By Jody Robinson
A private island, family-friendly destination on Mission Bay, just minutes from downtown San Diego
Now that our children have grown out of their toddler years, traveling as a family has become an even more exciting and enriching endeavor. Our son and daughter, now ages 8 and 7 respectively, have over time become rather seasoned little sojourners and as parents, it’s been a joy to be able embark on trips that allow us to experience cultures and climates similar and far different from our own.
During the school year time away tends to lend itself more to ocean-oriented “staycations” rather than lengthier vacations and there is certainly no shortage of laid-back beach and ocean lifestyle options. After a recent weekend at Paradise Point Resort and Spa (www.paradisepoint.com), our family has found our new favorite San Diego County destination.
Tucked away on Mission Bay in the heart of San Diego, this idyllic tropical retreat features 462 Balinese-style bungalow-style rooms, including 73 hotel suites, lush tropical gardens and tranquil lagoons. Guests will find plenty of room to roam and relax at the 44-acre resort property with five heated swimming pools, beach bonfire pits, a full-service marina, an award-winning spa, state-of-the-art fitness center and endless options for recreation and entertainment.
With its relaxed and contemporary accommodations, we felt miles away from our otherwise hectic lives within minutes of arriving. Our spacious room was exactly as described on the hotel’s web site – each open and airy guest room offers garden, lagoon or bay views (the door to our bayfront bungalow was literally steps from the sand) done up in a refreshing, tropically elegant color scheme or coral, turquoise, chartreuse and gold.
The custom decor of each accommodation includes edgy fine touches such as leopard patterned rug, modern teak furnishings, contemporary artwork, custom Batik-style bed throws and black porcelain tile floors. No detail was left unattended – from the complimentary high-speed Internet access, mini-fridge, 37-inch flat screen TV and cable television with premium channels, but the best amenity of all for my husband and I at the end of each activity-filled day: a private patio with a pair of Adirondack chairs facing the gentle bay.
To get our stay-cation started, we walked over to Tidal, the property’s signature island-inspired beach restaurant where “craft and catch converge.” Though the resort is home to an array of diverse dining options, Paradise Point’s critically acclaimed restaurant Tidal is not to be missed. Perched above Mission Bay’s shoreline, Tidal is where craft and catch converge in a thoughtful selection of local seafood, seasonal ingredients and craft beverages. The waterfront eatery has been named one of the top 10 restaurants in San Diego by Zagat and one of the top 100 in the U.S. by OpenTable.
My roasted baby beet salad was delicious flavored with Humboldt fog goat cheese, watercress, pistachio and syrah syrup and my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the domestic craft cheese platter with our choices of cow, sheep and goat’s milk cheeses. For our entrees, I selected the recommended Salmon Wellington which arrived as a tender fish encased in a flaky puff pastry paired with mushroon, charred eggplant, shallot and tarragon beurre blanc while my husband opted for the Half Chicken Confit accompanied by roasted cauliflower and heirloom carrots. The kids went with spaghetti noodles tossed in butter – pretty much their go-to dinner choice when eating out.
Paradise Point offers sports and courts of all sorts for island fun with some competitive edge, as well as beach cruisers and surrey quadracycles…
After our meal, we strolled the water’s edge – finally giving in to the kids’ oft-repeated requests that day to roast s’mores. Whether you’re five or 50 years old, there’s nothing like the anticipation of gooey s’mores cooked over an open bonfire. Paradise Point has over 12 bonfire pits scattered along the beach and around the property available exclusively for guest use. Head to the Island Market for all the ingredients you need to set up your bonfire and make s’mores.
The following morning and afternoon were spent literally at our leisure – and the very best way to while away the day if you ask me. Paradise Point offers sports and courts of all sorts for island fun with some competitive edge (think ping pong, bocce ball, basketball, croquet, tennis and even an 18-hole putting golf course), as well as beach cruisers and surrey quadracycles to make roaming near and far a breeze. We opted for the latter and rode around the resort – there are over 14 miles of bike paths nearby, all boasting bay or beach views and mostly flat terrain.
Then we headed out onto the shimmering waters of San Diego’s Mission Bay, renting tandem waverunners at the resort’s full-service marina (www.actionsportsrentals.com). While we were in line awaiting instruction on the use of the jetskis, other hotel guests queued up to rent sailboats, speedboats, kayaks and paddleboards. A group reserved an electric Duffy boat (fully enclosed with windows and a equipped with a dining table) intent on catching what was sure to be a spectacular coastal sunset.
In the wake (pun intended) of our on-water adventure, with the entire family soaked from the high-speed thrills on the waves of Mission Bay, we headed straight over to warm up in the jacuzzi where my husband and I comfortably camped out while keeping a watchful eye on the kids as they expended a bit more of their seemingly boundless energy in the heated swimming pool.
Paradise Point Resort and Spa is located at 1404 Vacation Road in San Diego.
For information or reservations, call (800) 344-2626 or visit www.paradisepoint.com