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“Laguna Gem”
Review of Surf & Sand Resort

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Surf & Sand Resort
Ranked #7 of 22 Hotels in Laguna Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Laguna Gem”
Reviewed August 6, 2014

Truly gorgeous ocean view, and loved the location and food. If you like falling asleep to the sound of waves (who doesn't?)--this is the place for you. Visited on a trip to visit a client--can't wait to bring my husband back here for a vacation. Upscale hotel, but still comfortable and authentic.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stacie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,613 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (528)
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English first
Newport Beach, California
1 review
Reviewed August 6, 2014

The most beautiful view of ocean, romantic getaway, Pricey restaurant, very bad server, but overall nice staff.
Needs improvement in check in area.
Use Spa, Pool and the beach,
Avoid the restaurant, Bar is perfect.


  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank sammal6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
51 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2014

One of the first things you spot in your very spacious and comfortable room is a set of earplugs with a message that the hotel's greatest asset is also it's noisiest. Slide open the balcony windows and you have the ocean on your doorstep - a truly fabulous setting. However, given the lack of air-conditioning in the room (a bit of a surprise given the quality of the hotel), we assumed that sleeping with the windows open wouldn't be a problem. Wrong - the breaking waves make an absolute racket making it impossible to get a peaceful night's sleep. Sleeping with the windows closed (which turns the ocean sounds into very soothing) isn't an option either as the room gets too hot and stuffy. There is an overhead fan that makes a small difference if you keep it on full speed the whole time - the problem is that you run the risk of losing a hand (or arm) if you lift your hands above your head in the middle of the room! Lastly we would have expected to have coffee/tea making facilities in the room for the convenience of guests. Criticisms aside, the hotel is great and the staff, especially at the concierge desk, are really friendly and helpful. They gave us great advice on really good non-resort golf courses (Arroyo Trabuco and Oak Creek in particular) which we thoroughly enjoyed playing - definitely better value for money than the very pricey nearby resort courses. Food at the hotel was excellent, especially at Splashes, which has the added advantage of it's great setting.

Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Dudleyfields1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glossop, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2014

Good location ,wonderful staff .No sleep due to no air con in the rooms ,the heat was un bearable . You are provided with a fan ,which is not only loud but makes little difference . We were not informed about the hotel having no air con even though we booked direct .

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
4 Thank Karen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weston, Connecticut
Level Contributor
244 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2014 via mobile

Splurge for an oceanfront room in the tower for one of the best sweeping views of the CA coastline you will ever see. The rooms are nice and bright and well appointed. One drawback is the lack of air conditioning, though the ocean breeze is pretty good for the most part. I would still prefer AC for sleeping. The pool is quite nice though it can get crowded. Valet service was a bit slow and I could not check in until almost exactly 4:00pm, but I still did get to my room by 4:00pm so I guess I can't complain. The location is superb but some of the foot traffic in the hallways is heavy and the hotel has a "busy feel" to it, but then so does Laguna Beach in general. I can't rate this property as excellent and I think it is a stretch to do so.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank TOWestonCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2014 via mobile

Surf and Sand

"Tale of Two Cities"

A question I never thought I would ever ask at a hotel...especially one costing $800/night..."is there air conditioning?" Well, the answer at Surf & Sand is NO...."we are an open air property" was the response I got when I asked how to turn on the AC. By the way, don't look for ANY evidence of this in advance. It's a "secret" until you get there! There is no mention on the web site, not mentioned when reserving the room, not disclosed at check in...NO MENTION until you too finally ask someone how to turn on AC when you enter your stifling hot summer room. My second clue (first clue was overwhelming heat) should have been when I saw the ear plugs. Why would you need earplugs in $800/night hotel room? Well, its because you have to open all the doors to the crashing ocean all night so you don't die of heat stroke.

Personally, had I known, I would have gone elsewhere. Which is why I call this the "bait and switch". I laughed throughout the course of my stay listening and watching others as discovered this little "pearl"...some went berserk.

So, why "Tale of Two Cities"? Well, the views are phenomenal (if ocean front). Staff are exceptional and really try hard. They are very helpful, friendly and responsive. When I complained to the front desk manager about AC, he discounted our first night by 50%. Nice, but I was still miserable during the day and when getting ready to go out at night. At night it was comfortable with doors opened.

Food is really good..rooms are very nice (at least on 9th floor)..not Temperpedic quality on mattress, but ok. Views are awesome. Beach is right there...nice breeze at night to offset humid hot room during day. Very centrally located and convenient.

What upset me the most...was Surf and Sand not being transparent about AC. Not giving me the choice to decide.

Bottom line...I need AC and I do not like the fact it was never disclosed. Perhaps if we had read Trip Advisor reviews in advance we would have known!

That said, there is much that makes it very good there...just figure out if you can deal with AC and noise level before getting there. Hence the lower rating.

Advise to owners...try honesty. It goes a long way in most businesses.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna B, General Manager at Surf & Sand Resort, responded to this review, July 31, 2014
Dear Michael,
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, and I appreciate your comments about our exceptional staff, beachfront location and dining at Splashes Restaurant. I am disappointed to hear that the lack of AC negatively impacted your experience and would love another opportunity to have you back during cooler climate conditions.

Please feel free to call me directly at 949-376-2759 or jbear@jcresorts.com.

Sincerely,
Joanna Bear
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 28, 2014

I will recommend it to anyone!! We stayed at this amazing Resort one night as a get away with the kids. From the front desk receptionists to the restaurant staff to the great ocean view rooms. Every one was very nice and courteous! We had an amazing time. Loved the fact that the hotel is right on the beach!!

Room Tip: Rooms close to parking and very easy beach access
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mari F
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 Business Hotel in Laguna Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Laguna Beach
#4 Spa 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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