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“Best Family Beach Resort Experience Ever”

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Monarch Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
Leesburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
72 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Best Family Beach Resort Experience Ever”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013

Our family of 6 just spent 4 fabulous nights at this truly luxurious resort. The grounds look and feel like a grand Italian Villa with marble on all sides, corinthian columns, massive flowing fountains, public areas filled with quiet sitting areas providing great views. The rooms are large and sumptuously appointed -- our suite had a large balcony, marble bathroom and every feature possible.

Earlier reviews had mentioned problems with the shuttle service down to the beach but with one exception our wait time both to and from the beach averaged 5 minutes which to us was fine. And by the way, Monarch Beach is the best family beach we've ever visited. Here's why: 1. The crescent shaped beach has beautiful and stunning rocky cliffs on either end making it very scenic.
2. The St Regis offers a private section of beach with chair\umbrella service, beach volleyball (it was easy for us to find enough folks for several enjoyable matches), bogey boards, and an excellent beachfront restaurant.
3, The beach itself has fine sand and warmer water than further north in Santa Monica for example. But best of all: within a short 1\3 mile of beach you can choose from small, young child friendly small waves to your right and as you move left down the beach you can choose progressively bigger waves if your kids are older or more adventurous all the way down to the far end where you can either surf or watch surfers navigate some pretty big, powerful waves. Life Guards are out in force most of the day.

Not surprisingly for such a grand resort the food and drinks were expensive but we budgeted out for a meal at the beachfront restaurant (ordering off the bar menu was cheaper and good) and then smoothies at the pool and all was superb. Within a 5 minute drive, we found a number of good and inexpensive restaurants in Dana Point.

The staff, as just about always at an SPG property were kind, welcoming and helpful -- especially the young shuttle drivers to and from the beach and the beach and pool staff. The only complaint we had was the workout room closing at 8pm which seems awfully early for a resort this nice. We asked the front desk for a key to let us in for a workout one evening and surprisingly the staffer there seemed as if this was a big ask. He complied but complained. That's unusual for staff at a Starwood property.

We upgraded to a suite and it included butler service. They pressed my business suit (needed it for a couple of meetings), provided french press coffee delivered to my room or to a spot I designated on the main patio each morning, and on our first night cookies for the kids.

Originally, we had planned some day trips but we enjoyed the resort, beach and local restaurants so much that we stayed put for all four days. Perhaps that's the best compliment I can pay this St Regis.

Room Tip: Ask for room on the 5th and 6th floor with direct views to the ocean. Suite upgrades include a butl...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tim P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive Offices at Monarch Beach Resort, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Dear Tim P.
Thank you for your review of the resort - we appreciate the detailed feedback and look forward to your family visiting us again soon. I will share your comments about the closing time of the fitness center with our Spa Director for consideration. Please come back and visit us again soon. Warm regards to your family!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,066 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (488)
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English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
92 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2013

This was the second time that I have had the pleasure of staying at the St. Regis, Monarch Beach and I was wowed yet again.

The customer service was impeccable from start to finish and the surroundings were amazing. As a Starwood Preferred Member, I was upgraded to a pool view room which I really enjoyed. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom was clean, and the remainder of the facilities were to the St. Regis level of quality.

My only regret was that I had to go home.

Room Tip: Make sure and upgrade to a pool/ocean view room.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank gbuford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive Offices at Monarch Beach Resort, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Dear gbuford-
Thank you for visiting us again and thank you for the review. We invite you back anytime! Travel safe.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cali
Level Contributor
49 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2013

I write this review as a platinum ambassador VIP guest, I've stayed at this hotel no less than 30 nights in the last years and Mr. So the manager has definitely made alot of very good changes, but recently it seems the hotel has gone a little too far. This year we've stayed here a few times
and I believe they've installed a few policies that I'm not so happy with. One and the most important for me is the 4pm late checkout, don't expect it at this hotel anymore even in low season with plenty of availability. This is the 3rd time this year I've not been able to get 4pm checkout, this last weekend I even got a sweet $100 fine letter per hour that I past noon checkout. Another thing that I find consistent with this hotel is the inability to ever bill correctly,
literally every-time there is a problem. This weekend I was double billed and they couldn't correct
it while I was there so now I have to dispute it with SPG. Last but not least called house keeping to clean room, they took food away but didn't clean room kind of frustrating to spend the day at the beach & pool and come back to dirty room.

Beach kelp & flies everywhere, clean up the beach please it's a disgrace. At least set aside
a spot for hotel guests where you can clean up the beach on a regular basis.

We stayed at the montage the weekend before and it's definitely got me thinking, tighten things
up Mr. So you're slipping a little with your most loyal guests.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank stregis_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive Offices at Monarch Beach Resort, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Dear stregis_11:
Thank you for your post and your loyalty to Starwood hotels and resorts. Your comments will be shared directly with the General Manager. We do have specific check in and checkout policies to ensure all of our guests have a pleasant experience while they are with us, we accommodate all requests when we can – but sincerely apologize we were unable to do so with your requests. With regard to the beach wrack (seaweed) we are unable to remove or displace any of this natural living ecosystem in compliance with the California Coastal Commission - we are sorry you felt it was a disturbance. We hope you understand and will take these into consideration and visit us again soon. If you feel there is anything we can do to further accommodate a future stay or correct your most recent, please reach out to our General Manager directly at 949-234-3301.
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Los Angeles, california
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013

We have traveled many times to this hotel as a couple and with our children and have loved it every time. This trip was with children and another friend who came with her children. We requested connecting rooms and we very glad the hotel could accommodate this request. It really made the trip fun for the kids. The adult pool is separate from the kids pool which is great as there was no problem with worrying about the kids making too much noise. The service around the pool was quick and the staff was attentive. We ordered room service several times and everything was delicious. A wonderful top notch resort. Recommended for couples as well as families. There is shuttle service to the beach but it was a little chilly so we just stayed at the pool. It's a large resort so a drawback is long hallways to the rooms.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank 4sunnyskies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive Offices at Monarch Beach Resort, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Dear 4sunnyskies-
Thank you for your review and your recent stay with us! We welcome you and your family anytime. And you are correct do have three pools, our Lagoon pool which accomodates families nicely, our main pool for both adults and children and our Spa Lap pool which is our adults only pool for guests seeking a quiet reprive. Please come back soon to enjoy them all!
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Leawood, Kansas
Level Contributor
170 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2013

Don't get me wrong, the hotel is beautiful and the rooms are comfortable. But for the money paid for the rooms, The Four Seasons or The Ritz has much better service. Upon arrival, I was surprised by the amount of dogs on the property. It must be a California thing. Our room was lovely, until we stepped in a huge wet spot on the carpeting, and the smell of vinegar in our room. Our guess was that a dog had an accident and it was tried to be cleaned by the guest before us. Unless you were barefoot, you would not know the spot was there. We notified the front desk, and were told there were no other rooms available. They sent someone from housekeeping and comped us the parking fee and resort fee for our entire stay. That was kind, but still there was dog pee in our room.
The resort was just nothing special, except the fitness center. It was very nice. I don't know how to explain it. I just know at The Four Seasons, I felt like a god, because of the service. At the St. Regis, I felt like just another guest.

Room Tip: Pool view rooms are nice, the higher floors are best
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PammyC22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive Offices at Monarch Beach Resort, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Dear PammyC22-
Thank you for posting your review of our resort. We sincerely apologize about the condition in which you found your room. We agree this is not up to service standards for any resort, your comments will be shared with our Director of Housekeeping to ensure this type incident is not repeated. We are a pet friendly facility however we have strict guidelines and policy. If there is anything further we can do to correct this mistake please reach out to us directly at 949 234 3301.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
149 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

The St. Regis Monarch Beach Beach is a gorgeous property with impeccable service and amazing rooms. I was surprised at the extra attention they paid to our children. Few hotels can compete with the overall package of the St. Regis.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan Beach, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

Attended a wedding. Facilities are gorgeous, but the dinner was so disappointing. It felt as if the hotel threw 30 waiters into the room and said "serve these people." The service was horrible!!!
3 - 4 guests at a time were served, then the balance were served in waves stretching 5-10 minutes for the balance of the table. Awkward, as so many wanted to wait for everyone to be served. Had to repeatedly ask for water, waiters were sloppy in the service reaching over people and bumping the person next to them.

Shocking considering how gorgeous the facility is. What happened? I would not plan a large dinner party here until they correct this.

Also, asked for a king bed, was confirmed at checkin only to discover two queens in the room.

As a result I am giving only 3 stars. Is the St. Regis resting on its laurels?

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sharedexperiences
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRMB, Executive Offices at Monarch Beach Resort, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Dear Sharedexperiences-
Thank you for your stay with us and your review of the resort. We are pleased that you found our facilities inviting and beautiful. We apologize for not meeting your room requirements and neglecting to make you feel special during the event you attended. Please know that delivering five-star service in all elements of the resort is our goal. If you feel there is anything further we can do please reach out to our Executive Offices at 949 234 3301.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Monarch Beach Resort

Property: Monarch Beach Resort
Address: 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629-4085 (Formerly St. Regis, Monarch Beach)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Dana Point
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room 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:
#3 Business Hotel in Dana Point
#3 Romantic Hotel in Dana Point
#4 Family Hotel in Dana Point
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Monarch Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 400
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our AAA Five-Diamond sanctuary is sublimely located near Southern California's renowned destinations, including Catalina Island and Dana Point Harbor. Nestled hillside overlooking a private beach, discover an array of adventuresome experiences at our coveted Orange County resort. From thrilling water sports, to championship golf links, to acclaimed Miraval Life in Balance Spa, encounter lasting memories at our pristine coastal locale. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St. Regis, Monarch Beach Hotel Dana Point
St Regis Dana Point
St Regis Resort Monarch Beach

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