Wow. WoW. WOW!
I can't say enough about our recent 5 night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. We had a suite in the club level and would love to have never left!
Upon checking in, we upgraded from our basic room reservation to a suite on the club level and that was the BEST decision we could have made. You must use your key card in the elevator to get to the 4th level and upon arrival, you walk through the club lounge to get to your room. We were in suite 417 which looked out over the area surrounding the smaller of the properties two pools. The only thing that could have improved upon this was if we had an ocean view. The suite had:
(1) a half bath off of the entry foyer
(2) a spacious living space with:
- a large L shaped couch
- mini fridge and safe tucked away in a closet
- single serving coffee maker with a wide asst of coffees and teas
- balcony with french doors including chairs
- tv and dvd player
(3) master bedroom through french doors off of the living room
- balcony with french doors (2nd one for the suite) including table and chairs
- tv and dvd player
- bed with two nightstands
- chaise lounge
(4) master bath and dressing room
- done in beautiful white marble
- large closets with plenty of hanging storage as well as drawers
- double sinks which were nicely spaced apart
- mirrored vanity table and chair
- separate room with toilet and shower/tub combo
The entire suite was done in muted colors which were very relaxing and inviting. The room was always cleaned and attended to daily, including newspaper delivery hanging on our door each morning (without disturbing us) and turndown service in the evening. Two robes and slippers were provided for our use during our stay.
The ladies in the club made our entire stay heavenly. They were always quick to offer assistance while not being intrusive. They made over our 5-year old daughter like she was a princess and this was her castle. The food service (breakfast, lunch, light dinner, and dessert) were very nice and often enough to get us through the day on-site with only going out for dinner (not that you'd necessarily even have to do that. When we would go down to the pool during the afternoon, they'd send us with drinks in plastic, pool-side safe cups and pack a nice little box lunch of their deli sandwiches and veggies or chips. I never felt like I was being judged if I asked for another glass of wine or a kiddie cup of juice for my daughter. It was like they took pleasure in making sure that we had everything we could want before we even thought of asking. My daughter loved the wall of shelves stocked with jars of candy which were self-serve 24 hrs a day as well as the cabinet filled with board games or the baskets of movies to borrow and watch on the dvd players in the rooms. There were two areas in the lounge - one with tables and chairs and a little balcony on which you could sit and look out at the ocean or the other room where there were also tables and chairs as well as comfortable couches and a cozy fireplace that usually had a fire going to take the evening chill out of the air.
The beach butler was a nice touch. At the edge of the property, you could catch a ride down to the beach with him then he would set up your lawn chairs, an umbrella and even provide sand toys or boogie boards for the kids. The resort is up on the bluffs, so the beach is a bit of a hike down and then back up but still very nice to have right at the property and also allows for amazing views.
Be sure to go out and watch the sunset over Catalina Island!
There is a small koi pond/river that runs along the lower level of rooms near the smaller pool. The club attendant arranged us to meet one of the engineers there on our first morning and he provided my daughter with a large cup of pellets which she was able to feed to the fish each day of our stay.
The larger pool is nice but needed to be heated a bit more. Although the days were sunny and in the lower 80's, the pool was a bit chilly to swim in for too long. The hot tub was hit though! The food at the pool was not good. We gave it a couple of tries and then gave up.
There are several tennis courts, a ping pong table under a gazebo, and a small swing set for little ones.
I loved this property and the location in Laguna. We were referred to a restaurant in Laguna from the concierge and it was excellent.
Great property and even more impressive staff. I would stay here again in a heartbeat and would definitely do the club level.
My regrets - not having the chance to visit the spa and not being able to convince my daughter to participate in some of the kids' programs. A couple of friends she made at the pool one day said they had done the cooking class and really had fun making pizzas!