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Hotel Review: Cape Rey Carlsbad

There are only a few hotels in Carlsbad that are beach front and the The Cape Rey Carlsbad is the newest and most luxurious. This is the sort of resort that is perfect for families who want upscale lodging during a Legoland or beach vacation as well couples looking for a weekend to relax. Carlsbad is just far enough from Orange County and San Diego to also be a great staycation destination. I recently visited Carlsbad and had the opportunity to check out two of the top hotels in town; the Cape Rey Carlsbad as well as the Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach.

The Cape Rey Carlsbad is a contemporary Craftsman-inspired resort hotel. The hotel is located directly across the street from Carlsbad State Beach a few miles from the heart of Carlsbad as well as the sleepy beach town of Leucadia. From valet parking, hotel concierge, spa, and glamorous pool area this is more of a destination than a place just to rest your head.

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Cape Rey Carlsbad Hilton view of pool and ocean

The contemporary Craftsman-inspired resort hotel has a large lobby with plenty of sitting room and interesting art. The concierge and front desk offer maps of the area as well as a lots of recommendations for nearby excursions and restaurants.

Carlsbad Cape Rey Lobby

I stayed in a ocean view balcony room with a king bed.  This room was about 400 square feet and included a private balcony, mini-refrigerator, microwave, in-room coffee, 42-inch flat-screen TV, in-room safe, high-speed Internet access, iron & ironing board, and robes & slippers.

ocean front room at cape rey carlsbad in california

The bathroom products offered are Peter Thomas Roth. I’m not sure what it is about the free bath products that I love, but it was exciting to see the super size offering of items. Especially fun were the deluxe grooming kit– yes the q-tips put a smile on my face. I also thought the aloe after sun gel and mouthwash were thoughtful additions.

bath products at cape rey carlsbad

The first thing I check in any hotel room is the view. My room had a full view of Carlsbad State Beach. It was a beautiful day and a perfect chance to enjoy the balcony and the Southern California sun!

Surfers at Ponto Beach in Carlsbad, California


The Cape Rey offers a 5-mile radius shuttle service a, but you just might find yourself spending more time at the property than you anticipate. The their five-mile radius includes Legoland, the Museum of Music, Carlsbad Premium Outlets, Carlsbad Lagoon, Carlsbad Village, nearby beaches and Leucadia. Simply call the front desk when you are ready to depart or ready for a return shuttle. The shuttle service is offered 24 hours, 7 days a week.

The hotel also is home to Chandlers, a full service ocean front restaurant and bar famous for their beautiful sunsets. They offer a daily happy hour from 3-6pm and are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Chandlers restaurant at the Cape Rey Hilton in Carlsbad, California
Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront

During my visit I enjoyed a sunset dinner on the patio. I tried the seafood ceviche cocktail with fresh sea bass, shrimp, scallops, jalapeño, local citrus and chamomile.  As an entree, I enjoyed their famous lobster and shrimp tacos served with chipotle slaw, salsa, cotija cheese, sour cream, guacamole and lemon. The menu is updated frequently and you can find everything from crab-crusted swordfish to Rib eye and mushroom ravioli.

LOBSTER & SHRIMP TACOS at chandlers in carlsbad, california

The outdoor area includes a salt-water pool with a zero-depth entry, Jacuzzi and plenty of cabanas and lounge chairs. Each lounge chair awaits you with a nicely folded pool towel. There are several nice touches like this at the Cape Rey. Another is the cold fruit infused water available pool side.


Pool at the Cape Rey Carlsbad in California

If you can tear yourself away from the pool, the hotel offers bicycle rentals. You can take a short ride to the beach or venture a bit further to Carlsbad village or the nearby beach town of Leudcadia, which is filled with shops and restaurants.

Bike rental at the Cape Rey Carlsbad Hotel

The Cape Rey also offers experiential packages which range from visiting local breweries and further afield wine tasting and hot air ballooning in Temecula. They also offer picnic lunch options ranging from take the picnic to beach to a full beach set up and picnic awaiting you on arrival. I’d say, if you want to experience something, ask the concierge and they can arrange it.

Recently launched is the Cape Rey’s Sunny Socal Staycation package which includes overnight deluxe accommodation, breakfast for two daily and a $50 resort credit for use at Chandler’s Restaurant or Ocean Crest Spa. 

Parting thoughts: The Cape Rey Carlsbad has created a hotel experience that is great for families as well as couples looking for a getaway. They have found a way to cater to both quite nicely. If I were looking for a staycation, this would be a perfect choice! For anyone visiting from out of town, this is where you want to stay if you want an upscale beachfront location with all the perks of a big resort.

Sunset at the cape rey carlsbad in california.


Book your stay! Cape Rey Carlsbad Hilton Resort Reviews & Availabilityicon.

Heading to Carlsbad? Here are the Top 10 Things to do in Carlsbad and my recent review of the Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach.


A huge thank you to the Cape Rey Carlsbad for their generous hospitality.  I was their guest at the hotel, but as always, all opinions are my own.

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  1. Cape Rey looks aawesome though. Last time we were in Carlsbad, we were at La Costa, but this sounds like more of our speed.

  2. We visited Carlsbad a couple times when we lived out there. Never had a chance to stay overnight though!

  3. What a beautiful hotel and it’s so close to the beach. That’s great they have bike rentals and have fun tours to breweries and wineries. I’d be up for all of that. I have been to that area of Cali yet, but every time I see a flight deal I think about it, especially when its cold and rainy in WA.

  4. Oh how I LOVE this resort!! I’ve stayed at the St. James and I think the Four Seasons in Carlsbad so definitely familiar with the area. The pictures look fabulous! Luxury at its finest. Big thumbs up for them using Peter Thomas Roth products. 😉

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