A healthy getaway: The Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell offers guests an active and delicious retreat from everyday life

Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living Magazine, September 2022

Story and photos by Gail G. Collins

Page is a humble place, which belies its centrality to desirable destinations. Despite its openhearted residents and vast, surreal beauty of Lake Powell, Page can be overlooked, even by Arizonans, who don’t boat. That’s a mistake.

An adventure in its own right for hiking and kayaking, touring an otherworldly slot canyon or simply taking in a fiery Arizona sunset, Page also famously claims the title, “Heart of the Grand Circle of National Parks.”

The Grand Circle includes Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Petrified Forest, and Grand Canyon National Parks, covering the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Two weeks minimum is recommended to appreciate them at one go. Camp in them, or better, seek upscale accommodation at Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell as base camp. Seven of these parks are within two-plus hours’ drive.

Hyatt Place opened in 2018, thoughtfully evolving its distinctive brand there. Unlike other business-centric properties, this hybrid Hyatt caters to sightseers from California first, then locally and globally. In fact, an enormous, unexpected uptick of foreign guests booked a stay this summer. Typical of travelers, a Belgian guest ticked off his favorite sights over three days:  Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon Dam—intriguing his electrical background and touring Lake Powell by boat. Like most, next, he is off to Grand Canyon. His family enjoyed the warmth and accessibility Hyatt Place promotes.

The airy hotel is classy and modern in clean lines, stacked stone, black iron, dark neutral tones, chic patterns, thoughtful ornamentation with art highlighting the area’s attractions. Despite the two-story grand space, it is welcoming, drawing guests past a wall of windows to a grander view of the horizon. Intimate spaces allow privacy, while endless clutches of couches, dining tables and outdoor seating invite one to linger longer. And they do. Above the patio and lounge areas, flanked with cozy fire pits, a heated pool awaits a dip.

Hyatt Place contains 102 rooms over three floors, some with suite arrangements to seamlessly transition from work to play to rest. A meeting room presents a party space or place to host National Parks’ annual meeting. The Fitness Center will get your steps up. Better yet, get outdoors.

There are nearby family hikes to Hanging Gardens or Potato Hill. General Manager Nadia Santacruz says, “No need to drive, grab some water and go.”

Further activities include river float trips, wave runners for rent at the marina and Tower Butte Trail ride, just for starters.

Santacruz says Hyatt Place partners with tour operators to showcase each season with easy, preplanned bundles. These are best booked in advance in coordination with accommodation. Recently, American Aviation organized aerial ventures matching the price of a typical 12-minute flight elsewhere with their one-hour tour.

Other ongoing operators include Big Orange Jeep Tours, which rents blow-up paddle boards. They challenge balance, but a dunk in Lake Powell is cool and refreshing. Ken’s Antelope Canyon Tours hires Native American guides, who share their history, personal stories and connection to the slot canyon. In summer, the light is ablaze against rust to red, rounding walls with swirling lines, evoking an ethereal experience. Pose under a shaft of light for an iconic photo.

Hyatt Place recognizes the potential of convenience meets comfort for guests for a value sweet spot. In April, Santacruz encouraged design of an Arizona-inspired menu because, bottom line, she says, “Everyone, who visits, expects a good taco with a margarita.” Her food and beverage background and earnest experience were gained at Amangiri, a nearby resort serving name-dropping clients. The aims are good quality, consideration of dietary restrictions and trending tastes.

Under the mother earth menu section, the quinoa salad is an example of gluten-free, punched up protein with salt-cured cactus strips, chopped kale, broccoli, matchstick carrots, shaved Brussel sprouts, dried cranberries and house prickly pear vinaigrette. The Cobb raises the bar with spinach, chicken, boiled egg, chick peas, black beans, queso fresco and honey-lime dressing.

The adobo tacos are fully loaded with shredded, sauced pork, roasted corn and black bean salsa, plus queso fresco and guacamole, building a messy meal of savory, Sonoran flavors. The Baja shrimp tacos are a top-seller with the authentic flavors of roasted tomatillo and jalapeño peppers, served with a citrus slaw.

The southwest Alfredo bowls up ricotta-parmesan parcels, roasted corn and black beans in classic sauce for an indulgent mucho Mexican mac ‘n cheese.

After hiking the Toadstools, you’ve earned some kalua and caramel cake—a rich, flourless chocolate wedge enveloped in a thin crust—and enough for two. Or go south of the border with prickly pear tres leches cake.

The big green dip is hefty, creamy and pairs with a prickly pear margarita from the coffee to cocktail bar. The drink is rosy fruit, sweeter than tart, and rimmed with black lava salt. Relish one during Friday’s Sunset Sessions. The live music and Happy Hour specials have gained momentum, gathering hotel guests and neighbors weekly.

A bonus amenity, each day begins with a complimentary breakfast of tempting choices, ranging from eggs and toasty potatoes to fresh fruit, yogurts, steel cut oatmeal, juices, plus tea and coffee. Lunch mirrors much of the dinner menu.

Every Hyatt offers grab-and-go standards, but the Page hotel continues its hybrid strength through its exclusive, Arizona-sourced menu, fulfilling guests’ hopes for choices that match the locale. This potential unleashed the big project to brand the signature restaurant. Santacruz announces, “On September 1st, the branding is official. Prickly Pear Kitchen gives locals and travelers a true sense of local connection to place and taste in Canyon Country.”

Seasonal shifts for fall include soup choices, and in winter, steak will expand the menu.

The property’s priority is sustainability, upheld by fresh, original ideas through solid staff, who are encouraged to “grow with them” through annual raises and full benefits packages.

“We are highly focused on guests and team members offering unique, extra services,” sums Santacruz. For a healthy getaway, try Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell. NAMLM