I was looking for a special place for my wife's birthday "kidnapping" ...I live in South Orange County, so I was well aware of many options. I looked into the Montage - beautiful property, but the room costs with tax were over $900/night for a standard room. The Ritz was in the same ball park -- and neither of them offered the romantic aspect I was looking for. St. Regis was expensive as well. Then the Surf and Sand popped into my mind.
I've driven past it a zillion times, and heard great things about it. So I decided to take the plunge. The reservation agent was very helpful. She had one standard room left in the Towers with a king bed, which she offered for the same rate as I found on the internet ~ I hesitated, and then took the plunge. I'm very glad I did!
From the time we drove up, it was like a high end resort. There were two weddings going on on-site, yet everything was handled very effiiently. The valets we very friendly and fast...yet I never heard a single tire "chirp" (like your car is being "raced" into the garage as I usually do with any valet). (Note: be prepared for a $30/night valet charge!). Check in was equally fast. We were checked into foom 293.
We ended up on the 9ths floor, and after a very leisurely service by the bank of two elevators (the only thing I could think needed some attention on the whole property), we opened the door to our room...and we both gasped. Gorgeous beyond words.
The entire room is done in upscale "beach chic" with 12" square blond marble stone flooring. The white wood shutters were slide open to a two door sliding door opening to a wide but not very deep balcony...and the crash of the ocean filled the room. Fantastic! Our room must have been an ADA compliant one - but it was done transparently. The bathroom (same marble) was huge, with a very large shower with clear glass heavy door, as well as a medium size jaccuzzi tub that had floor to ceiling shutters on one side, so you could open it up to the view. A very nice size desk with two nice upolstered chairs and a very, VERY comfortable bed. We rolled the two chairs to the slider, sat in the sun..and just relaxed...watching the wedding that was taking place on the beach below us. They even stocked champagn flutes for the bubbly I brought. There is no other hotel in 50 miles of this place that puts your room right at the breakers like this!
In our fast-paced lifestyle, this was the perfect place. I didn't think it could get any better...but I was wrong. We left to take a walk around town (unlike other hotels mentioned, this place is a short walk to everything...and a free trolley makes it even easier for those who don't want to walk!.) We had happy hour across the street at Mozambque -- fish and chips were awesome, and drinks were excellent and very well priced! We were too full to eat dinner (we'll have to try "Splashes" another time), but after enjoying the sights we returned to our room just before sunset.
In our absence, the bed had been turned down, robes laid out on the bed. The gigantic flat screen tv had been turned to a very romantic "Burke-Williams Spa Theme" music. They'd left a nice card with a small box of chocolates as a small "Happy Birthday" gift. So way laid back on the bed with a glass of bubbly...and realized they really had thought of everything. Being on the 9th floor (FYI the lobby is on the 5th), it's not like the surf is breaking at eye level...but those clever designers had placed mirrors on the ceiling along the edge of the window, going back about 3 feet into the room. Suddenly, through there reflection (and that of the mirror on the wall) we could see the surf reflected...even as we laid in bed! It was like an ever-changing painting...with white surf...changing hues of green water, absolutely spell binding. We've been on a lot of cruise ships, and we decided this room was like our favorite "suite" on a ship.
I think there may have been high surf that weekend, but the sound of the surf was amazing! Yes, it could drown out the tv (if you left your slider open)...but we weren't there to watch tv (with amusement, we did find earplugs in the nightstand...but wouldn't you just close the sliders? Still a thoughful touch!) The next morning was every bit as beautiful (and because the room was west facing, the sun didn't pour in!) It was just a spectacular room at a great resport. While our balcony wasn't large enough to eat on...the floor below us did offer larger decks and some took advantage of that with breakfast outside ~ very charming.
I would encorage anyone to include this place in your considerations!