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Monarch Beach Resort
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Reviews (2,701)
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All reviewsgolf coursebeach clubstonehill tavernst regisbutler servicebeautiful propertyturn down servicelobby barmain poolthe ritzkids poolpool stafffour seasonspool viewhigh endsouthern californiaorange county
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2,593 - 2,598 of 2,701 reviews
Reviewed September 12, 2005

I stayed over there with my husband and his dad. 2 rooms, nice rooms but not better than a W hotel !
The pool is big, but why they put that hudge fountain a the middle of the ocean view??
Anyway, not so good service just basic, b-fast ok.

  • Stayed: August 2001
    • Value
    • Rooms
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3  Thank frenchie-in-utah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2005

This was my second stay in 9 months, and my experiences during both stays were consistent. We obtained a 3rd floor standard room with two queen beds for two adults and two children, 8 and 6 years old, at $479/night.

First, the positives: This is a gorgeous hotel, beautifully landscaped. The room is comfortable for a family with two young kids, the bathroom comes with a shower and separate tub. The room service menu was adequate (loved the French onion soup) and the Motif restaurant has one of the most diverse selections of foods during their Sunday champagne brunch. The spa facilities are world class. There are separate pool areas for kids and adults.

Now come the negatives: poor service and exploitative prices. The parking valets were courteous but they were so busy during check-in that I waited 10+ mins for somebody to take my car. Later, each time I requested my car there was a 15+ min wait, even when I called down in advance. Once I waited 25 mins before discovering my car was already retrieved and parked nearby, but nobody bothered to inform me.

Check in was rapid, but our room was not ready as we arrived in the morning (9am). We were hoping our room would be ready around noon, but it wasn't until 3pm (6 hours!).

The food service at the pool was intermittant and slow. The servers were polite and friendly, but I had to eventually walk over to the main building to order food. When the food arrived, it was not exactly what I ordered (my kid wanted a cheeseburger; I got a hamburger). The food itself was average to good, but not exceptional.

At the St Regis I expected to pay a premium for food and sundries, but $2.50 for each itty bitty cookie at the Crust coffee shop was a ripoff, given the mediocre taste. I wouldn't mind paying $2.50 per cookie or more if they were truly fabulous. I feel I was nickel-and-dimed for every little service, like parking and broadband, which I didn't bother using because I'm used to getting it for free at the hotels I normally frequent. I'd rather pay a higher room rate and have all this stuff bundled in. It's misleading to quote a $479/night rate and then have almost $100/day in other charges (10% state tax, 0.1% tourism tax, $26(?)/day for parking...).

One other nit: he room only had two sets of towels during both of our stays. Why is this? They knew we had four people in the room. Do they assume kids don't need towels? Young kids probably use more towels than adults.

Check out was slow. We had a 2pm late checkout, and there were other guests already to check in. I waited in line for 10 mins before giving up and leaving my keys on the counter (I didn't need a receipt).

Would I stay there again? Probably not. I'm going to try the Ritz Carlton next time and hope it will be a better experience.

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
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8  Thank arbrebleu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2005

Stayed here for 4 nights in August and found the St Regis to be top notch in many aspects.

Let me preface my review by saying since I stayed here using Starwood points my review might be better than say if I paid $500 a night which are the typical rates for this hotel.

Check in was very fast and professional and my request to be on the South side of the property was met (construction on the North side - thank you other reviewers).

Parking - This is the one thing that kills me. I was charged $28.00 per day for valet parking and self parking for the hotel is basically non exisitant (I was told by the concierge that self park would cost more than valet if you take your car in and out). For the price , the Valet service was excellent - very fast and freindly. A bit of a secret are the parking spots on the road that leads down to the golf clubhouse. They are right next to the hotel and seem to be empty most of the time. Also, there is parking at the golf clubhouse (dont know if it is legal over night). Both these locations are no more than a 2 minute walk from the lobby and even closer if you are in the North end of the building.

Room - We had a 2 queen bed room on the 2nd floor facing the gardens. Room was everything I expected, very large and comfortable, great beds, nice TV and HUGE bathroom. The bathroom was almost as big as some low priced motels I stayed in. Twice daily maid service was excellent and all requests werre met promptly.

Staff - All staff I encountered were very friendly and informative. Most seemed to go out of their way to help. None (with the exception of one)had their hand out looking for tips.

Pool and Beach - Pools were very attractive and clean. Most times I just grabbed a towel and set myself up. Pool attendants seemed to be hard to find. One thing lacking at the pools are activities for the kids (ie slide, games etc). But kids were welcome everywhere and my kids enjoyed the pools very much. Its a stunning view of the ocean (in the distance) from the pool area as well as most other places from the hotel. From reading other reviews I was not sure what to make of the transportation to the beach. But this turned out to be a non issue. The golf cart ride to the beach was entertaining quick and sceanic (you drive thru the golf course). The beach itself is great. Its pretty secluded with very few non hotel guests and plenty of room to find a quiet spot. Attendants will setup you up with chairs and towels and supply beach toys for the kids.

Dining - Other than eating at the beach front restaurant for lunch one day (it was very good) we did not eat at the hotel. Childrens menus are availbale and very reasonable but the prices for adults were very very high. You can compare the prices to being in a very high end resort in the Carribean. We found it very easy to drive 5 minutes for breakfast in Dana Point and for dinner there were unlimeted possibilites in the area.

Golf - I am a golfer but did not play. Price for the course in prime time is close to $200. Course looked to be in good shape and seem to be quite challenging and narrow.

Spa - Did not use but walked thru and found it to be very nice compared to others I have been to.

Location - Very good base for exploring many different areas. We went to the Knotts, Legoland, Angels game, Newport Beach and Laguna.

All in all this is a great hotel. Is it worth $500 a night? I'm not so sure, but it is very high end and luxurious.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
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5  Thank raincheck10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Bernardsville, NJ
526
Reviewed August 26, 2005

We paid $485/night for family plan. My husband called housekeeping 4 times to ask for more towels and 2 more bath robes. Finally he called the night manager to ask why we have not been given more towels yet. The nigh manager questioned why we would need more towels if we only had 2 people in the room. We had to ask her why we would book a family plan if we didn't have any children. That finally satisfied her. But we then later found out that they decided to raise our rate from $485 to $565 because of extra people in the room.

The pool was so crowed that it took us 1 hour to order food and another hour for them to clear our trays. The attendants were taking umbrellas from guests to give them to other guests. Chairs were so close to each other that guests were climbing over each other.

What amazed us was that for a five star hotel that they didn't have a system to confirm any reservations (dinners or spa). Other five star hotels would slip a note or a phone call to let you know a reservation has been confirmed. We had to constantly call the concierge to find out if our reservations were confirmed. We missed our spa appointment because we had misunderstanding of time of our appointment. On top of that they wanted us to pay for it ($400).

We finally spoke to the GM. He offered to pay for our dinner at Aqua the last night. Of course, it showed up on our bill. Imagine how embarrassed we were to have to ask them to take the charge off.

Devil is in the detail. That is what makes a hotel five star. Every little thing adds up to one big thing. St. Regis has a very good setting, but the staff and management are no better than a three star hotel. It's not a Ritz Carlton or a Four Season. I could walk into a Four Seaon, by second day they would greet me by name, know my drinks, and where I sat at dinner previous night.

I have stayed at other Starwoods in Europe and had very good experience. But this was a huge disappointment.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2005

My wife an I spent five days at the St. Regis and were impressed with the overall service. Nearly every staff person we encountered was very helpful and attentive. Fortunately we were upgraded to a suite because of our travel agent, which made a big differerence as our original "pool view" room was not really a $600 room (the pool was not actually visible from the room). The only real downside we encountered was in the transportation to the beach. The carts used to transport guests were not big enough and guests (including us) frequently could not get on the cart we showed up for and were forced to wait an additional 15 minutes for the cart to return. The website did make it pretty clear that the beach was a short distance away, but we were not prepared to have to wait for carts for up to 20 minutes. Also, we did not realize until the last night that they add an 18% tip to all food and drink bills, so we double tipped on almost all the bills (the last slip we were shown had a disclaimer stamped on the bottom, but the others did not).

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank bnp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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