has meeting facilities and event space, along with a dedicated library/coworking space.
This makes it ideal for company retreats (hint, hint) or business travelers who need quiet spaces to work.
Adults looking to escape the kids: The Mission Pacific
If you’re looking for a hotel that has a lower kid-to-adult ratio, the Mission Pacific is the way to go. Between the dining options and pool location, it’s much better suited to adults than kids. It’s certainly apparent in the demographics I observed while staying at both properties: The Mission Pacific had far fewer families than the Seabird.
All of that being said, I would recommend visiting both hotels if you’re curious. They each have a unique vibe and since they’re different Hyatt brands, you can make progress toward a Hyatt Brand Explorer award by alternating between the two.
Since guests can access amenities at either property, regardless of where they’re staying, I would say go with the cheapest option if there is a difference in rate. And if you’re booking with points, I think the Seabird will generally give you more bang for your buck.
Featured photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy.
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