It was a sweet escape when my fiance and I headed over to Laguna Beach for the weekend. We took the long road there along PCH–it was Saturday and why not?–and finally arrived at the sprawling Laguna Cliffs property, which is actually in the city of Dana Point. As soon as we drove up to the valet at the iconic red-roofed resort we knew it was going to be a fabulous weekend.
The resort’s red-roofed, Victorian-style architecture caps the cliffs above the bay, looking out over more than 75 acres of gardens, lawns, and Doheny State Beach park with miles of biking, strolling, and jogging paths.
So I have to tell you: Laguna Cliffs is actually part of the Marriott chain, so when we were setting up our reservation, we had our reservations. I’m not a big chain person when it comes to restaurants and hotels, but this place has totally elevated the experience. It’s a resort & spa, so everything from the swanky lobby to the bathroom toiletries was top notch!
Part of why the space is so pleasant (aside from its prime location overlooking the parks and ocean) is because a multi-million dollar restoration was completed a few years ago. The room decor is clean and simple and the bed is soooooo comfortable.
Our room was just a floor or two above ground level and at first I thought, oh, I really wanted to be up high to get a great view. But we did have a great view and I really loved that we didn’t feel like we were too far removed from the action–we could look across to the outdoor restaurant patio, the lawn and farther out to the ocean while still maintaining privacy.
See that lo-fi arrow graphic I created in Photoshop?? Yeah, that was us. Although you can’t see me posing on the balcony.
There was plenty of action with families in both pool areas including a new saltwater pool. This place is perfect for families, but we made a romantic weekend out of it. That’s the beauty of this place. Lovezzz!
Of course, no weekend getaway is complete without good food. The onsite restaurant, Vue, is led by Australian chef Thomas Trevethan who has helmed some of the finest (and biggest) kitchens around the world. I love that he’s all about sustainable, local and organic whenever possible, which is particularly impressive when considering the size of this resort. The menu changes seasonally and Friday and Saturday nights there are special Farm to Table dinners, which feature local organic produce from VR Green Farms in San Clemente. The restaurant has a great outdoor patio (with a firepit) and on the night we were there, the fog really started to roll in and it got kinda cold, but I didn’t want to eat inside, so they brought out a blanket to keep me warm! Special touches like this are what really make a place memorable.
Speaking of memorable … one of the best things about Laguna Cliffs is location, location, location! No, it’s not right on the beach, but that’s what ended up being so great about it. Because it’s located along 75 acres of gardens and lawns and different paths, we were able to step outside our door and amble over to the park and just enjoy the breeze and relax in the shade underneath the canopy of trees. That’s what makes it feel like it’s really part of the community and great for enjoying the area’s natural surroundings.
More info: www.lagunacliffs.com