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“Lovely & amazing stay at the Ritz in Laguna Beach!”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Lovely & amazing stay at the Ritz in Laguna Beach!”
Reviewed August 20, 2007

This was a very special birthday gift. Let's just say it was the perfect pick for a nice, relaxing bday getaway. I honestly cannot say enough about this hotel. The service is outstanding from the moment you walk through the entrance from the moment you leave. The staff was great - it is high season right now, but despite the craziness - the Ritz staff members were respectful, warm & friendly - which I can very much appreciate.

Everything about the hotel from the location, the grounds, our hotel room, food (room service), and pool was wonderful! The fitness center, and spa looked really nice too - you can't beat the view from the gym. This hotel is in the best location in Laguna - sitting on a high cliff and is oceanfront - giving guests a sense of privacy & exclusivity. The hotel is also situated in front of several beaches - one in particular - Salt Creek beach - which has an excellent surf (at least this past weekend it did!) - and is known to have surfing competitions several times a year. The hotel is not too far from downtown Laguna - but it's far enough and away from it all - so that it's private. They have a free shuttle that takes you down to the beach, and picks you up - so it's very convenient, and the beach is amazing. We walked along the entire beach area in front of the hotel - and towards the Monarch Bay club. The Ritz hotel in Laguna is very family friendly - but obviously they cater to all parties - and was perfect for us. They are adding around 20+ more suites to the hotel, which is exciting. I also recommend driving into downtown Laguna - to check out Splashes Bar & Restaurant at the Surf & Sand - for drinks, appetizers, lunch or dinner. This place is oceanfront, and we spent a good few hours lounging and hanging out here - enjoying the ocean view, food & drinks. It was amazing there too - but I must say, the Ritz Laguna Niguel is an outstanding choice for a luxurious 5-star getaway experience!

  • Liked — Service, Location, & Beach
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Caroline814
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Cleanliness
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Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2007

I would concur with the review I just read (from August 9) that this Ritz Carlton should be a 3-Star Hotel!

We also moved 3 different times and found the room conditions to be similar---poorly decorated, dirty and small. What was most surprising was the lack of sound-proofing in the rooms! We could hear people in the next room talking (even snoring!)

There was a woman (in management) that was most helpful and did the best she could but we were soooo disappointed! Other than the view, this hotel (for the price) has little to offer. We had lunch in the restaurant, which was average (at best) and for the 2 of us was $125! (Only 1 glass of Chardonnay!) We ordered room service once and the turkey club had processed turkey and the bread was stale!

Pool service was bad-rarely anyone around. The chairs had no cushions and were uncomfortable.

I Had a pedecure at the spa and the therapist used gloves, which I've not seen before. She was very nice but I've had much better in other spas for the same (or less) cost.

Glad that the St. Regis is better as we do not need the sand but really liked Laguna. Prior to our arrival @ the Ritz, we were at the 4 Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad, CA and it was truly amazing! We loved everything about it but the location (no view.) Regardless, we will go back at our 1st opportunity!

The Ritz Carlton (on their best day) could not compete with the Aviara.....and the 4 Seasons was $250 less per night!

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank micmin5056
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2007

We have stayed at several Ritz locations including Cancun, Central Park, Puerto Rico and Amelia Island. This stay at Laguna Niguel was not up to Ritz standards at all. It is not a luxury resort and the reviews posted here regarding the noise levels, rooms, and dining are accurate. Before we made our reservation I asked the concierge about the beach and she said that it is cleaned everyday (not true) . The pool is small and the adult pool is even smaller. The service is inconsistent...staff is either very nice or aloof. I would classify this hotel as a four star hotel, not a luxury resort or vacation destination. Next time I will stay at the Montage or St. Regis. I was very disappointed.

  • Liked — Dining
  • Disliked — Not a luxury resort
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank nacevedo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
112 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2007

Fabulous property with breathtaking views and superb service. Decor is different than other RC Hotels -- but we liked that. No, it's not Pottery Barn, as some have suggested, but it is more modern and we found that refreshing. The "signature" RC look is a little old ladyish. Beds are to die for. Splurge for Ocean Front. Rooms are on the small side -- but made up for by the expansive views. Fitness Center has the best view on the property -- floor to ceiling windows overlooking the coast. The only negatives are that the bar is small for a property of this size and it can be difficult to find a place to sit at times and there are a lot of weddings going on and you will undoubtedly end up strolling through one in your swimsuit if you are not careful. Breakfast options are limited so walk over to Mezzaluna or Starbucks (a two minute walk ) if you don't want to spend $30 a person on breakfast or just want a latte. Final bonus -- adults only pool.

  • Liked — The spectacular view.
  • Disliked — Small weddings outside our ocean front room limited use of our wonderful lanai -- unless we wanted to be sitting in the middle of someone else's wedding.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tabarber99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
129 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2007

This was our first stay at this property and we were disappointed. The rooms, restaurants, amenities and service were not even five star let alone up to what we expect from a Ritz property. The only thing it has to recommend it are the views which ARE spectacular. It's too bad that the property does not live up to them. Quite frankly, I feel this hotel simply does not deliver as a luxury property and we will not stay there again. It should be a four star.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Service, amenities, overall quality of the property
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tess G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level Contributor
23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2007

After reading the reviews of this property extensively, I decided to book this hotel. My choice was based on the hotel's proximity to the ocean and the expectation of excellent service. We booked a Re-connect Pkg for $725/night.

The pros:

-View and location
-Beds are comfy and done up well (the highlight of the room).
-Some nice touches like personalized check-in directly in your room albeit some confusion with questions asked and luggage tags etc.
-Beautiful views and decor in main areas of hotel.
-Nice internet booths.
-Valet efficient

The cons:

1) Room is tiny and decorated mediocre with some very outdated finishing just covered up with a fresh coat of paint (i.e. trim and walls). Some walls were the lumpy/bumpy popcorn style walls I've usually only seen in older substandard hotels. Lower ceilings, not a great deal of storage space for a beach resort. Showers were tubs and curtains - not up to par in my book. Had a tough time finding a place for our empy luggage so we weren't tripping over them. Housekeeping was okay, some inconsistencies, nothing too earth shattering. Robes but no slippers were provided, finally on day three I asked for slippers and the housekeeping staff said "I think we're still providing them in the room - but I'll have some brought to you". Balconies are cement floors and walls (on third floor anyways) so yes it was nice to have a set of slippers on hand.

2)Noise level from the HALLS as stated in many of the other reviews - absolutely true (there was no apparant noise from beside us, just out in the halls). For example at one point I left the room briefly and could still hear my son's voice when I had walked down the hall a room or so. One evening (or morning) we were awakened abruptly at 2:00 am by someone speaking in the hall- it sounds like they are in your room with you it's so loud. This is just normal conversation, not yelling. At a couple of points I considered stuffing a bath mat around the base of the door in hopes of muffling the sound but it seemed after the first night things improved (i.e. no one was talking in the halls late at night).

3)Dining options, it's pretty much one-stop dining or room service. There was mixed info on when the pool was open for food service. The first day we arrived it was late afternoon and we were hoping to have lunch. The restaurant said they were no longer serving lunch and it was too early to have dinner and they weren't sure if the pool grill kitchen was open so we could have appetizers only or order room service. This was disappointing and substandard to me - which I'm sure they could see by my response. We did end up staying and ordering appetizers and the waiter asked permission to have a pizza made for my son - which the kitchen did agree to (thankfully). Food was fairly good.

4)Another con stated previously is the fact that there are two sides (wings) in the hotel, with the dining room located smack dab in the middle. If your room is located in wing away from the pool and beach cabbanna you must traipse through the restaurant in your pool/beach attire, past the host/hostesses, and all onlooking diners in order to get to the other side. When I was told this by the person who checked me in - I stated my discomfort and she said it was a beach resort and it's perfectly acceptable to go through the dining room. I asked if there was another way and she said we would have to go through the lower level conference area which would be much the same and we should just go through the dining room. Well, after once or twice of running the gauntlet I opted to walk outside or through the conference area which was much better. We would sometimes be coming or going to the beach or pool around dinner time and I am not comfortable parading through the dining room in next to nothing, sun hats and beach bags in tow. It felt like the catwalk in some bizarre fashion show. Come on now people!

5)Concierge was adequate, but very generic I found. The towncar service was handled well by the concierge, but when promised an email confirmation of same - it never came. I had to make another long distance call to confirm. They would provide you with the basics, but no expert and personalized assistance here, just the bear minimum. Lists of recommeded restaurants were handed out instead of a more personalized recommendation. Directions needed to be requested and then weren't always accurate. Some requests were not attempted to be handled at all. I asked if there was a high-end denim store in Laguna they knew of. They didn't know and didn't offer to find out. This was disappointing, but not surprising to me by now.

6)Staff in general - many inconsistencies in the staff and overall knowledge of the property. Some housekeeping staff would not even make eye contact others seemed fine. My son mentioned that it seemed some of the staff were overdoing it a bit - overly nice - I had to laugh and agree (contrived may have been the word he was looking for). Every time I asked a question of the hotel staff, they didn't seem to know the answer and often couldn't find out efficiently and consistently what the answer was. i.e:
-We booked the reconnect pkg - no one told us how to get our "picnic basket" or quite knew how - we think you order from room service they said. We never did receive the childrens gift that comes with this package. The person who checked us in was very kind and tried to give us some info on our credits etc, but really didn't know what they were and had to call down to clarify - I'm still not sure myself, but just couldn't be bothered to hash it out with her after a long and tiring journey.
-Also we were whisked away from our towncar the moment we got out and escorted immediately to our room (which was nice), but once there the check-in person asked for our luggage tags and she would have our luggage sent up. I said they didn't give me any, you literally whisked me away when the bags were still in the trunk. Lovely touch, to do the personalized check-in, but for heaven's sake, get the details right - what's the point if it's a jumbled mess?
-Is there a kids club every day or just weekends? We'll never know...neither will they.
-Could I bring my son to the fitness centre to sit and wait for me? No, he must to go to kids club for an hour or two there's no where for him to wait in the fitness centre. Kids club wasn't on and according to their literature was only available by half days. Furthermore, when I later asked the attendant at the fitness centre she said my son absolutely could wait for me there...
-Is the pool dining area open and when? Not sure...never did find out the mystery here...
-Could we book a tennis court? Hotel staff is not sure whether it's the fitness centre or the SPA who books. SPA ends up booking and saying come on down - but doesn't tell us where to check in - I have to ask. I ask if they have rackets to borrow and where to go. SPA guy's not sure, and says just come down and there will be a pool attendant available to get you everything you need and show you where the courts are (the entrance is somewhat hidden). No pool attendant is there when we go down. We have no idea where the raquets/balls or courts are and wander around searching until we finally stumble upon a chest full of rackets (no balls), then eventually find the entrance to the courts and hope to find a lost ball somewhere...again a bit lacking.

Overall a beautiful view from public areas, not great rooms in my opinion and the staff does try, but doesn't always suceed. Some hits, lots of misses. What makes a great experience for me is when service is handled in a proactive manner. This hotel is often in the reactive mode, unfortunately.

  • Liked — The views from public areas.
  • Disliked — Age of hotel rooms/inconsistent service.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank noname36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Decatur,GA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2007

I rated the stay overall as Terrible...not what I would expect for an expensive weekend at a Ritz property in Southern CA. Also note that I wrote a letter to the Manager of the hotel, George Munz, and I never received a response.

Check-In: issues when the front desk employee told me that there was a problem with my credit card (Platinum Amex) and I asked was she sure. She appeared to have a negative attitude towards me at that point stating there is a problem and asked for another credit card. When the 2nd card "didn't work" I asked if there was an issue with their system and she said no and didn't not appear very polite. After another 5 minutes of waiting she abruptly said that there must be an issue with the hotel system and "one of your credit cards will get charged". I found this front desk service level to be poor especially after reading a case study in business school about Ritz-Carlton being the gold standard for customer service.

Once we approached the room, housekeeping was still in our room (it was approx 10:45pm). The housekeeper left and approx an hour later, we discovered a pair of women's underwear on the floor behind the bathroom door. Again, not what we would expect for a $350 a night room. When we called the front desk, they simply stated "that's disgusting" and didn't even offer to change our room or at minimum have housekeeping come back to inspect the room and remove the underwear. I found this level of service to be sub-standard.

The physical property location is prime and is situated on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A nice aspect was the grassy area where they have chairs where you can sit overlooking the water and write in Ritz-Carlton journals.

Housekeeping during our stay was inconsistent. Some days we got a bathmat, some days they didn't leave us one. One day we had morning breakfast order forms, the rest of the weekend we had to call and request them.

I can report that the Concierge service was excellent...they arranged a car service to LAX and charged everything to the room which is convenient.

Overall, I was turned off by the problems we had and had higher hopes for a Ritz experience which seemed to overshadow the good points. We will choose other properties along PCH that we have stayed at before such as the suite rooms at the Holiday Inn next to the Ralph's on PCH in Laguna.

  • Stayed March 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BDavisDecatur_GA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Address: 1 Ritz Carlton Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629-4205
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Dana Point
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Dana Point
#1 Romantic Hotel in Dana Point
#2 Business Hotel in Dana Point
#2 Green Hotel in Dana Point
#3 Family Hotel in Dana Point
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel 5*
Number of rooms: 396
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel Hotel Dana Point
Ritz Dana Point
Ritz-Carlton Dana Point
Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel

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