After a months-long series of unfortunate events, I floated the idea of a spontaneous family getaway to Mr PugRunner. Yes, we were going on our big summer vacation in a few weeks, but we also needed a break. Travel is our favorite way to relax, after all.
We tossed around different ideas, until a Facebook ad for bioluminescent kayaking caught my attention. This is an activity I had been wanting to do so I suggested booking a quick hotel night in Cocoa, close to the kayak launch and calling it a day.
Mr. PugRunner was lukewarm on the idea, and did me one better: two nights at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach (45 minutes from the kayaks), since the rates for the nights we selected were still in low season mode.
Family getaway: booked.
Mr PugRunner and I look at hotels very differently. I enjoy nicer places, but am perfectly happy for a clean, safe place to shower and sleep. He prefers a bit more luxury. I was fine booking a quick stay in the Cocoa Beach area, but he wanted to go more upscale. I confess I’m glad I let him take the lead.
From the minute we arrived and handed the car to the valet, we were impressed. The lobby was gorgeous and set up for comfortable lounging.
We scored an awesome room with an ocean view. There was one (very comfortable) king-sized bed and a pull-out couch for little man (who loves pull out couches with the fires of a thousand suns).
The bathroom sparkled and the water pressure was on point.
One of our favorite features? We had a turntable and vinyl delivered to the room for the duration of our stay. Guests could also get an electric guitar but we opted out.
I confess, we got a bit lazy in our culinary adventures. We didn’t want to drive or travel much, and quite frankly, the Hard Rock Hotel’s onsite restaurant, Sessions, was pretty fantastic.
We enjoyed a breakfast, a dinner and two lunches (one at the restaurant and one poolside) at this restaurant. Every meal was fresh and delicious. In fact, the roasted beet salad was so yummy I ate it once for lunch with grilled salmon and then split another one with Mr PugRunner at dinner time as an appetizer.
I’m craving this now.
Are you hungry yet?
HRH Daytona Beach boasts a full complement of top-notch amenities. There is a coffee shop, a restaurant and bar, concierge, gift and sundry shop, fitness center, kids club, concert stages and several pools.
We spent a sick amount of time at the main pool.
The Kids Club looked nice with game systems, tvs, crafts and activities, but since we were visiting off season, there was really no one there. Little man didn’t want to hang out alone so we skipped it this time around.
The gym was gorgeous: huge, clean and with tons of equipment. It was a pleasure to work out.
Off Site Activities.
We really had no reason to leave the property, but we mixed things up a little for fun. The main drag in Daytona is lined with plenty of shops and restaurants, as well as attractions like a small boardwalk area, water park, splash park and the bandshell. It’s very walkable but there is also plenty of parking if you want to take your car.
Daytona Beach was gorgeous and not very crowded. We loved taking a long morning stroll.
We had a choice of several miniature golf courses, and I showed the boys how putt putt is done.
Of course, the bioluminescent kayaking was the point of our family getaway, and we booked our tour with BK Adventure. The kayak launch was an easy 45 minute drive from the Hard Rock Hotel, and BK Adventure provided great directions and preparation tips.
This excursion requires a bit of nerve (kayaking in the dark by the light of the moon can be a bit alarming), but trust that the guides are well trained and absolutely safety-minded.
It was tough taking photos with a cell phone, but the phosphorescent dinoflagellates were breathtaking and absolutely worth doing.
Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach provided us with a fun and carefree family getaway. We celebrated summer in style, and got a little break. We loved visiting somewhere new but close to home and trying out some new-to-us activities.
Have you ever visited a Hard Rock Hotel property?
What’s your favorite staycation destination?