This hotel provides service which goes above and beyond ones expectations - you will pay top $ for everything from valet parking to your breakfast coffee and orange juice, but service like this cannot be expected to come cheap. Head in to the centre of Laguna Beach (free trolley service along the PCH in summer means you don't have to drive) and sample the fantastic restaurants there, if you don't want to pay the stratospheric prices charged in the loft restaurant for very good (but by no means exceptional) food. Don't miss out on the breakfasts though, as dining on the terrace overloooking the ocean with superb service is worth the cost!
The location on a bluff above a beautiful sandy beach (with Montage staff on hand to set you up with sun loungers and parasols) cannot be bettered. The guest rooms are airy and tastefully decorated with luxurious beds, beautiful bathrooms with separate showers, twin sinks and deep bathtubs. The complimentary champagne on arrival in your room was a nice touch.
The staff were so courteous (we felt, to the point of being obsequious, but perhaps that's just because, being British, we are naturally uncomfortable with this level of "niceness").
Our only criticism (and for us it was a big negative) is that the main pool is beautiful - but it's not for serious swimmers (it's a fun pool - full of children splashing around and too shallow). There is a fantastic lap pool, but it's attached to the spa - and we were told that we could only use it if we had a spa treatment! The in room hotel guide says that the fitness facilities (also in the spa area) are complementary to hotel guests and surely a lap pool is a fitness facility! In fact, the last thing you are likely to want to do following an expensive spa treatment is 100 laps of a pool! The two activities are just not compatible, which is probably why this amazing pool was un-used most of the time (apart from people lounging around it). A good swimming pool is an important part of our holiday and until this ludicrous rule is changed we are unlikely to return (at least until we're too old to swim!). This is a great shame because, other than that, the whole experience was just about perfect (or "awsome" as the staff like to say, seemingly all the time!)
One concern we did have was, on leaving our room for the last time we were met by a male member of staff who, seeing us with our cases, asked what room we were checking out of. We told him and he immediately headed for the room. I really hope he wasn't heading there to remove the cash tip we had left for the maid, who had provided such great service during our five night stay! Is this us just being suspicious?