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“Rarified Ritz Carlton” 4 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 #1 of 9 hotels in Dana Point
Dunblane, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Rarified Ritz Carlton”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2009

This was our second trip to the Ritz Carlton. We were tempted along by a fabulous previous experience and some attractive deals which made our transatlantic trip more appealing in these tough financial times. I suppose what we are all looking for these days is value and I believe that the Ritz Carlton still manages to deliver.

The staff are still efficient, friendly and attentive and eager to chat once they hear a Scots accent. They genuinely seemed shocked when we answered their rehearsed "Good sir,morning how are you today?" with "I'm good , how are you?". Do the clientele of quality American hotels not bother conversing with the staff these days? The front desk, concierge and restaurant staff were as usual excellent, even when faced with a busy 4th of July weekend and although mistakes were made they were quickly rectified.

We took breakfast at the hotel every morning and loved the views from the restaurant. The food was exceptional if pricey but the deal made it palatable. A revelation was the new cafe which allowed us to get early, quick service when we had trips planned, although on the 3 occasions we went there the order was wrong twice, and they sell some pretty fancy bananas at $2 each! We also ate poolside and in the room which was also good quality and quick.

A definite downside however was the type of guest attracted for the 4th July weekend. It's obviously not the hotel's fault, however perhaps these are the guests that this type of establishment attracts? It seemed as if there was a production facility making identikit Stepford families and couples. White, middle class, arrogant and boorish, characterised by the obligatory uniform of polo shirt, pleated shorts, tennis socks and New Balance shoes. People who were obviously incapable of interaction with other colours and classes having been cosseted in their gated communities since birth.

Perhaps then the things that I love about the hotel then is what attracts the elements that I hate about the hotel? It's safe, the service is excellent, the location is incredible and the air is slightly exclusive. The price is that it will also attract guests who spend their existence commuting between sanitised, air conditioned boxes and see the rest of the world either through the windows of an Escalade or down their noses in derision. I suppose from the hotel's point of view, their money is as good s anyone else's.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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
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uk
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2009

The Ritz Carlton has a perfect view over Dana Point and is ideal for watching the surfers below or just gazing out at the Ocean (the Ocean front rooms are also perfect for this and the extra cost is recommended). The hotel offers what you expect of a 5 star hotel, and at the time of my stay, benefited by not being overrun by conferences. One plea, the hotel food is very standard hotel fare (there is only one main restaurant) and can be somewhat tedious after a few days. [to management - Can we have a top end restaurant/menu that this hotel deserves?]

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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West Hollywood, CA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2009

We had a great weekend at the Ritz in Laugna Niguel. There were many regular guests there who have been spending July 4th weekend at this hotel for several years. The rooms are great, especially the marble bathrooms with double sinks. I would have preferred a steam shower over the deep tub, but that's just me. The beds are of course, fantastic, as they are at every Ritz.
We spent most of our time at the pool. I was not so impressed with the pool upon first arrival. First of all, its small. Second, there were a TON of kids. No one on staff mentioned to me that there was an adults only pool until we checked out, I had no idea. I will say that the service at the pool provided by the staff, made up for the short comings. If you are going on a summer weekend, you need to save your seats at the pool by 8 a.m. if you want a chair. Otherwise, check back around 3:30 p.m.. The poolside cafe was great, and to our surprise, reasonably priced! We had breakfast everyday at the hotel, and although it was pricey, it was worth every penny. Best pancakes ever! The view was also fantastic! Again, get there early to get a window seat....you can sleep by the pool later!
Final bonus was the simultaneous fireworks displays which we were able to watch going on up the coast from the hotel.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Peoria, Arizona, USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2009

What sets this property apart is the location and service. We arrived a bit before check in time and we were sitting by the pool having a snack. The front desk called my cell phone 30 minutes later and told me my room was ready. My waiter overheard me telling the kids that the room was ready. He immediately offered to go get my keys to my room and show me to my room. When I arrived, all my luggage was already in my room. We went to the seafood buffet at the restaurant in the evening and they were more than willing to let me take food back to my kids in the hotel room at no extra charge. Every staff member is very helpful here. The view is spectacular. Having complimentary beach chairs that recline, towels, boogie boards at the end of the walkway before going to the beach is so convenient as well. I would highly recommend this property!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2009

This Ritz-Carlton is not only newly renovated (it no longer has the grandfather decor) with gorgeous rooms, restaurants and meeting space - but it's all about the location! This hotel has the most breathtaking views of Salt Creek Beach. It's high up on a cliff overlooking the ocean - if you love being near the ocean then this is the place to stay.

It wasn't as expensive as we imagined, especially if you take advantage of some of the specials they've had lately. We also loved the fitness room - with gorgrous views of surfers on the curls below. On your list of places to see in your lifetime - put this one high on your list.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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Los Angeles
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2009

We stayed at the Ritz for 2 nights after our wedding. Beautiful property...there is no doubt of that. The public spaces are very nicely designed and the grounds very well kept. The location and beach access, including the beach shuttle were a nice bonus. We only ate breakfast at the hotel, but it was quite good.

When we arrived we were upsold on a ocean-front room. For only $50 this seemed like a nice upgrade. Unfortunately, our neighbor was a smoker, and being that property sits right on the coast, the breeze carried all the smoke right into our room. We requested a room change and got one without an issue on the other side of the hotel, still with a great ocean view. Once again however, cigarette smoke from other guests inundated our room...the whole idea of an ocean front room is to open the door from the balcony and enjoy the fresh tang of the sea...well...ummm...all we got was smoke. Please fix the smoking policy...this isn't 1960...expectations are different.

We booked our room through AAA and the package deal included resort fees, parking, etc... When we got our bill the resort fee was included. Argh!!!!! There is no excuse for a property of this caliber to make mistakes on bills. When we asked about this, and mentioned the smoking issues, the woman at the front desk said that she would refund us the $100 we spent on the upsold room and fix the mistake about the resort fee. We thanked her and left. When we looked at the bill in the car, we realized that the $100 refund was actually ADDED to our bill in addition to several other mystery charges. Rather than giving us a refund, our charges were almost $200 more than before we approached the front desk in the first place. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR HOTELS OF THIS CALIBER MAKING MISTAKES ON THE BILL!!!!!!!!

Service was uneven. No turn-down service on our first night but we got it on night two. The towels in the bathroom are cheap and tiny. Seriously...no excuses for that at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Oh...the spa...WHAT AN OVERPRICED JOKE! I live in Los Angeles and am a regular at some of the cities finest spas...$195 for a 60 minute massage???? Totally outrageous and detached from reality.

All in all it was a very relaxing stay. The folks working the bars and the parking were very friendly and efficient...but in general the service doesn't come close to other properties we've stayed at of the same quality including other Ritz hotels, Four Seasons, St. Regis, etc...

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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las vegas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2009

WOW! This resort is spectacular!!! From the breathtaking views from the cliff, to the remarkable staff and service, this hotel was fabulous! We took the recommendation of another guest who reviewed the hotel and upgraded to the Club Level, which is a must! This is by far the most service-oriented, friendly, professional Club Level staff we have ever experienced at a Ritz-Carlton or any other hotel Club Level for that matter. They made both my husband and I, as well as our 2 year old daughter feel special from the minute we arrived! This is a MUST stay if you are visiting the Laguna Beach area. We will not stay in Newport Beach again after staying in Laguna and at this resort! And if you do go, be sure to bring workout clothes! You cannot miss the opportunity to workout on the cliffs looking out over the ocean! Nothing short of spectacular and it makes the 30 minute workout on the elliptical go very fast! Enjoy!!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 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.

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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 Business Hotel in Dana Point
#1 Romantic Hotel in Dana Point
#2 Family Hotel in Dana Point
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel 5*
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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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