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.
- 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