Ok..I can't say enough about the location. The Surf & Sand Resort is RIGHT on the sand. I only know of 3 hotels that have this proximity to the ocean and sand ( in Southern California).
The rooms are wide open (and completely private) to the Pacific Ocean. The building is perched above the sand, which enables you to leave your sliding glass doors/thick wooden shutters open all night...to the sound of crashing waves. You cannot beat this place. Period.
Service is outstanding ( it better be for what they charge per night). That's a given.
The restaurant and bar both have ocean views.
If you want to impress a lady (or man!) for a sunset cocktail...take them to Splashes Bar, overlooking the ocean. I've shared this with many people by showing them this spot. Even many locals don't know about this place! You won't disappoint anyone by surprising someone with at least a visit during sunset, to the bar. They also offer appetizers, a somewhat limited but good menu.
The cost to stay here is not for the faint at heart. It is worth it, if one can afford it. One night is not enough. Two at minimum.
STAY IN THE TOWERS BUILDING!
The Seaside building is NOT the same experience AT ALL. One is renovated, the other isn't / has compromised views.
TIP ON HOW TO EAT ON THE CHEAP, saving your money on such an expensive hotel:
Across the street is the Gypsy Cafe/Coffee House. You can eat breakfast and lunch here (along with grabbing a great cup of coffee). Two can eat for under $15.
Lunch: walk a few blocks to one of the best places I can think of ( if you are into healthy, tasty, organic good food). No, it's not a vegan cafe. It's called THE ORANGE INN. Everything from breakfast food to lunch is AMAZING at this cottage restaurant on the ocean side of PCH. Trust me, NO ONE can say this place doesn't rock everything they make! Homemade soups, the best chicken sandwich this girls ever had, breakfast burritos, BBQ, hamburgers that will blow your mind, and smoothies made with the freshest ingredients. OMG! Go already!
Dinner - across the street on PCH, and 9 blocks north is a Mexican order counter joint. Great grub! And cheap!!!
These eating ideas will shave off the cost of the expensive rooms at S&S. I know I've saved over $400 on food and drinks by eating off-property.
Back to the hotel. I live nearby. I'd rather stay HERE, play in the ocean, investigate the tide pools - than fly to Maui. Not kidding. It's all that. You need to stay here in the Towers Building to understand....
NOTE: it will be less expensive to book a room in the Surfside Building. But realize, you are getting what you pay for! It is NOT the same experience ( unless you book the outrageously expensive Catalina Suite - the only exception). BE CAREFUL AND MAKE SURE YOU BOOK THE TOWERS BUILDING. You can thank me later for that piece of advice.
This hotel also will cater to children. Lots of fun things for them to do even at night, inside your room!
Equally as good for couples seeking solitude. You can have either here.