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“Amazing place. Way exceeded expectations” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

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The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   One Ritz-Carlton Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629-4205   |  
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Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Dana Point
GreenLeadersBronze level
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Amazing place. Way exceeded expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

Went with my son, 12 years old, this past February and stayed here as we are Ritz Carlton Members. The place was extremely nice with lots of great views, especially the 180 Blu outdoor bar with fire tables and blankets. My son and I thought this had the most awesome view of the sunset though it got chilly quickly thereafter. This place gets crowded near sunset so get there early.

The rooms were well appointed but nothing out of the ordinary except the spetacular ocean views. The lobby and common areas were extremely nice and luxurious feeling. Several food options in the hotel, but we loved the Marketplace food center. It allowed us to pick up food throught the day which allowed us alot of flexibility (it had bagels and salmon in the morning, sushi in the day, but also salad, panninis and wine) . The dining menu options are similar throughout the bar, restaurant, and the 180blu. So the only variety in the hotel was the steak restaurant. It is closed on certain days so we could not try it but it looked rather good. I highly recommend trying the local area food, as there are alot of great options. These were all pointed out by the Ritz Carlton staff who even made us reservations.

We did an excursion for whale watching during our stay. It really was a brief movie and then we were escorted to the local dock and joined others on a chartered boat (not Ritz guests). However, the Ritz Carlton had a member accompany us the whole time on the boat and gave us insightful information throughout the tour. We were "lucky"enough to see a 70 foot fin whale during our 2 hour boat ride as it still was just before the natural migration time. Highly recommend checking the calendar for the whale migration before going on this.

Overall, the staff was very nice and very accommodating. The place is very busy even when we went "off-season" but it did really feel like a true escape during our stay, which makes me give it such high marks.

Room Tip: Get to the 180blu early to get the best seats for sunset. It is open seating with a great wine list...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ritzcarltonlaguna, Executive Office at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
We love your detailed feedback, thank you! We couldn't agree more that 180blu is an incredible food and beverage outlet with the most extraordinary view of the ocean that does not exist anywhere else along the local shoreline. And the whales! They are amazing! We look forward to having you and your son back soon....we have may more memories waiting for him.
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1,112 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (311)
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English first
Montecito, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

I just returned from a three night visit.My husband and I were attending a conference that occupied all rooms.Even with a very full house and many moving parts,the staff took everything in stride and performed at a high level. From the housekeeping and maintenance to the front desk and valet parking,the staff shines. But not so for the room lighting..especially the north facing rooms.As one who likes to read,there is a light above each side of the bed but only one bedside lamp and the general room illumination is very poor. They have remodeled the rooms and the finishes are pleasing.They have removed a very large chaise but replaced it with a large club chair! Too big for the small rooms at this locale.Some but not all of the rooms have new HVAC systems.Ours was not one of them.It went off and on all night long even with the fan set to stay on. I have stayed in much less expensive hotels and had this issue but did not think it would be a problem in this upscale property. We were given a resort credit after we mentioned it.We really want to love this hotel and it is almost perfect.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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ritzcarltonlaguna, Executive Office at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Thank you very much for your valuable feedback. We hear you and understand you. Please know we will continue to improve our products and facilities until they are perfect. Your preferences have been noted for your future stays with us. You name it, we can do it for you! We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
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Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

I was blessed to accompany my husband, then on a business trip about 15 years ago, to this extremely elegant, friendly, and service-oriented hotel, on a bluff overlooking the ocean. Since our children were a great age to leave at home with grandparents safely, this was like a honey-moon type destination spot for us as well as a business gathering for Jim. From our first car-door opening, to the fire a-lit 24/7 and tended by one person, to the crystal everywhere, and to the most amazing and unusually attentive staff, even for a Ritz, ever encountered, I was stunned. And we had been traveling to various spots together for a number of years, and experienced fine hotels before. We both noticed the way every single person working that hotel greeted and/or assisted us as we moved throughout the halls. This is one reason I was compelled to write a review for this place! The people. I do not know what it is like at present, so am dating our visit as "now" but I believe most likely, it is still a star among stars. Our room, maybe not the largest ever, opened up with french doors into a courtyard; it was graced by a bathroom that was beyond description, totally surrounded in marble, was even equipped with a make-up mirror I later searched out for myself, only to discover it was over $200! The art throughout the gorgeous building, the view extending out over the Pacific, every well-planned out detail, to the path down to a beach and a surf break, all made this one of my favorite visits to a hotel ever. I recall dinners out, not there, but room service coffee is a must!

Room Tip: I had no choice as we were traveling for a company meeting, but reading others' reviews surely o...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ritzcarltonlaguna, Executive Office at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Thank you for your feedback! We enjoy it no matter how old it is. You must come back and visit our property soon. Our ladies and gentlemen are still as dedicated and passionate as before. We think you will really enjoy our newly enhanced rooms. And please don't worry, we are still a star amongst stars! We hope to see you soon! We look forward to creating another memorable experience for you.
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Home, Indiana USA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

Hubby and I stayed at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel while he attended a business meeting hosted by his company. Since the company arranged the lodging, we never saw the actual room bill. I am assuming that rooms here cost a small fortune - everything else does!

The property is lovely - clean, well appointed, well cared for. The staff is beyond courteous - if there is a word describing almost TOO courteous, that would apply here. For a resort that costs a king's ransom for a night's stay, the rooms are just so-so, and really no larger than any good premium chain hotel. The bathroom was quite lovely, with two sinks and a separate stool area.

The biggest "problem" to us was the cost of all the on-site dining. Eggs benedict and coffee for two cost $54.00 plus tip at the main floor restaurant; a glass of house wine was $15.00. The spinach salad, with a tiny piece of lobster on top, that I had for dinner was in the $30.00 range. The food was very tasty, but extremely overpriced. As was the gift shop - a Ritz-Carlton baseball cap was $35.00. It seemed as if - could it be? - we were paying for the Ritz-Carlton name more than the substance.

Overall, it was an enjoyable stay. The beach property below the hotel is beautiful, and the view from the hotel grounds is breathtaking. However, it is definitely NOT a destination hubby and I would visit again if it was coming out of our own pockets.

Room Tip: Our room was on the pool side of the hallway. We called to see if we could switch to an ocean view...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 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.
ritzcarltonlaguna, Executive Office at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
Thank you for your detailed feedback. We take all of our guests' comments to heart. We are glad you enjoyed your overall stay with us and hope to earn your return visit. Thank you for staying with us.
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Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

The facilities, the panaoramic view and the service are all top notch. This was my 4th visit to the property and each one has been exemplary. Enjoy the verandas, the surfing and the trail around the area. Lunch with a window view of the ocean is a must.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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ritzcarltonlaguna, Executive Office at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
It was a pleasure having you back! We hope we continue to surprise and delight you each and every time you choose to stay with us. Summer is coming and it is going to be a wonderful time to be at the resort. We hope you join us again! We thank you for your loyalty.
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Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We stayed here for three nights in February. It is a beautiful spot on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. I would recommend that everyone at least see this place. The restaurants look over the ocean and the sunsets are breathtaking. The grounds are very nice. Beyond that I was not impressed.

The rooms on the lower level facing the ocean with firepits are the best location and from there you can take a few steps across the lawn to comfy charis and enjoy the view. At night you have a great view of the sparkiling coastline while sitting next to firepit. It is unique and very enjoyable even at the price. The room itself is small. A small closet. No furntiure other than a bed and a small desk. No chest of drawers etc and a very uncomfortable chair with no light for reading. The bathroom was fine but the small john room was tiny. The room we finally were given had a constant humming and buzzing noise that we later determined was the elevator motor.

The food was just ok with staggering prices. We did the main restaurant facing the ocean and the steak place and the old rule applies that if the restaurant has a view the food is just ok at best.

Generally when it comes to upscale hotels I am more a Four Seasons type. I thought the staff here was overly friendly and engaging and honestly a bit phoney. You can be genuinely courteous to your customers without trying to be my long lost friend that your aren't. Take it down a notch please.

Finally we had a problem on arrival. The original room had a broken firepit. The front desk didn't tell us, neither did the bellman, who after seeing it must have known it was broken. When we called to get it working we did not get any response for an hour. Finally after three calls the person at the desk said our pit was not working (there were major components not present) and that we would be moved to another room the following day. Nice! So the front desk knew the pit wasn't working and put us in the room anyway and didn't tell us. Nice! When I went to the front desk to make the arrangements for our move the next day I asked why were we put in a room with a broken pit and not told as we checked in. Suddenly nobody wanted to be my long lost friend and would barely look me in the eye. The slightly annoyed arrongant manager told me "they did not know there was a problem". Sure, even though it had no parts in it, I believe you. I was given a lower price for the first night but expect that a first class hotel reveal any problems they are aware of at check in and not to lie to me that they didn't know the room had a major problem.

I'd visit this place for a late cocktail, catch the sunset, (there are several places to enjoy the view for a while beforehand), have dinner and stay elsewhere.

Room Tip: Ocean view with firepit...that works..migt as well go all in if you have the cash
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ritzcarltonlaguna, Executive Office at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thank you for your very detailed and honest review of our resort and service. We take all of our guests' valuable feedback seriously and we look forward to speaking with you directly to ensure all
of your questions have been addressed and that you are fully satisfied with our resolutions. Please reach out to the Executive Office at your convenience at (949) 240-2000. Thank you again for utilizing Trip Advisor. We appreciate your business.
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Marietta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

I knew the moment we arrived that we were in for a real treat. My husband and I were here for a professional conference, but we stayed on an extra two days just to enjoy the hotel. Of course, you expect great customer service at every Ritz, and this one does not disappoint! We had an ocean view room with a balcony - outstanding! I think ours was one of the smaller rooms, but it was still wonderful. Loved the marble bathroom with separated toilet room, beautiful double vanity. The patio bar/grill became our favorite hang-out when the weather was nice. We actually spotted several whales - our first ever! We were fogged in one day, and the indoor bar was very nice as well. Be sure and explore the surrounding areas. TIP: The coffee shop has free coffee, but you have to ask for it. We didn't learn about it until the last day. Just ask for "Ritz-Carlton coffee," and it's on the house. I was a little disappointed that no one pointed this out since we went for the $8 coffee our first three mornings. But hey, no biggie. Now you know! We splurged on a heavenly couple massage. Splurge is the key word here - $600! But since this was tacked onto a business trip, it stung a little less. I would do it again!

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view with a room closer to the elevator. Those rooms have a little bit better view...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
ritzcarltonlaguna, Executive Office at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
We love your detailed description of our property...thank you! Whether you visit us for business or pleasure, we will be sure to provide you with the finest personal experience. We look forward to creating more memories for you in the future. Congratulations on the whale sightings! Aren't they spectacular?
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Address: One Ritz-Carlton Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629-4205
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 Breakfast 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:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Dana Point
#1 Business Hotel in Dana Point
#2 Family Hotel in Dana Point
#2 Green Hotel in Dana Point
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel 5*
Number of rooms: 393
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Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel Hotel Dana Point
Ritz Dana Point
Ritz-Carlton Dana Point
Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel

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