Drinking sundowners on the terrace of our suite are just one of the special memories I hold from the Laguna Beach Hotel, part of the Montage Hotels and Resorts group.
This 248-room, 60-suites residence is on the coast overlooking the Pacific and is spread over thirty acres. Well known for its vibrant arts community, Laguna is midway between Los Angeles and San Diego.
During the winter, a walk along the 7 mile stretch of sandy beach reveals not only migrating grey whales, dolphins and playful seals but a vista reaching as far as the Island of San Clemente Island, the southernmost of California’s Channel Islands.
Mr and me stayed in a one-bedroom suite with views directly over the main pool and sea. We had a separate lounge area, a large walk-in wardrobe and a large marble bathroom with Jack and Jill sinks, both a deep bath and power shower. Slippers, bathrobes, marvellous toiletries, including a great brush loofah and Bose wireless speaker were among the items that made the stay extra special.
The Nespresso machine was temperamental but once mastered, produced excellent coffee, although if I were picky, milk in the mini-bar would be a welcome addition. The complimentary half bottle of Piper Heidsieck was a lovely gesture.
The bed, although high, has a mattress that sends you to the Land of Nod almost immediately your head hits the 450 thread count cotton pillowcase.
There’s a well-equipped Life Fitness gym, an on-site Spa and a chance to have your hair coiffed by celebrity stylist Kim Vo.
I didn’t eat Breakfast, but I did sample the food at the Hotel, and overall it was pretty good. The Poolside menu consisted of Nachos, BLT’s, and inspired cocktails. The service here is excellent, and the young men and women working here cater to everyone’s needs. In fact, that goes for the entire site, nothing is too much trouble, and everyone is courteous and duties carried out with a smile.
We had a couple of run-ins with the Hotel’s unofficial guests, scavaging for leftovers and stealing pool toys belonging to the kids. A menace in any country.
The Montage at Laguna Beach has three restaurants, and if your room view proves too good to leave, they’ll bring the food to you.
We also ate at the fine dining restaurant, The Loft. The presentation was beautiful, especially this Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with Avocado Mousse.
A clam and mussel dish was exceptional, and a request for extra anchovies caused no problems.
We ate in a large group, and most everyone enjoyed what they ordered. A steak, crusted in coffee though wasn’t great. The menu splits into First, Soup and Greens and then splits into Land, Sea and Harvest. On warmer evenings, the terrace is a magical place to eat.
As the sun goes down, the firepit is lit, and there’s nothing better than grabbing a hot chocolate or an S’mores kit from Hospitality and toasting marshmallows, even if we didn’t get the hang of it.
The Lobby Lounge is a relaxed space and great for drinks, I was impressed with their single malt collection.
It’s a family friendly Hotel with the kids club ‘Paintbox’, for which an additional fee is payable.
There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area from exploring the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park’s coastal canyons’ flora and fauna, Laguna’s Art Museum, take to the water on a dolphin and whale watching tour or hire a car and hit the Happiest Place in The World, Disneyland in nearby Anaheim.
The Laguna Beach is the perfect ocean hideaway, great for families, equally as relaxing for couples.
Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach CA 92651.