Timmy’s 5th birthday at Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel

Hotels, Kimpton, Travel Tales 0

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My son, Timothy, recently had his 5th birthday, so we surprised him with a stay at the Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach.  I combined the new hotel free night for Inner Circle members with a double-stay credit promotion reservation to stay two nights at the Shorebreak.  What we didn’t expect was the surprise that was waiting for us!

Booking the Kimpton Shorebreak reservations

Inner Circle Free Night

I’ve been a Kimpton Inner Circle member since 2014 and have fell in love with the benefits.  Besides awesome upgrades and tasty welcome amenities, the best feature of loyalty is that top-tier (Inner Circle) members get to stay one night for free whenever new properties are added to the portfolio!

We stayed at the Shorebreak when it first opened in May 2015 and had a great room overlooking the Huntington Beach Pier and the beach.  The window to book Inner Circle free nights at the Shorebreak came later in 2015 and reservations were good through the end of February 2016.  Unfortunately, you cannot book these free nights online, so you have to call to customer service number at 866-424-7667 to book your free night.  No nights were available during the weekend, so I booked a Thursday night stay.

Double Stay Credit Promotion

In October 2015, Kimpton held a double-stay credit promotion where you would receive a discount on the room rate and double-stay credits for every stay through February 2016.  I ended up booking 5 reservations at 5 different Kimpton properties because Kimpton awards 2 free nights when you stay at 10 unique properties in one calendar year.  The stays from this promotion count double towards renewing elite status and towards earning free nights, so I definitely wanted to book some rooms!

I was able to book this reservation online very easily through the Kimpton website using the promo code from the double-stay credit promotion.  I booked a Friday night stay, which paired with the Thursday night stay I received free.

With both the free Inner Circle night and the night I paid for, I made mention that we were happy to return to Shorebreak and that we were there to celebrate Timmy’s 5th birthday.  If you mention a special occasion that you’re celebrating (birthday, anniversary, babymoon, etc.), most hotels will do something a little special for you, especially if you have loyalty status with them.  We’ve received upgraded rooms, bottles of wine or champagne, fresh fruit, and plenty of other goodies over the years as we’ve made a point to celebrate special moments at hotels (often in distant locations while traveling, but also during “staycations”.)

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel location

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel entranceThe Shorebreak hotel is one block away from Main Street in Huntington Beach.  If you’ve ever been to HB before, you know that this area is packed with both tourists and locals, especially during the summer.  From the hotel, you can easily walk to Main Street, the Huntington Beach Pier, or the beach and sand within 5 minutes.

There are several trendy restaurants across the street from the Shorebreak, including a Bruxie gourmet waffle place and an ice cream shop.  If you walk to Main Street, there are plenty of surf shops, sit-down eateries, and several bars for night life or happy hour.

Unfortunately, this densely packed area is pretty horrible for parking.  There is self-parking at a private lot nearby at $18 a day.  However, the days counted are actual days, not 24-hour periods.  So, if you park at 11pm and leave at 8am the next morning, you’ll be charged $36!!!

For this reason, I recommend using the valet parking in front of the Shorebreak Hotel.  Not only will you receive “in-and-out” privileges that the self-park doesn’t offer, you’ll save money with the $27 nightly rate.  As an added bonus, charge the parking to your room, and you’ll receive bonus points on the parking if you use a credit card that offers a category bonus for hotel spend.

Kimpton doesn’t currently offer their own branded credit card, but they were recently acquired by IHG (think Holiday Inn), which does have its own credit card.  At some point, I would imagine you will be able to start earning point bonuses on stays at Kimpton.

Kimpton Wine Hour

A Kimpton perk for all guests is the Wine Hour that is held every evening at 5pm.  You will be offered a choice of a red or white wine, and you can help yourself to more than one glass.  We arrived too late to enjoy the Wine Hour, but the front desk staff offered two vouchers for us to redeem at the Zimzala Restaurant bar.

Our room at Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel

Whenever I book rooms that I’m paying for, I usually for the cheapest room.  I do this because I’m frugal with my money.  But, because of my loyalty to Kimpton and Inner Circle status, I am almost always upgraded to one of the nicest rooms at the hotel.

When we checked in, we were greeted by name and made to feel special by Lindsay and the team at Shorebreak.  We had no idea of the special surprise waiting for us!

Kimpton Shorebreak Point Suite door sign

Our room was upgraded to the Point Suite on the top floor (4th floor) of the hotel, which is one the best rooms on the property!  The Kimpton website describes the Point Suite as:

  • Loft style wall to separate beds adding privacy to each sleeping area
  • Two 37 inch HDTV with access to premium cable
  • From your huge private terrace, enjoy views of the ocean along Pacific Coast Highway and Huntington Beach Pier
  • Private Juliet style balcony in bedroom facing south along PCH
  • End your day in your spacious soaking tub with ultra-chic bath amenities

I performed a quick search, and to stay in this room, you’re looking at rates between $599 and $829 a night.  Compare that with the $129 rate that I booked during the double-stay credit promotion back in October 2015.

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel Point Suite room rates

What made this room extra special to us was the special decorations and goodies that were waiting for us!  Timmy was over-the-moon excited when he saw the Happy Birthday banner and all the treats!!!

Kimpton Shorebreak Timmy birthday surprise

There were treats for Mommy and Daddy, as well as the kids.  We don’t let Timmy have soda, but the thought was nice.  There were plenty of snacks for him to eat though!

Kimpton Shorebreak welcome amenity

The room was configured as a Junior Suite, with a sitting area straight ahead as you walk ing.

Kimpton Shorebreak Point Suite sitting area

…with the bedroom separated by a partial wall from the sitting area.  There was even a mini-balcony just off the bedroom.  The sun rose on this side of the hotel, so be sure to keep the blackout curtains shut if you want to sleep in!  The bathroom was huge with both a tub and a shower.

Kimpton Shorebreak Point Suite bedroom

What made this room so awesome though was the HUGE balcony that was waiting for us.  The balcony was easily just as big as our entire hotel room.  And the balcony had great views of the Huntington Beach Pier, Pacific Coast Highway, and the beach and ocean.

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel sunrise view of Huntington Beach Pier

And Timmy and Scarlett really enjoyed playing on the balcony.

Kimpton Shorebreak Point Suite view of Huntington Beach Pier

$50 towards our meal at Zimzala

As an Inner Circle member, when you are staying during your free night, Kimpton also provides a $50 credit towards your meal at the on-site restaurant so that you can sample the menu.

I booked a reservation using OpenTable to earn some reward points and made sure to mention that we were celebrating Timmy’s birthday.  After we arrived at the Shorebreak and checked into our room, we headed down to dinner.

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel Zimzala dining room

As we walked out to our table on the open-air patio, a table sign showed that they were waiting for us to arrive!  As we were looking over the menu, our waitress brought out our Chef’s Taste, which a delicious Hawaiian Ahi Poke platter that Anna and Scarlett enjoyed immensely.

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel Zimzala ahi poke Chef's Taste

Anna ordered a smoked duck pizza, while Timmy had the pasta, and I enjoyed a Wagyu beef hamburger.  Baby Scarlett sampled a little bit from all of our plates.

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel Zimzala dinner plates

We were definitely pampered to a tasty meal.  And the $50 credit and free Chef’s Taste appetizer resulted in a bill that was cheaper than if we drove down the street for fast food.

The Zimzala is also open for breakfast, but we weren’t able to dine there for breakfast since we both worked on Friday and had to leave for Timmy’s baseball game Saturday morning.

The Shorebreak Hotel property

The hotel itself is actually much larger than what you see at street level.  Because the hotel is on the 2nd floor and above, it doesn’t seem that big.  It’s what’s considered a mixed-use property, where the first floor consists of several businesses, while the hotel sits above.  The hotel actually runs the length of the entire block.

Kimpton Shorebreak exterior view

The entrance to Shorebreak Hotel is in the middle

First Level Entrance

On the first floor entrance, you’re greeted with two elevators, a staircase, and the normal bikes that Kimpton encourages you to borrow.  We didn’t have time, but I totally recommend borrowing a bike and pedaling up and down PCH or the beach bike paths.  If you felt motivated, you could bike down to Newport Beach, which offers a completely different flavor (usually snooty and rich, but good for people watching and seeing some exotic sports cars) than Huntington Beach’s laid-back style.

Kimpton Shorebreak complimentary bikes and surfboards

What’s different here is that you can also borrow surfboards.  Renting a surfboard from a local shop will easily run $40 a day, so this is a nice savings if you’re planning on catching a few waves while staying at the Shorebreak.

Second Floor Lobby

When you get to the second floor, you’ll find the lobby, a waiting area, and the entrance to the Zimzala Restaurant.  I really like the unique touches of each Kimpton property.  The board with daily surf conditions and other good info was right next to the front desk.

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel lobby sign

The Shorebreak doesn’t have a pool or spa, but that’s what the ocean is for.

Instead, there is a big open air courtyard for guests to enjoy.  There are 30” tall chess pieces to play chess with, a cornhole game, and several gas fire pits where you can get cozy when the nights get a little chilly.

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel courtyard

At the front desk, you can ask for a complimentary S’mores kit where you can roast marshmellows at the firepits and enjoy the gooey goodness.  Whether you’re by yourself, with that special someone, or enjoying time with family, enjoying some S’mores is certainly a good way to end the night.

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel S'mores

Conclusion

We couldn’t have asked for a better two-night getaway to celebrate Timmy’s birthday.  Both Anna and I still worked on Friday while the kids were at school, but the evenings were filled with mouth-watering food, great service by the restaurant and hotel staff, and the room was more than we could have asked for.  Timmy gives this weekend a big thumbs up!

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel thumbs up from Timmy

If you’re visiting Southern California and want a taste of the beach life, I totally recommend booking a room at the Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel.

Timmy wanted to be sure to say “thank you” to Lindsay and the team at Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel for making his birthday celebration so special!

The opinions expressed here are the author's alone and have not been reviewed or endorsed by any company or third-party, unless clearly stated otherwise. The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the advertiser. It is not the advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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About the author / 

Lee Huffman

Lee grew up loving to travel with his parents. Now he explores the world with his wife, Anna and his two children Timothy and Scarlett. He enjoys being spoiled as a Kimpton Inner Circle Member and taking full advantage of Southwest's Companion Pass. Lee wants to teach his readers how to 'Travel More. Spend Less. Live Better.' using miles, points, tips and tricks.

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