Imagine a private tropical oasis with lush vegetation, tranquil bungalows, romantic waterfront dining, five uniquely different pools, and a full-service Indonesian-inspired spa. Now envision this oasis with water sports, a private marina, an NBA-regulation sized basketball court, five tennis courts, and an 18-hole putting green, all at your disposal. This island retreat is not in your imagination, nor is it in some far away land – it is practically in your backyard: Paradise Point Resort & Spa, a mere two hours south of Los Angeles in San Diego’s Mission Bay area.
The luscious land where Paradise Point Resort now sits originally caught the eye of Hollywood producer Jack Skirball, who envisioned a grand, fantasyland-like get-away. Based on Skirball’s vision, the beautiful tropical resort first opened in 1962 with 150 rooms, incorporating film artifacts throughout the property, like the porpoise fountain from the 1920 film “Cleopatra”. Now, after extensive renovations, Paradise Point truly is a fantasy island with its interconnecting lagoons, footbridges, tiki torches and lookout tower where you can see the entire resort in one breathtaking 360 degree view.
The Island of Fun and Relaxation
Paradise Point is a 44-acre private island retreat located in Mission Bay, home of the country’s largest man-made aquatic park, Mission Bay Park. With soft sandy beaches circling the resort, there are plenty of opportunities to catch romantic sunsets, stroll along the water’s edge or hold a summer bonfire under a beautiful San Diego evening sky. Bikes are available for rent, which help guests get from edge-to-edge of the resort and activity-to-activity. There is plenty to do for everyone.“The goal”, says Paradise Point Manager Pat Rizco, “is for guests to never have to leave the island if they don’t want to.”
In and Out of Water
Renown for its full-service private marina, Paradise Point is a great place to get in, on, and around the water. Kayaking, jet skiing, fishing, motor boating and sailing are popular “on the water” activities, whether you are a pro or just want to learn new skills.
Five tennis courts and an 18-hole putting green allow you to simply have fun, or improve you swing with the help of a professional instructor. A sand volleyball court and basketball court foster friendly competition, while fun activities such as ping pong, lawn croquet, Bocce ball and horseshoes help families bond. There are endless opportunities to play at Paradise Point and just outside of it, within walking distance, lies the famous SeaWorld.
A Room With a View
462 all-bungalow rooms are sprinkled throughout the property under towering palm trees and between winding lagoons. The beautifully remodeled rooms, which include 99 suites, are all Balinese-themed and decorated with warm colors, modern furnishings, custom Javenese Batik-style bed throws, blended with contemporary artwork. The latest in technology such as flat-screen plasma TVs and wireless internet add a classy finishing touch.
The single-story bungalows are wonderfully private and situated with either welcoming garden, breathtaking bay or relaxing lagoon views. Private patios are just a French door away, and sometimes nature visits your patio in the form of a friendly and curious duck or two.
Food for Thought
Paradise Point is home to the restaurant AOL City Guide crowned Best Outdoor Dining and hailed by The New York Times as “one of the best dining secrets in San Diego”: The BALEENsandiego. The BALEENsandiego’s menu is a skillful blend of land and sea cuisine with a decidedly local flair. Chef Megan Barnes-Reichman uses many San Diego products and produce in her creations, a skill she picked up on her adventures as an executive chef aboard privately-chartered yachts. With only local ingredients to work with on her travels, Barnes-Reichman learned to be creative while ocean-bound to Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, Bahamas, Spain, France and Italy. This creativity is what she brings to the San Diego table.
BALEENsandiego overlooks beautiful Mission Bay and has both indoor and outdoor seating. Originally producer Skirball’s bedroom suite, the restaurant now features a beautiful open kitchen, warm woods and welcoming romantic fireplace. Says Rizco of BALEENsandiego’s menu, “It’s fine dining with a flair of comfort.” Comfort…and a beautiful view.
The Barefoot Bar & Grill is a “can’t miss” treat. As the name implies, it’s casual dining for breakfast, lunch or dinner (though shoes are required), with both indoor and outdoor seating and stunning views of Mission Bay. A lagoon filled with fish swirls next to the outdoor patio and the adjacent private dock lets hungry boaters step virtually right into the restaurant for a quick bite. The lagoon was originally populated with the help of local boaters, who would bring in a unique live fish in exchange for a beer.
Of course, no resort would be complete without poolside dining, and Paradise Point offers their Tropics Bar & Grill at the main pool and spa area. Open seasonally, Tropics serves refreshing drinks, snacks and grilled entrees.
Old Meets New
SpaTerre is a gorgeous spa area with an exotic touch. Aside from the traditional Swedish massages and facials, SpaTerre features Japanese-style wood soaking tubs, coupled with ancient Balinese and Thai massage techniques.
Warm woods, candles and décor inspired by plants from the jungles welcome visitors, and the scents of exotic natural fragrances immediately relax the mind. Once you enter the spa area, the outside world falls away and the quiet, the scents and the dim lighting transport you to a calmer state.
A full-service salon perfect for weddings and wedding parties adjoins the spa, and visitors feel free to walk around the spa area in their robes. Comfort and well-being is king at SpaTerre.
The New Paradise
Paradise Point is an island of experiences. From couples wanting a romantic get-away, to families in need of some rest and recreation (summer kids’ clubs are also available), to unique and stunning meeting facilities for businesses, it is all available on “the island”.
Feel a million miles away from the world – while being close to all of what San Diego offers.
“I can’t imagine anyone traveling a shorter distance to feel so far away”, says Rizco.
For more information, visit Paradise Point.