The Eastern Shore resort offers two packages perfect for a waterside late summer getaway.
By Kelly A. Magyarics
If your idea of a perfect summer meal is sitting at a newspaper-topped table, mallet at the ready, waiting to pick a pile of steamed Maryland blue crabs, then you’ll want to cross the Bay Bridge and head to to The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake’s Fifth Avenue Crab Week. Held August 15 to 29, the resort is offering two weeks of crabby festivities.
Guests will enjoy dishes from local food truck Feelin’ Crabby, and head on a tour of J. M. Clayton Company, the world’s oldest crab house. There will also be a crab cake eating contest, daily crab specials and pairings, and a demo on how to catch, crack and cook up those beloved crustaceans. Other activities include River Marsh Golf Club’s Crabby Cup, a nine-hole golf tournament, kids’ arts and crafts at Krusty Krab’s Kreative Korner, dive-in movies, and marine animal pool races.
Crab Week guests staying under the Sunshine on Sale package get a third night free when staying two nights at regular rates (which start at $359, not including taxes and resort fee), as well as daily breakfast.
Or, for a more carefree getaway, the resort’s new Chesapeake Experience offers an all-inclusive experience, which covers accommodations, resort fee, tax, meals, non-alcoholic beverages, a welcome gift, valet parking and Blackwater Wildlife Refuge passes. The Chesapeake Experience starts at $479 per night, double occupancy; each additional person is $79.
My husband, children and I recently stayed at the Hyatt Chesapeake. Here are some details and highlights before you go:
The hotel features 400 rooms and suites, including Standard; hypo-allergenic rooms which feature air purification and treatment of all fabrics and surfaces, as well as hypo-allergenic linens and towels; rooms with a view of the Choptank River; Regency Club rooms with access to a lounge with breakfast, snacks, drinks and hors d’oeuvres throughout the day; accessible rooms; and several suites. We stayed in a Resort View King Family Petite Suite, which features a king size bed and two bunk beds separated from the rest of the bedroom by a narrow wall. It was a convenient room option for families, as the mini-fridge and counter area allowed us to keep snacks and drinks on hand, while the kids loved sleeping in bunk beds at night. The top bunk has a full guardrail, but it might not be suitable for toddlers and younger children.
Michener’s Library overlooking the Choptank River is a great spot to sip a Manhattan or Martini before or after dinner, though I must admit its leather chair-filled, library feel is a bit better suited to the cooler temperatures. It’s especially cozy when the fireplace is lit. Those with kids should head there before dinner, as no children are admitted after 7 P.M. Of course, if you are lounging by the pool, you’ll want to grab an Orange Crush or cold beer at Dock’s Poolside.
The resort offers six dining options. Water’s Edge is decorated in muted blue and neutral tones, and through Labor Day, will offer buffet for breakfast and dinner (lunch is a la carte.) During our stay, we opted for dinner by the water at sunset at Blue Point Provision. Adjacent to the resort via a lovely ten minute riverside walk on a stone path, or via a quick shuttle ride from the hotel’s main building, Blue Point is casual and fun. Don’t miss the local oysters on the half shell, steamed mussels with chorizo and white wine, and local rockfish topped with Maryland lump crab, tomato, corn relish and beurre blanc. The seasonal River Marsh Gastropub is adults-only, with inventive casual dishes like Chesapeake Crab Hush Puppies with Spicy Remoulade, Crisp Pork Belly Tacos with Avocado, and Hard Apple Cider “Beer Can” Chicken.
Sago Spa and Salon boasts body treatments like the Deep Forest Ritual (90 minutes, $210), with an espresso mud scrub followed by an application of seaweed serum, Vichy shower, full body massage with oils of white pine, balsam and grand fir, and a peppermint and tea tree foot massage. Massage fans in search of an authentic experience can select the Old Fashion Back Tonic (60 minutes, $140), which combines deep, intensive massage with steaming hot herb-infused towels—the same treatment that watermen of the Eastern Shore swear by to recover from the back breaking work of harvesting crabs. And the Sago Signature Facial (90 minutes, $200) offers a footbath, soothing warm oil scalp massage and a prescriptive facial with a collagen velvet mask. Hair and nail services are also available.
The seasonal waterfront pool complex is definitely one of the hotel’s big draws, and offers both a family pool and an adults-only infinity pool, along with a waterslide and Jacuzzi, and poolside bar and restaurant (Dock’s). Off-season, or on rainy days, the water is always warm in the indoor pool at the just-as-appealing Winter Garden. And when you are soaking in the Jacuzzi indoors, you can actually swim under the window to the outside section of the Jacuzzi for a whole different experience. A small beach area by the river is good for wading, and you can also rent kayaks, paddleboats, paddleboards and Hobie Waves.
Play tennis, or golf on the award-winning 18-hole championship golf course, dock your boat at one of 150 slips, or take advantage of the many no-charge or small-charge activities like dive-in movies, miniature golf, roasting s’mores by the outdoor fire pit, or scavenger hunts.
For more information, or to book these packages, please call 800.633.7313 or visit Chesapeakebay.hyatt.com.
Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics.