First, I feel compelled to get something out of the way right up front that could be very important to your stay:
The DO NOT DISTURB is a button on the thermostat!
Ok, I said it and feel much better. Granted this fact was specifically disclosed on the info they gave us when we checked in (and which we clearly did not read until checking out). We kept having people come to our door and we kept saying "Where the heck is the DND?" But since we only stayed one night we were too lazy to call and ask.
With that out of the way . . .
Given that I have reviewed the resort before (and you can click and see my prior reviews) I won't repeat everything again but will try to hit on the new points.
As I mentioned, we stayed 1 night this past weekend in honor of my hubby's birthday. I had given him the choice of STR, the Ritz and the Montage and he chose STR. Given the event, we did splurge and book the St. Regis Suite this time. We have previously stayed in Executive Suites twice and a basic room once. While the St. Regis Suite was very nice and quite large, I must admit that I preferred the Executive Suite simply because the view was better. A bit more on this:
The St. Regis Suite has an entirely separate living area with pull out couch, TV, etc. plus a full second bath, two closets, etc. The room would be great for a family needing some extra sleeping space. However, even with the best view category, given where the rooms are situated in the resort, their ocean view was no where near as good as the Executive (Executive Suites with the highest view category are at the very tip of the wings and thus closest to the water. The STR Suite was not and though you could see the ocean, the view from our room was over the pool restaurant, then the pool and then the ocean.
So, ultimately it is a trade off. Want more room? This is great for that. But if you want a better view, go with Executive (again, this is all premised on the "best" view category on the website - I am not sure what views these rooms have in lower categories.)
This time, we took advantage of the tram down to the beach. With the big surf this past weekend it was awesome to watch the big waves rolling in. If you have the weather for it, definitely use the beach - it is great. They have guys who set up your chairs, umbrellas, towels - it couldn't be easier.
My only complaint about the stay related to the tram. They have maps on the property with walking trails marked. Based on those, on the second day, we thought it would be good to walk down to the beach and then take the tram back up. Learn from our mistake - you cannot walk to the same beach - you can get to a beach, but not the one for the resort. Not a huge deal but I was not happy with how the hotel handled it from there.
Having taken the tram the prior day we knew the route and once we realized that we couldn't walk the whole way, we decided to wait on the tram route and ask the tram to take us the rest of the way. Problem was that after waiting about 20 minutes, no tram. So we called the resort and were first told that the tram would be able to stop for us and just to flag the next tram. 15 tram-less minutes later, second call at which point the rather unhelpful different person told us somewhat snippily that, no, we were in the wrong place and told us to go to a different spot and wait. Fine. We did. Still no tram. Really? You have now had 2 calls from guests indicating they are waiting for a tram and you don't send a tram? You could have just told us this isn't possible and we would have ended up at the same result - at the pool instead.
Sorry for the rant. Long story short - just take the tram back AND forth.
As always, we loved the spa and brunch (this is our favorite brunch period). The hotel was also great about acknowledging hubby's day. Pretty much every staff person we dealt with wished him a happy one. They also delivered a card, cake and goodies. It was very very nice of them (and quite frankly at hotels of this level I expect it).
All in all, aside from tram-gate, it was a great stay. I highly recommend the resort
- 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