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“Very Nice Property, Aggressive Service, Astronomical Fees” 4 of 5 stars
Review of St. Regis, Monarch Beach

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St. Regis, Monarch Beach
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   1 Monarch Beach Resort Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629   |  
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Ranked #4 of 9 hotels in Dana Point
Hainesport, New Jersey
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Very Nice Property, Aggressive Service, Astronomical Fees”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

This hotel definitely falls into the "high end resort" category, and my opinions of the place over my 4-day stay are a bit mixed.

When coming up the porte cochere for the first time, you are greeted by an army of staff that welcome you, grab your bags, and escort you to check-in ...and eventually up to your room. I think there are two camps of thought as it relates to service at high-end properties: some prefer to be almost overwhelmed by superfluous staff and high employee:guest ratios and love being surrounded by passionate employees of the resort. Others prefer to be left alone, with a helping hand available lurking about in the shadows at all times. I've had both experiences ...and overall prefer the later. This resort provided the first, and while it's not my personal preference, some may love it.

Every staffer memorizes and repeats your name at all times. Regardless of what you say or ask, employees are trained to always respond, "it's my pleasure." After day 2, it was almost a game with other guests...where we were trying to see how many times we could get a staffer to say "it's my pleasure" within a single conversation. But humor aside, the staff was good and competent... although a bit more robotic than passionate. I felt every employee I encountered was reading a script right out of a book on good customer service ...and not necessarily from the heart. Again, this isn't a bad thing...but when you stay at high-end properties consistently, it's something you pick up on.

I found my guest room to be very nice; while the bedroom area was a bit small, the bathroom was open and spacious. Furnishings in the room were upscale and the bathroom was well appointed. The bed itself was very comfortable and the room was quiet. On the panel with the air conditioning controls were additional buttons to signal "do not disturb" or "please make room", which lit up a sign in the hallways for housekeeping there. I loved this feature! The hotel is surrounded by resort-residential properties and a golf course, so it's pretty quiet...and the room views are decent. But remember, this is not an oceanfront hotel...so if you have an "ocean view", it's actually quite a distance away down the slope of the coast. There's a golf course, a town, a highway, and a Ritz Carlton resort between you and the beach.

A trend at higher-end resorts is to jack up room rates...and fold in costs that lower-end properties would charge extra for. As an example, at a recent Conrad Hotel stay, I paid a very high nightly rate...but they included limited laundry, all-you-can eat/drink minibar, internet, breakfast, and other items into the rate without extra "resort fees" or additional charges. But that is not so here, where I was surprised at exorbitant fees tacked onto a high nightly rate. There are resort fees, internet access fees, a housekeeping gratuity, a bellhop gratuity, and a very, very high parking fee ($25-$35 if you self or valet park.) Be prepared to spend over $50-75+ in incremental fees for these basics! I wouldn't mind the alacarte pricing for <$200/night rooms, but when you're paying in the $400-800/night+ range, those fees should not be there.

I found the grounds to be very well maintained; landscaping was very nice, and the pool and public areas were very well maintained. There were employees everywhere providing good service as described above.

Food was generally delicious. And while expensive, I found the food to be worth it. Every meal I had was great except for two that were simply "average"...but never did I have a poor food (or poor food service) experience.

During my stay, I heard from other guests there was a rash of crime. One gentlemen had put his notebook computer bag down at his chair and stepped out for a bit, and when he came back, his computer/bag were gone with the staff unable to offer help. I heard of others who had their cameras or computers stolen too, which alarmed me quite a bit. The police were called out to investigate, but I never heard more about what was happening. I made sure my valuables were locked up in my room if they weren't on me --the thought of having to deal with crime at this resort was very surprising.

Overall, I had a good stay. While overwhelming at times, I found the service to be good, the grounds to be excellent, and the facilities and food to be good/very good. For the room rate paid, I had hoped to have a somewhat larger room...and was disappointed with the miscellaneous fees tacked onto the bill. While I'd consider coming back here when in the Dana Point area, I'd probably give the nearby Ritz Carlton a try; it's right on the water, and for similar rates, it could be a viable option.

Room Tip: The lobby is on the 5th level; while the top floor / 6th floor may provide better views of the area...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (249)
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English first
Long Beach, California, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

This was a special occasion - an overnight with my wife for my birthday. We booked our room using our Starwood Preferred Guest account and made reservations at the upscale restaurant in the hotel. When we made the reservation, we informed the booking agent that we would like to extend our checkout as late as possible to take advantage of the beautiful pool and private beach at the facility. We also mentioned this at check-in. When we returned from our delicious dinner, we were stunned to find a note under our door claiming that we would have to leave at 12:00 noon unless we paid $100 an hour to keep our room. How outrageous! We have had the privilege of staying at many fine hotels and have always been told that if a room was available we could have a late checkout. When we informed the manager she did nothing about it. We're taking our business elsewhere.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I loved our romantic weekend. The hotel is beautiful, the bathroom is amazing!! Bed was very comfy and the view of the sunset from the patio was gorgeous.

I made the reservation with Christina Boucher, she was so nice and went out of her way to greet us personally to the hotel!! Also there was an evening manger was extremely nice and helpful. He was in the lobby meeting and greeting people, I feel bad that I can't remember his name:( both of these employees went out of there way!

The only negative was the food at the pool bar during lunch. The food and drinks were pretty awful, and expensive!

I am very excited that we will be returning to celebrate our 1st Anniversary which coincides with our good friends wedding!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive Offices at St. Regis, Monarch Beach, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear Jennifer G,
Thank you for staying with us over the weekend! We are so glad that you chose to be at the best address, and we will definitely pass along your compliments about Christina Boucher. We look forward to welcoming you back for your Anniversary!
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New York CIty
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

I will keep it brief, but this was an amazing hotel for an event. We had our Yearly Sales Meeting here and from our outside dinner on the lawn, to the great ballroom facilities this was top notch.

Rooms were very cosy and livable, I had a room facing the convention wing and it was very quiet, even when parties were going on.

Butlers are divine and take advantage of the complimentary shoe shine service!

If you run, be sure to take advantage of the trails that take you down to the Pacific. Also the restaurant at the ocean is great too!

Food is supberb all around too!!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive Offices at St. Regis, Monarch Beach, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear MossiDivo,
Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful review! We are so glad that you were able to enjoy the resort and what it has to offer while attending your Annual Sales Meeting. We will pass along your compliments to our butler team, and we hope to see you again soon!
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

What impressed me the most about this hotel was the service. From the moment the valet took the car the service was impeccable. The door man was endearing and helpful, the check in friendly and efficient. These folks anticipate your every need. Of course, the rooms are beautiful and impeccably clean, but lots of hotels can claim that. What sets these folks apart is the amazing, unobtrusive attentiveness of the staff.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive offices at St. Regis, Monarch Beach, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear Robin_lokh,
We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us! Thank you for taking the time to write a review, and give such wonderful compliments! We will let our Valet Manager know how amazing the team is! Please come back and see us again soon!
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Our stay here is always wonderful. Exactly what you would expect of a resort hotel. This place feels like home, only better. Just lounging around the pool area is so relaxing. The rustling of the palms, the sweeping views of the ocean and all the comforts that one is to expect from a 5 star hotel. My kids loved the Monarch butterfly event last July 2012 but sadly they didn't have it this year. I absolutely LOVE the restaurant Stonehill Tavern. The food and service is wonderful. I wish this restaurant was open everyday. Spa is nice but could be bigger and better if there's more amenities. The only downside to one of our stays was during that time that there was an Oakley tournament. It was noisy outside our room. It was the last day of our stay and we were checking out that day. But the other guests that I spoke with were very upset about it. The oakley event had loud, blaring music playing and it can be heard near the room we were at and also throughout the pool area.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive Offices at St. Regis, Monarch Beach, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear Mercedesgl,
Thank you for such a great review! We are so happy that you enjoyed the pool and Stonehill Tavern so much! Thank you for staying with us, and please come back and see us again soon!
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Dallas, Texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

This was our first time to Laguna And staying at the St Regis. Rooms are large and have every amenity. Everyone is very helpful-over the top!! Excellent large workout facility. Buffet breakfast omelet was the best I have ever had. The bar with music was fun fun. Beautiful place.

Room Tip: Our room was very quiet. And 2 nd floor.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive Offices at St. Regis, Monarch Beach, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear Karen1949622,
We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us! Thank you for taking the time to write a review! We will definitely pass along your compliments to our Management team. We hope to see you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about St. Regis, Monarch Beach

Address: 1 Monarch Beach Resort Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Dana Point
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Dana Point
#2 Romantic Hotel in Dana Point
#5 Family Hotel in Dana Point
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — St. Regis, Monarch Beach 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean stands The St. Regis Monarch Beach. Crowned with the Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond Award, the resort delivers an experience beyond expectation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St. Regis, Monarch Beach Hotel Dana Point
St Regis Dana Point
St Regis Resort Monarch Beach

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