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“How could anyone be stressed at this resort?”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Surf & Sand Resort

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Surf & Sand Resort
Ranked #7 of 22 Hotels in Laguna Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal
Level Contributor
436 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 273 helpful votes
“How could anyone be stressed at this resort?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2014

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.

Room Tip: We were on a lower floor looking over the pool. The sound of the waves did not bother me, but it mig...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank 45DegreesNorth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (522)
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San Diego
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2014

What a nice surprise! I knew it was overlooking the ocean but I had no idea it was going to be so close that we felt like we were on a cruise ship! We had the best time ever and we only live forty minutes away, yet it felt like we were in another state! The service was fantastic and the restaurant was so good we went both nights of our stay. Bruce and Alfredo were so kind and every recommendation they made was perfect! I am in the hospitality industry and I know what to look for, you can not go wrong with this beautiful property. Everything was within walking distance. We didn't even use the car after we checked in. Oh and don't forget to spend an afternoon at the spa while you are there. Also we had dolphins see us off on our last day. they were literally playing in the surf right in front of our room for about 15 minutes. I also enjoyed the fact that dogs are allowed on the beaches in Laguna, so entertaining to watch! Cant wait to go back!

Room Tip: Choose an upgrade from the pool view, well worth it.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank dakotakly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
97 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

I live in San Diego and every year for my birthday, I try out one of the five star resorts in Laguna Beach. So far I have tried the Ritz, Montage and St Regis. I have ALWAYS wanted to stay at the Surf and Sand but it is really pricey. I took advantage of a Black Friday special that made my stay somewhat affordable.

The basics of the hotel... It is located on PCH about a mile from the heart of Laguna Beach. It is about a 20 minute walk to the main town area. Around the hotel itself, the dining is limited outside of Splashes (the hotel restaurant). There is a Ralph's grocery store about 6 blocks down and a liquor store about a block away north of the hotel for drinks and snacks. There are plenty of stores around the hotel but if you want to be IN Laguna Beach, I would look at other properties like the Inn at Laguna. However, the Inn is not right on the sand and its on a walkway where all the tourists walk.

The property has three type of rooms all with an ocean view: 1) ocean view, 2) surf side and 3) ocean front tower rooms. The surf side rooms have approx. a $50 premium vs the ocean view and the ocean front towers approx. a $100 a night premium vs the ocean view rooms. The best rooms in my opinion are the ocean front tower rooms on floors 7-9. The ocean view rooms are over the pool but looking at the ocean. The surf side rooms are right on the ocean. However, the towers have more floors and have better views. Both, the tower and surf side rooms are right on the sand! All rooms have a resort fee and you have to pay for parking.

My trip started rough. Check in time is really late, 4 pm and I waited for my room for a long time. I was definitely frustrated but he hotel took care of me and upgraded my room which won major points with me! I was in an Oceanfront Tower, 7th floor.

What Surf and Sand is an ON the ocean experience. You are right there! Ocean crashing, great sunsets, etc. What this place isn't is the Ritz. Many people on TA complain that there is noise from the ocean. That's the downside of being on the sand. If this will bother you, they give you ear plugs but I would try another property like the Montage which is on a cliff above the ocean and the rooms are offset. The other thing people on TA have mentioned is the lack of Air Conditioning. Living in So Cal for over 15 years, it is customary not to have air conditioning if you are on the coast.

Rooms are large and very nice. Its a 30 second walk down to the sand and the hotel provides chairs and umbrellas. There is a nice fitness center. I did not do any spa services since they were a bit pricey. However, the spa is small not like the large one at the Montage. Splashes Restaurant is beautiful and the food is good. There is also a very cool bar below Splashes right on the water. The pool is medium size with a small hot tub. It was pretty crowed when I was there. If you are looking for a large pool area, this hotel would not be for you. It is all about the ocean. North of the hotel, there are a variety of places to rent paddle boards, kayaks and surf boards which I will do my next trip. There is a small coffee shop on site but the hotel provide free coffee in the morning.

If you are looking to be ON the beach Surf and Sand is the place for you!

Room Tip: Ocean Front Tower rooms - floors
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank dogluverSanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
45 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2014

Purchased a living social deal for a one night stay for my husband's birthday- I upgraded our room for an additional $40.00 to a room directly on the ocean front- originally was booked in the sea view room overlooking pool and ocean- I was very happy with our room and view; however the pool /ocean view room would also have been great as almost every room has a view. Our view was outstanding. We took advantage of all of the amenities at the resort except the spa. We enjoyed 2 meals at Splashes, one of the hotel's restaurants. Dinner and service was exceptional. Overall the hotel service is casual yet attentive. It is extremely expensive, but it has a laid back vibe because it is located on the beach- not pretentious. My only complaint, and I know it sounds lame is the noise level of the waves crashing on the beach.I am sensitive to sounds and also have trouble sleeping so if you do not have these issues, you will be ok. The wave sounds were wonderful during the day, but was more noticeable at night even with the slider closed. They do supply earplugs on each nightstand. Everything else was absolutely 5 star. I would definitely return and would highly recommend. It is a great place especially for a special occasion.

Room Tip: If you are sensitive to noise choose a tower room on one of the upper floors.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank pattimelt41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2014

Once here there is no need to leave - very comfortable rooms, excellent food and room service, very family friendly, excellent beach walking. It is well located if one does wish to venture out to explore more of Laguna Beach. Staff are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. We would very happily return for another visit.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank temmy6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2014

Had a terrific 3-day stay with my wife; right on the ocean in Laguna Beach. A very 'beachy' place - great service and awesome views of the ocean. Room very comfortable - only issue is that it can get a bit warm in the room in the afternoon if you keep the slider closed. Only reason to do that is to somewhat block the very loud waves. We loved the closeness of the waves, but it may be a bit noisy for some. All depends on what you're looking for in a beach-side stay. We really enjoyed ours!

Room Tip: If you need quiet; stay in one of the Tower rooms which are higher and further from the crashing wav...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2014

The Surf and Sand is the perfect destination no matter what the occasion and no matter what the make up of your party. The Surf and Sand is a wonderful destination for couples enjoying a romantic weekend, friends getting together for some fun and/or families wanting a beach vacation. I have been going to The Surf and Sand since before I could walk. And, before that, my mom stayed at the Surf and Sand when it was a fraction of its size. I have celebrated nearly every memorable occasion in my life there. It is a magical place.

The Surf and Sand is the only resort in Laguna that is on the ocean. That's right - you simply walk down the steps and you are on the beach. There is no bus to PCH that you have to get on...you just walk out of your room. You can smell and feel the ocean everywhere around the hotel. There is nothing better than falling asleep to the sound of the crashing waves below you.

The service is the envy of every hotel. No matter what changes are made to the design of the hotel, one thing never changes and that is its impeccable service. There are no lists for getting a lounge chair or wait times for beach chairs and umbrellas. There are plenty of chairs and towels available for hotel guests and there is always someone waiting to help you get settled. And, when you are hungry, there is no need to leave the property...lunch is delivered right to your chairs on the beach.

I think there is something intangible about the Surf and Sand. Although it is a big resort now with Ipod hook ups in the room and a state of the art gym, it somehow manages to have that small hotel feel. It is part of Laguna's history and you can feel that when you are there.

Room Tip: Stay in the towers! You can hear the ocean in your room when you sleep and you have unobstructed vi...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Surf & Sand Resort

Property: Surf & Sand Resort
Address: 1555 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651-3299
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Laguna Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Laguna Beach
#4 Spa Hotel in Laguna Beach
#4 Business Hotel in Laguna Beach
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Laguna Beach
#8 Family Hotel in Laguna Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Surf & Sand Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 165
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

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