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Greg Aragon: Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa
Paradise Point Resort & Spa
Story and Photographs by Greg Aragon

o some, paradise is a romantic dinner on a moonlit bay. To others it's a secluded bungalow on the beach, or a soothing massage in a tropical setting. To me it's all of the above and this is why I love a retreat such as Paradise Point Resort & Spa on San Diego's majestic Mission Bay.

Covering 44 acres, the resort is a tropical rain forest-like oasis, boasting an award-winning seafood restaurant, a full-service spa and 430 guestrooms, set in classic Californian-styled bungalows with individual parking spaces and lots of privacy.

Paradise Point Resort & Spa, Mission Bay, San Diego
Paradise Point Resort & Spa is a tropical rain forest-like oasis

The bungalow that my friend and I stayed in sits on a grassy bluff, overlooking romantic Paradise Cove, about 30 yards from the water and close enough to hear passing boat sails flap in the wind while lying in bed.

The room is highlighted by modern décor, with king size bed, sofa bed, office desk with wireless internet, push button fire place, large Jacuzzi tub, and a 20-ft wall of glass, looking over the water and a lanai, with table and chairs. Near the lanai we had our own fire pit in the sand, which comes with the room.

a room at Paradise Point & Resort Spa with a view of Mission Bay
Some of the bungalow rooms at Paradise Point sit on beautiful Mission Bay

When not relaxing on the lanai we explored the resort. Our first discovery’s was the waterfront Barefoot Bar and Grill, where we enjoyed a lunch of crispy calamari and a delicious Barefoot Burger. After lunch, we walked along the resort's mile-long, white sand beach, watching sailboats and kayakers drift past. We then went swimming in the main pool, which also features a sandy beach.

one of the pools at Paradise Point Resort & Spa

My next adventure took me to The Spa at Paradise Point's, which was recently voted a top 100 U.S. resort spa by Condé Nast Traveler. Located beneath a canopy of floppy trees, the sanctuary offers exotic rituals from islands around the world with a local San Diego flare.

For my treatment, I indulged in the Spa's unique new “Island Origins,” an incredible, two-hour revitalization of body and soul. This soothing journey begins with a guided botanical tour of the resort's tropical grounds – grounds that hold hundreds of types of exotic foliage from more than 20 countries around the world. During the walk, my expert massage therapist/guide pointed out many different types of plants and told me of their natural therapeutic properties and how they are used in products like oils and exfoliates.

the  Spa at Paradise Point Resort & Spa
The Spa at Paradise Point offers exotic rituals from islands around the world

After the tour, I laid down in a treatment room and experienced a wonderful 50-minute massage, foot scrub, and scalp treatment, which utilized four of the island’s most powerful plants – ginger, hibiscus, tea tree and eucalyptus – in their end form.

The 7,050-sq-ft spa also features 8 treatment rooms, including a couple’s bungalow, a private garden courtyard and whirlpool, fitness studio, and a 900-sq-ft salon for manicure and pedicure services.

For dinner we strolled along the sand to the resort’s elegant Baleen Restaurant, hidden behind swaying palm trees and tiki torches. Baleen's menu is an artful blend of San Diego seafood and land cuisine infused with regional flavor. Add to this an extensive list of fine wines and you have a great dining experience.

seafood cuisine and wine at Paradise Resort & Spa's Baleen Restaurant
The resort's Baleen Restaurant serves artful blend of seafood and land cuisine

Our meal began on the patio, with a half-dozen fresh oysters, with mignonette, cocktail sauce and lemon; and roasted diver scallops on a wooden plank, with crushed marble potato salad, grapefruit and caviar butter.

For the main course I dove into Baleen Seafood Cioppino. Packed with tender local fish, shrimp, clams and mussells, roasted red pepper broth and harissa aioli, this Cioppino rates with the best I've ever had. My friend went with the Northern Halibut, with soft polenta, savoy spinach, cherry tomato, pickled red onion and basil pistou. While dining, we sipped California wine and watched boats sail by and lights twinkle off the bay.

Back at our bungalow, we opened a bottle of wine, threw some wood in the fire pit on the beach in front of our room and roasted s'mores on beneath the moonlight.

Other resort amenities include a fitness center, five tennis courts, NBA basketball court, five swimming pools, bicycle rentals, 35,000 sq-ft of meeting and event space, a fully-stocked mini-market, and an 18-hole putting golf course. The place even has its own private, full-service marina, with sailing, jet skiing, motor boating, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

paddleboarding at Paradise Point Resort & Spa
Paradise Point offers numerous water activities such as paddleboarding

Paradise Point Resort and Spa is located at 1404 Vacation Rd., San Diego. For more info and reservations, call (858) 274-4630 or visit

bikes at Paradise Point Resort & Spa
It's fun to see the resort in a bicycle

Related Articles:
Bahia Resort Hotel, San Diego; Passport to San Diego; Hotel del Coronado; Transit Through San Diego; 4 Seasons Hotel, Westlake Village; The Grand del Mar; Ojai, California; Claremont

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Let Greg know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Harry Potter at Universal Studios

Going to Universal Studios Hollywood to see the Harry Potter "land" is on my bucket list!!

-- Nancy, Hawaii

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Feedback for A Spring Escape to Maui And Hotel Wailea

I leave here April 21 for Maui and can hardly wait. It'll be my 15th trip, more or less and I love it, and your pictures.

-- Ellie – Port Ludlow, WA

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Hi Greg,

It's not a forest of banyan trees in Lahaina by the harbor. It's one huge tree, about 140 years old. It's an important landmark of Lahaina, and one of our favorite views.We always stay at the Pioneer Inn, overlooking the harbor and the banyan tree. Every evening thousands of mynah birds fly into the tree, chattering and fluttering until they settle down for the night. Otherwise, great article.

-- Virginia – Northridge, CA

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Feedback for Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa

Very nice story, Greg.

-- Maris Somerville – Los Angeles, CA

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