Destination: Huntington Beach, California

By: Vanessa Zalik

Overlooking the longest stretch of beach in Southern California, the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort of Huntington Beach provides the setting for a vacation fit for all ages and types. With a friendly staff who greets you by name, chic rooms with ocean views, and a prime location, you’ll have a great time whether it’s a quick getaway or extended vacation.

TRAVEL
The resort is located in California’s “Surf City”, Huntington Beach, between Los Angeles and San Diego. Resting along the Pacific Coast Highway, it’s easily accessible from the Los Angeles area. Orange County’s John Wayne Airport is located 20 minutes away and the Long Beach Airport just 25 minutes.

THE ACCOMODATIONS
The hotel, which has recently undergone a $10 million renovation, has earned the AAA Four-Diamond rating for 19 consecutive years. All 290 recently remodeled guest rooms are ocean view, with brand new amenities, a private deck, and an extremely lush Hilton Serenity bedding package. In addition to the ocean view guestrooms are 24 oceanfront suites and a 1,200-square-foot Presidential Suite, complete with wrap-around balconies. The hotel has 21,500 square feet of meeting and office space with a 6,000 square foot Waterfront Ballroom and a 5,000-square-foot Pacific Courtyard Pavilion. With its perfect beach location, it’s not surprising that the hotel hosts many weddings. Engaged couples can plan their special day through the resort’s wedding blog: waterfrontweddings.blogspot.com. The most striking part, however, is the lagoon-type pool and whirlpool as it faces the ocean. Just don’t forget the sunscreen like I did!

SHADES RESTURANT
Shades Restaurant & Bar, the hotel’s ocean view restaurant, was one of the big highlights of my weekend. Not only is the view absolutely gorgeous and relaxing but the food is by far some of the best I’ve ever had. Shades offers bistro fare and transforms into a trendy bar at night. Live music complements your evening at Shades PM every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. For families with children, the hotel offers a new Kids Eat Free program for children under 12. Shades Restaurant also provides the setting for “Wine Tasting Thursdays” every Thursday from 5pm to 8pm and BBQ Saturdays.

The restaurant’s executive chef Jeff Littlefield follows the philosophy of using high quality ingredients with simple flavors. Needless to say, a love affair with his food quickly developed. Our group’s menu for the evening featured items you might expect at BBQ Saturday: Prosciutto bruschetta, ahi tuna, chicken, and rosemary marinated Porterhouse steak, accompanied with roasted vegetables. The second night we indulged in their famous crab cakes, but nothing could compare to my Romesco pasta, with red pepper sauce blended with creamy goat cheese and grilled vegetables.

HUNTINGTON BEACH
Huntington Beach is perfect for someone who enjoys a lot of beach-oriented activities. The International Surf Museum on Main Street follows the sport’s history and it’s legends. Main Street, only a short walk away from the hotel, is great for shopping and eating. Huntington Beach also hosts one of the few dog-friendly beaches in California. The Hilton Waterfront partnered with the Preservation Society of Huntington Dog Beach to maintain the beach, which is too cute to pass up! For pet lovers, the hotel actually offers a package called It’s A Wonderful Dog’s Life. Beginning at $387 per night, your pet will indulge in his own special getaway, including a Hilton pet bed and a 20-minute pet walk. Looks like you’re not the only VIP here. Other packages include The Endless Summer package, The Surf on Us Package, Dinner and a Movie, Bubbles and Brunch, Refuel, and Shop Till You Drop. The prices for these packages range from $337 to $387, including guest accommodations. The Date Night Package, the most expensive at $599, treats couples to the oceanfront suite, a dinner created by Jeff Littlefield, and complimentary parking. For families, the S’Mores Package includes everything to make the sweet and sticky treat on the beach in comfort. Nearby attractions include Disneyland Resort, Knotts Berry Farm/Soak City USA, Orange County Performing Arts Center, and Anaheim Stadium.

The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort is located at 21100 Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach, California. For more information, please visit waterfrontbeachresort.hilton.com.

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