As U.S. travelers look to stay close to home this fall, some of our favorite domestic hotels are luring them in with updated accommodations and socially distant diversions. One great stay: The Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club and Spa in Carlsbad, California. The 327-room resort – located about midway between San Diego and Orange County – is set to reopen on October 1 after a resortwide $50 million renovation.

“Arriving feels like you’re pulling into a Mediterranean estate in your own backyard,” Virtuoso travel advisor Leah Kirgis says. “I love to walk the immaculate grounds and take in views of the Pacific Ocean and the Batiquitos Lagoon – with a cocktail in hand.”

Accommodations have been reconfigured as residential spaces – the new guest rooms and suites come complete with king-sized beds and hardwood-floor entranceways. Ranging in size from 540 to 2,140 square feet, rooms are decked out in the subtle color palette of the great blue heron – lots of soft blues, grays, and whites. (Fitting, as the nearby Batiquitos Lagoon, a protected ecological preserve, teems with local herons and other wildlife. Guests can walk along it via a hiking trail from the resort.) Bathrooms feature oversized marble tubs and the furnished balconies overlook the Pacific. Pro tip: Families should book the Blue Heron Suite for its kitchenette, living room, two balconies, and separate dining room that seats eight. (Guests who book through a Virtuoso travel advisor receive a complimentary third night through March 31, 2021, plus breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.)

A rendering of the Park Hyatt Aviara’s new family pool area.

A new family pool area includes a water playground complete with a splashpad, an enlarged Jacuzzi, and a two-story waterslide. And over at the adults-only pool (with two of its own new Jacuzzis), new luxury cabanas beckon with lounge chairs, a day bed, and a stocked mini fridge; all front the Batiquitos Lagoon and Pacific Ocean.

The resort’s new Ponto Lago restaurant showcases a regionally sourced, seafood-driven menu, best enjoyed on the hotel’s lobby-level terrace. (Another new hush-hush restaurant in partnership with a celebrity chef is opening in early 2021. We’ll keep you posted.) The resort’s “Surfing with the Chef” experience returns alongside the new renovations: Guests prep breakfast with chef Pierre Albaladejo, take a surfing lesson with a local guide, and then meet back up with Pierre for dinner on the beach. The experience’s souvenir: a personalized longboard (don’t worry, the hotel will ship it home for you).

This article is sponsored by the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club and Spa. Images and renderings courtesy of Park Hyatt Aviara.

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