First class from start to finish.
Check in experience: Seamless. Valets greeted cars, took baggage. Lovely reception area, well appointed, seashell color and decor. Our room was not far – room 338. Not a plus that we needed to lift our heavy baggage a few times over one step or a short flight of stairs to get to our room. We had the option of having a porter bring it to our room, but I am conditioned to take my own. If I was less able, I would not have been able to manage this on my own. I like to be able to manage on my own. For those who this is important, it should be mentioned upon arrival.
Room: Beautiful décor, again in the soothing seashore colour décor, soft beiges, whites, coral decorative touches. The balcony gave out onto the nearby sandy beach, palm trees, an amazing Mykonos blue swimming pool and bar with stand-up paddles in the distance. There were mornings when we watched dolphins, California grey whales, Canada geese (reminded me of home), pelicans. We had three chairs to relax on and a nice table. The wall of glass facing the Pacific ocean view could be covered with a wall of shutters when needed.
All appointments were there, including safety deposit box, iron, ironing board, hair dryer, lovely postcards, etc. We never did use the mini bar. Hotel-branded mini-chocolates made a good gift to bring back to my son. And worth noting: I love their very slim pen. It went away with me in my purse, and I made it through my trade show with it – loved how slim it was. Must I go back again for a pen??? That is my excuse and I am sticking to it.
Restaurant: Splashes is the restaurant. Stunning views of the beach, with open windows and a lovely breeze. I could not stop taking photos of the sunsets, as could other guests, while we were having a drink. Incredible setting. I did not feel like it could get better than this. Have the mohito. For breakfast, I had the O.C. breakfast, which was tasty and healthy, and the heuvos rancheros, an interesting take on this recipe. One of the things that I loved about this restaurant was the little nooks and crannies, some tables outside, some inside, one with a fireplace. For outdoor tables, there are numerous outdoor heaters. An idyllic place to eat near the beach. Very competent, friendly service.
The beach: This is the star feature of this hotel. The beach is not across the street or a trip down the road – this hotel is ON the beach. It is a few steps down from the restaurant, it is a view down from the room’s balconies, no obstacles to view. Well, a few palm trees, but they are lovely to look at as well and makes for a great picture. The sand is beautiful, one can walk down the beach without shoes for a distance. There are lovely houses built into the cliff, and a wonderful photo opportunity in a rock formation that frames a photo, and a staircase planted into the cliff which makes for a wonderful picture. For those who are looking to swim, the Pacific in these parts can be notoriously cold, colder than many spots I have ventured into. Bring your wet suit. I loved watching the stand up paddlers in the distance – I noticed a stores with lessons, rentals, etc. not too far away. Maybe next time.
Etc.: An area to relax or meet up is just off the reception area and features lovely fire pits and fireplaces. Lounging here with a nice drink, looking at the ocean: it does not get much better than that.
We took a little shopping spree by walking down the street, heading towards the Laguna Beach lighthouse. Lots of art galleries and boutiques. Great surprises and nice sales to be found in clothes. Once we reached the lighthouse area, we got a coffee at Starbucks, and headed to the beach, took off our shoes and headed back to our hotel by the beach.
Coffee in the morning: Our room did not have an in-room coffee maker. Instead there is a coffee station that is laid out quite early downstairs. For those who wish to have a little something to knosh, there is a tiny snack shop to pick up a pastry.
Stores: A cute little store is located not far from the relaxing fire pit area. Good souvenirs, lounging clothes, necessities. This shop has lots of nice things.
Pool: Lovely pool with lots of loungers. Sticker shock on the bar prices: 2 mohitos set us back about $30. We had a lovely rest here on a Saturday afternoon. There was a wedding party moving throughout the hotel; I could see at least two other couples sitting with event planners. The first night we were there, we could not enter the pool area. Just from our small time there, there was evidence of quite a bit of wedding activity.
Would I stay at this hotel again? In a heart beat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Surf & Sand Resort, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and holder of AAA’s Four-Diamond Award, lies on California's Laguna Beach shoreline where the waves of the Pacific meet 500 feet of pristine sand.All 151 guest rooms and 16 suites at Surf & Sand command spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The resort also houses Splashes Restaurant, featuring a Mediterranean-inspired coastal menu by Executive Chef David Fune; the intimate Aquaterra Spa; 10,000-square-feet of meeting space and wedding venues with stunning ocean views. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Surf And Sand Hotel Laguna Beach
- Surf And Sand Hotel
- Surf Sand Hotel
- Surf And Sand Resort