We were lucky enough to enjoy a 3-night stay at the St. Regis this past weekend. In short, we had a fabulous weekend and definitely recommend the resort. I will try to keep it short, but we used just about every amenity so thoroughness may kill brevity.
The Reservations Team:
This is not something I normally comment about but I had such a positive experience I wanted to give credit to the reservations team. We had purchased our stay at a charity event so could not book online. The poor reservation person (Sandy) was thrown just about every possible curve ball – a gift certificate with less than clear terms, guests with two different last names and two different SPG numbers. She was incredibly friendly and helpful, booked exactly what we wanted and even was able to arrange an upgrade to our room category giving us an ocean view. She also made spa and dining reservations for us. I am usually not eager to make reservations by phone (deal with too many people all day!) but this experience was all positive. Likewise was the follow-up call to add a night which was also extremely helpful. I usually book on-line because I feel like I can handle it better myself – not true here.
Yes, as others have posted, the St. Regis is not directly on the beach. It is across Pacific Coast Highway. But this does have its advantages. First, the resort includes a beautiful golf course which many rooms overlook. You also do have nice views of the ocean. Plus, don’t be fooled – the Ritz Carlton (which I am also a fan of) is on the beach side but is at the top of the high bluffs so it isn’t as if you can stumble from your room onto the sand there either. Finally, being about 1 block inland means the resort has a much bigger footprint (as least that is my impression, YMMV) including multiple pool areas, gardens, etc. Other than that, it is literally less than a mile to the Ritz, so I wouldn’t let location be the deciding factor between these two properties.
We were lucky enough to stay in an Ocean View Executive Suite. These rooms are basically a very large room (no separate living area) and are located at the very end of each wing so the balcony has an amazing view of the golf course and the ocean beyond. The bathroom was great with double sinks, separate shower and tub plus a walk in closet – marble throughout the bath and plenty of space. The king bed was extremely comfortable. (See pictures for examples of the view, bath and room of Room 201).
One thing of note is that this room category comes with Butler service. We aren’t really the Butler type (not really sure what that would entail) but we did appreciate the fact that we could get coffee and tea in the mornings (we did not experience delays as others on TA have). Our Butler also provided a bucket of ice for champagne one evening. We didn’t use them for much else, but it was a nice feature. They were always eager to help and very friendly.
Service at the hotel is excellent. Anytime you make a call from your room to the resort team you are automatically greeted by name. As with the Butlers, the staff in general is friendly and eager to offer any assistance. Hotel staff really goes the extra mile. Prime example during our stay was our request for an iPod docking station. Kurt the Butler arranged for one upon request from the Concierge. Within 10 minutes we had it and it was brand new, still in the box and wrapped in plastic.
We barely saw the housekeeping staff but our room was promptly made up and turned down each day.
During our stay I took full advantage of the spa for: pedicure, massage and facial. I have been to this spa before and love it, though I must admit my pedicure was fine but not the best I have ever had.
We also used the gym and found it perfectly acceptable, though I was annoyed when the individual TVs on several of the ellipticals and treadmills did not work – some more regular maintenance would be wise here. I suppose there could have been some magic spell I needed to get them to work but I tried just about everything as did hubby.
The pool areas were all very nice though the weather didn’t lend itself to that during our stay.
We had dinner at Stonehill Tavern one night and the service and ambience were outstanding but I found the food itself to be a little lacking (second time we have felt this way out of 2 tries).
We also had dinner at Motif which we actually preferred.
Most important: DO NOT miss the Sunday brunch. We have tried brunch at many places in several states and even countries and this is hands down our favorite. Because we are lucky enough to live in the area we come at least a few times a year and have never been disappointed. Hubby likes the custom pancake bar with pretty much any addition you can think of (try the s’mores pancakes which, you guessed it, include chocolate chips and marshmallows). My personal favorite is the Belgian waffle; so incredibly light and crispy. It also has all of the usual suspects: shrimp, crab, sushi, omelettes, carving station, and on and on. Again, if you stay here, have the brunch. Expensive but amazing.
So much for short!
The only negative I can really post is that one time we had an issue getting our car from the valet (we have experienced similar issues in the past as others have noted). This is another area the resort could improve upon.
In sum, the St. Regis is a beautiful property in a fabulous location that is luxurious without being over the top stuffy (anyone else like the prior post that called some of the guests “harlots” because they were too casual in the main areas??) If you want collared shirts and slacks for men and knee length skirts/dresses for women, this isn’t necessarily the place as it has a nice casual beach vibe. But it is still very luxurious. I personally prefer the relaxed vibe.
We highly recommend it and will be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our AAA Five-Diamond resort overlooks the Pacific and offers private beach club access, with watersports, oceanfront golf, award-winning Miraval Life in Balance Spa, swimming pools, upscale dining, activities programs and more. Located in Dana Point, the resort offers easy access to a variety of Southern California attractions including Catalina Island, Dana Point Harbor, Laguna art galleries and events, Disneyland and more. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- St. Regis, Monarch Beach Hotel Dana Point
- St Regis Dana Point
- St Regis Resort Monarch Beach