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“Great location, could do better!”
Review of Surf & Sand Resort

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Surf & Sand Resort
Ranked #7 of 23 Hotels in Laguna Beach
Reviewed August 12, 2007

This is a difficult place to review, because the location is so good and the property is quite classy so those factors are likely to dwarf any other issues.

We stayed 4 nights and had a really memorable time there. Sleeping with the waves crashing outside is wonderful, if you sleep well! My wife and teenage family thought the place was great.

The rooms were ocean front double queens and were nice and certainly clean, modern, well equipped and very comfortable with wonderful views.

However, I have stayed in some great hotels round the world and at $600 per night this should be comparable and frankly it wasn't. The location is truly excellent, but the service (which marks out really good hotels) was lacking. Any request typically required 2-3 repeats to get activated and I gave up after asking about a few things as I was looking to relax - which is a tad disappointing. Maybe by mid-August, all the staff are getting worn down.

I would go back, and would know what I was getting. It is definitely a very nice place - just over priced - BUT it IS difficult to know how to price such a great location.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank PaulD-UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,658 - 1,664 of 1,763 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2007

So we stayed for 2 nights in the King Surfside room on the 1st Floor. The hotel itself has nice grounds and amazing location on the beach. However for $575 per night there were definitely problems. First it felt like we were in a dungeon in the hallway to our room (1st floor problem). (I think the Tower rooms must be nicer but they were more $$). When we got to the room the view of the ocean is fantastic so I guess it makes up for it. I know the hotel was recently renovated and the room was nice but really not that great. THe sliding glass door to the balcony was rusty and hard to open and close, the shower door was missing the plastic which keeps the water in and it ended up all over the bathroom each time, the toilet ran every 20 min which was irritating at night and the hairdryer didn't give off any hot air. The hotel was apologetic and was supposed to bring a new one but it just never happened. Took 4 requests for the crib to show up. Made it up to us with a free movie and chocolate covered strawberries however it showed up as a room service charge which once we called it to their attention was taken care of. It was overcast most of the time so the room wasn't too hot but a/c would really make it nicer at night as keeping your sliding door open is just too loud with the surf. (yes it really is very loud). The pool was small and cold and just felt too crowded. Can't beat the beach location which the kids loved and it was really great having the chairs and towels brought out to you by the hotel staff. We had dinner at the Montage and we were just blown away by how much nicer it was. If there is any way to make it happen I would pay the extra $150-$200 a night and stay there! If it's all about the beach for you the Surf and Sand has better beach access but you can stay at Vacation village for amazing beach access and mediocre rooms for 1/2 the price.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank oc4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2007

It's been about 8 years since I've been back to the Surf & Sand. This time, I brought my husband who'd never been here but only heard about. I was really excited to take him to the property but what was so wonderful was how the experience exceeded what I remembered! Back then it was wonderful - this time it was excellent!

We arrived 4 hours early - since check in was at 3 pm. The front desk staff apologized to us for not having a room ready and gave us free drink coupons in their bar! We weren't expecting anything since we knew we were early and here they were apologizing to us! After about 45 minutes, we were called and our room was ready early!

We also arrived to a bottle of chilled champagne in our room. I believe every guests receives it when checking in. We had a gorgeous view of the beach (as all rooms are oceanview) and our room was spacious and very clean. The staff out on the beach were friendly and attentive. I love how they bring out your umbrellas and chairs for you...(please remember to tip these people!). Please note that there is no alcohol allowed on the beach. And they have undercover cops that patrol the beach and will fine you heavily if you have some. We noticed it happening to these guys next to us.

The valet boys were so wonderful and even though they wrote your name on the corner of your windshield, it's always still nice when they greet you by name.

The "Meet your Manager" happy hour on Friday was wonderful! Free food and drinks out on their courtyard. The food was great!! Cheese, crackers, avocado salad, mini filet sandwiches, shrimp skewers, crab cakes...they were all fantastic and super tasty. We never did see the manager though. Maybe he was there and we didn't know?

Turn down service is done every night that you are there. They leave you with candy and a list of activities going on the next day including the weather and tide levels.

You don't need a car there really. Everything is right around the corner from you. To get to downtown Laguna where all the restaurants and shops are, takes about a 20 minute walk one way. It's pretty lively there at night with lots of restaurants to choose from. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops that are less than a 5 minute walk if you don't want to go to downtown Laguna. If you do park a car there, it is $27 a night which was actually waived for us, luckily.

The food in Splashes was alright. A bit pricey and not all that it is raved to be. We had breakfast and lunch there and did not walk away full or overly impressed. That would be the only downside.

They also have tea time in the spa daily at 5 pm. You just go into the spa boutique and pick which tea you would like and take some shortbread with you and sit out on a bench and enjoy! You can go back as many times as you want. I tried 2 different teas each day.

I can go on and on about this property. It's wonderful and perfect for any type of group: family, couples, honeymoon, retired...it's just perfect and I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Peanutpuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2007

I contacted this hotel at 11pm on a Saturday night, as we were down the street at a dump! They had a room available from Sunday through Friday night. I went by (in my PJ's) and they were more than accomodating. Offered me free parking (saving the $27 per night).

We checked in at 9am the next morning and I was thoroughly impressed with everyone from the front desk, to housekeeping, to the pool boys. The place is contstantly being cleaned, they go above and beyond my wildest thoughts.

When I contacted the front desk to tell them how happy we were, they gave us a free movie for the kids to watch.

We had 2 queen beds, a gorgeous view of the ocean with dolphins and everything. Upon checking out, I questioned some of the charges and they instantly reversed them.

I whole heartily recommend this resort. It will be frequented by my family often!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank BobnLaurie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2007

My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon at Laguna Beach.

This hotel was gorgeous. The staff was beyond friendly and helpful, and the view from the rooms were amazing. It was easy to find your way around the property, easy to get to shops around town, and very easy access to the beach, pool, and restaraunt. The beach staff was awesome, we came back a few hours later and they remembered where we were sitting and set our chairs and umbrella up in the same spot.

If you're looking for a vaca. to just lay around the beach, or even your room and relax, this is definitely the place to go.

Stayed: June 2007
2  Thank blondy3088
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2007

My husband and 4 year old daughter stayed here while on business for 3 days. We absolutely loved our stay. The view from the balcony is 2nd to none. The pool and beach access is terrific- my 4 year old loved being able to go from the beach to the pool and back to the beach. The pool staff treated her really nicely. Good poolside service as well- food and drinks were great. The beach area is nice for digging in the sand and running in the waves. The rooms were a little small, but very comfortable. Only drawback would be if it was really hot with no air conditioning- luckily, that wasn't an issue for us- but, I could see how it would be if it was over 90 degrees out. Good location- close to downtown. I would stay again.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled on business
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Thank Nhern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2007

This is a high-end hotel in a high-end destination. You should expect to pay a LOT of money. The Surf & Sand is not nearly as fancy as the nearby Montage Resort or Ritz Carlton, nor is the restaurant as good, but the Montage and the Ritz are more expensive than the Surf & Sand. Then again, some might say that the Montage and the Ritz are over the top.

The distinguishing characteristic of the Surf & Sand is that the hotel is right on the ocean, with every room facing the ocean, and with waves breaking under your balcony. The Montage and Ritz are set back from the ocean, so you don't get this experience.

Some people are kept awake by the waves, even with the sliding balcony door shut and even using the complementary ear plugs. Other people are lulled to sleep by the waves and leave their balcony doors open. This is something to consider before booking.

We did not notice any mold or mildew smells.

The Spashes Restaurant had just reopened. It's pretty good -- again, the restaurants at the Montage and the Ritz are better -- but it should improve over time.

The staff was courteous and helpful (perhaps they read some of the earlier reviews on this website!), and we even got comped drinks when the front desk made a minor mistake which we did not even notice.

We asked for and got a room on an upper floor (ocean noise still loud). The room was modern and updated. A 42" flat panel TV, DVD player (conceirge will loan DVDs), an iPod docking station for your music. Comfortable beds. We'd stay there again.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled on business
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7  Thank LLBean314
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

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 Spa Hotel in Laguna Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Laguna Beach
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Laguna Beach
#8 Family Hotel in Laguna Beach
Price Range: $402 - $777 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Ron Fougeray; 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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