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This family-friendly spa is perfect for getaways with the wee ones. Pros: all the benefits of a waterpark without the crowds and hot concrete. Cons: buggy by the water, rules-obsessed staff.
The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa near Fort Myers, Florida, has long been on our must-visit list, as it offers a high return for awards stays and promises a cool environment for the whole family to explore. Think multiple waterslides, a boat ride to a private island, rock climbing, lazy river, kids club and much more to keep everyone entertained.
The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point landed in the sweet spot of the World of Hyatt award chart as a Category 4 property. Not only did this make it affordable at just 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night, but I could also use a Category 1-4 award certificate instead of points. The World of Hyatt credit card provided me up to two annual Category 1-4 awards, one that came automatically at each account anniversary by virtue of having the card and one that I could earn by putting $15,000 in expenses on the card each year.
During peak travel times, Category 4 resorts like this one can sell standard rooms for more than $300 to $400 per night, making points or award certificates the way to go. On our Columbus Day weekend visit in early October, we used a Hyatt Category 1-4 award for one night of our stay and booked a Hyatt Points + Cash award for 7,500 points plus $100 for the other night.
Using Points + Cash isn’t always the smartest play, as you must pay taxes and resort fees on Hyatt Points + Cash awards (as opposed to pure points awards). However, my top-tier Hyatt Globalist status waives resort fees on all eligible Hyatt stays, so Points + Cash was a good deal for us. Without Globalist status, we would have been hit with a $30-per-night resort fee on a cash or Points + Cash award.
If you are short on World of Hyatt points, you can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio from cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Ink Business Preferred℠Credit Card. Just think: The 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points awarded after you meet the spending requirement on the Ink Business Preferred could cover five nights at this resort with a few points left over. Not bad, considering how much rooms can cost at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point!
The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa was roughly a 20-minute drive from Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) near Fort Myers, Florida. This airport is served by United, Spirit, Frontier, Southwest, American Airlines, Delta and more. I highly recommend flying directly into Fort Myers when visiting the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point. If you fly into Miami (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale (FLL), you are looking at a bit over two hours of driving to reach the resort.
The Bonita Springs resort was close to the shore and had its own semiprivate island, but it was not truly beachfront in the traditional sense. To get to the beach, you walked down the hotel’s boardwalk, hopped on the free, hourly boat ride and cruised 10 to 15 minutes to the island, Pelican Landing.
This was a 454-room hotel with an impressively large lobby. We arrived on a weekend day in the late afternoon, and there was no delay checking in and getting a rundown of the amenities and activities. Our Globalist status did not luck us into an upgraded suite, but that was just fine, as rooms with two real beds work better for our family these days than a suite with just one bed.
More important than a suite, our elite status got us Regency Club access that was spelled out for us at check-in. When traveling with a family at a large resort, lounge access not only makes the stay more comfortable and convenient but can save your family a significant amount of money.
Within a few minutes of arrival, we were heading up to our room with two queen beds on the 17th floor, which (thankfully) was also the floor that housed the Regency Club.
You probably don’t come to a place like the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point for the room. Resorts like this one typically have rooms that are neither offensive nor exciting. The purpose of the property is to create a space where you can sleep and get clean between outdoor play sessions with your family.
This room held true to that standard, as it was totally acceptable and functional but nothing fancy,
We did appreciate the two queen beds, one of which comfortably held the two girls and me on the first night before my husband, Josh, arrived. The pillows were fluffy, and there were four usable pillows per bed, which meant no arguing or pillow rationing.
While the beds were above average for a traveling family, the TV was truly noteworthy. I’m not a tech geek, but this 65-inch TV was huge, clear and basically made me want to go TV shopping when we got home.
The bathroom was functional, with a shower/tub combo and an ingenious number of wall hooks for swimsuits and towels that looked more like butterfly artwork than boring old hooks. We also appreciated the above-average number of included towels in the bathroom. Things like plentiful towels and pillows sound simple, but when there are four family members in one room, you notice.
A few final points about the room: The air conditioning was easy to control and good at cooling down the room, which is not a given in hot and humid Florida. On a less positive note, there was a strange humming noise that came and went for the duration of the stay, and the light sensor on the floor went haywire and lit the room up randomly throughout the night to the point that we had to cover it up with pillows. The hotel’s internet also frequently made you log back in, which was a hassle with so many devices to connect.
Finally, there was an in-room coffeemaker, as well as a small fridge that was empty other than the requisite two free bottles of water for Hyatt elites.
You don’t come to the Hyatt Coconut Point Resort for the minibar. You come to play with your family in the 3-acre waterpark, ride the five waterslides, float the lazy river, splash in the pools, play 18 holes, cruise to the private island and climb the rock wall.
For adults not looking to share the water with lots of cannonballing kids, there was an official adult pool as well as a nearby pool that wasn’t explicitly just for adults but also wasn’t a child hotspot since there weren’t any waterslides.
Continuing on into the waterpark, you found the really cool offerings like a zero-entry pool with both a toddler-friendly small waterslide and a corkscrew waterslide with a 42-inch height requirement.
My 3-year-old was not quite tall enough for the corkscrew waterslide, but many 4- and 5-year-olds would have met that height requirement just fine.
This property would have had a good waterpark with just that, but there was more: A second pool section had a lazy river, an inner-tube slide and dueling slides where you could race your kids to the bottom (mine won)!
The slides in this section of the resort also had a 48-inch height requirement, but the lazy river was open to all registered guests. The resort was serious about its rules. Staff would make you get out of the pool to come into the towel hut and get wristbands for every registered member of your party, strictly capped at four guests per room.
We enjoyed the lazy river, but my favorite element was the slide that allowed you to go down in a double tube with your kiddos.
The smile on my 8-year-old’s face pretty much sums up the experience.
Being able to have a waterpark experience without actually having to go to a separate waterpark with long lines and hot concrete was priceless, or at least worth 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night. The 3-year-old in our crew was partial to splashing around in the zero-entry area and borrowing some of the resort’s many large dolphin- and alligator-shaped floats.
While the pool area was quite busy on the weekend, it was large enough to find a space for your family to sit and play for hours on end. This is unquestionably one of the best hotel waterparks in the United States.
Cabanas were available starting at $200 to $400, depending on the cabana and day of the week.
Hyatt Coconut Point wasn’t all about the pool and waterpark. There was also a shared private island that you could access by an included boat that cruised the 15 minutes to the island once per hour during the day. To get to the boat, you could either take a shuttle ride or walk a quarter mile down a boardwalk through the mangroves. The latter was more fun, but you sometimes had to deal with the no-see-ums near the dock.
The ferry ride was pleasant, and you could even spot dolphins!
The private island had groomed sandy pathways that took you to the beach or to the restroom building, accessed with a key given to you on the boat.
There were chairs and, weather permitting, umbrellas available on the beach, but no full service or food or beverages.
There were a number of jellyfish in the water the day of our visit, but our girls enjoyed playing in the sand and walking around in the calm, shallow water. The current picked up near the inlet, so I’d advise keeping your kids away from that part of the island.
There were dry activities and amenities at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, including a kids’ club. You needed reservations, and it was open to potty-trained children 3 and over.
Near the kids’ club was an arcade we were able to visit using coins that staff members had thrown into the pool for children to dive for.
If you were looking to take in a Florida sunset or stretch your legs, there were lots of big, open spaces great for letting kids run around. Again, this was a bug-prone area, and there’s always the danger of gators near the water in Florida.
The resort had a full spa and salon, with a sauna, steam room and inviting coed pool.
Food and Beverage
The resort was home to five restaurants and bars, plenty to keep us busy for a weekend. The first one to catch my daughters’ eyes was Cool Beans, a market.
Cool Beans had coffee, soft drinks, ice cream, sandwiches and other grab-and-go items.
By the pool was Corkscrew Poolside Bar and Grill, an outdoor restaurant. As far as poolside dining went, this was above-average service and food. You could raise the little blue flags on the chairs to order or request refills.
We enjoyed poolside chicken fingers and fries, a child’s order of fruit, fish tacos with plantains (skip the tacos, get extra plantains) and a variety of smoothies and other cool beverages.
The smoothies, plantains and veggie burger were our favorites.
Both nights, we enjoyed dinner at Tarpon Bay, located along the tree-lined section of the resort, with a variety of seafood.
We were fans of the ceviche sampler, oysters and lobster, but most importantly for my youngest daughter, they had $5 macaroni-and-cheese kids meals!
If you want to conserve cash when it comes time to eat, do your best to get Regency Club access via your Hyatt Globalist status, using an Explorist annual certificate or by paying additional points to book a club-level room.
This Regency Club was good for a US location, especially when it came to evening meals and free drinks.
Breakfast was served in the lounge each morning until 10am and included muffins, bagels, salmon, pastries, cereal, fruit, complimentary mimosas and assorted other offerings.
I’d rank the breakfast offerings as about average for a Hyatt Club lounge, but they were an affordable and easy way to start the day without spending money or venturing far from our room.
Perhaps even better than the breakfast were the evening snacks and free beer and wine from 5pm to 7pm. I was shocked to find high-quality peel-and-eat shrimp one evening!
There were also hummus, cheese, salads, vegetables, potstickers, pasta dishes and fruit.
My girls didn’t appreciate the lineup of complimentary evening options as much as I did, but adults (or less picky kids) could easily make a meal of this.
My girls’ favorite element of the Regency Club was unquestionably the desserts set out from 8pm to 9pm. They made a nighttime feast out of cookies, cakes, brownies and virtually every other type of sugary treat you could dream of.
Room service was available as a to-go order that could be delivered to your room for an extra fee from the property’s Tanglewood Restaurant. We enjoyed yogurt parfaits, bacon, waffles and pancakes one morning in bed. Just note that your food will be delivered in to-go boxes instead of on traditional room-service trays.
If your family wants a vacation that consists of waterslides, pool time, floating in the lazy river, playing on the beach, cruising on a boat and making memories in the Florida sunshine for just 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night, then look no further. The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point offers pretty much everything a family could possibly want for several days’ worth of fun in the sun.
Like most places, it isn’t perfect. The no-see-um bugs were a true bummer, and at times the staff seemed to be overly officious about enforcing rules that felt strange and arbitrary by the time the weekend was over and there were more employees in sight than guests.
There is also a nearby Hyatt Residence Club property called Bonita Springs Coconut Plantation where you can book studios from 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night, but award availability is much more limited than at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point. If you’re paying with cash, there’s more availability and you can book up to two-bedroom units.
We were offered 10,000 World of Hyatt points to take a tour (and sit through a sales pitch), but we didn’t have time on this short trip. We were told we could make use of the amenities and lazy river at the Residence Club property.
Save up those World of Hyatt points and get yourself to southwest Florida to make some warm weather memories and log some serious waterslide time without having to actually go to a waterpark.
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