The Southern California lifestyle doesn’t get better than Orange County, from boating to golf, shopping at the famous luxury South Coast Plaza mall, or maybe a visit to Disneyland. It’s a great venue for company meetings or a full-on vacation.
Your toughest decision will be where to stay, and unfortunately, we won’t make it any easier this week once you see the amazing luxury resorts and top suites of Orange County.
1. Montage Laguna Beach
Rated five stars by Forbes Travel Guide, its inspectors say, “Reigning over Laguna Beach from its rugged cliff-top location, the stylish Montage Laguna Beach blends arts-and-crafts style with the luxury of a full-service resort. Rooms, suites, and bungalows feature 400-thread-count linens and five-fixture marble bathrooms with a large shower and tub and private balconies or patios with ocean views. Guest room décor is bright and airy, with light-colored appointments befitting a resort by the sea. The grounds of the hotel are irresistible. During the day, the crystal-blue pool is refreshing and relaxing; come evening, fire pits roar in the nighttime sky. There is a wide variety of ways to enjoy the stunning property, but one favorite is to visit the lobby bar for live music, delicious cocktails, and a sunset for the ages.”
The Telegraph adds, “All rooms come with either balconies or patios; first floor patios come with fire pits. The Monarch King Guestroom, the property’s standard equivalent, has a king-sized bed, cushy chaise lounge and marble bathroom with tub and shower. Regardless of category, each room has an upscale beach feel with a cool blue, green and white color palette.”
The 2,800-sq.ft. two-bedroom Catalina Suite features a Master bedroom with king bed and his and hers marble bathrooms with deep soaking bathtub and separate shower. The second bedroom also features a king bed, full-size pullout sleeper sofa and marble bathroom with deep soaking bathtub and separate shower. Gather your clan together around the craftsman-style two-sided Italian marble fireplace.
More suites and villas at Montage Laguna Beach.
2. The Resort at Pelican Hill
Also rated five stars by Forbes, “The Resort at Pelican Hill is an Italian-inspired oasis of tranquility and beauty located on the Newport coast of California. This resort has a real residential feel, as though you’re living in a small Tuscan town set down in the middle of California, and the spacious and tastefully decorated rooms ensure comfort all the way. The majestic 36 holes designed by Tom Fazio, with their stunning views of both the Five-Star resort and the Pacific Ocean, are true gems. However, if golf isn’t your game, you’ll surely be won over by the Five-Star spa, where you can indulge in relaxing or simply decompress in the heated Coliseum pool (one of the largest circular pools in the world) overlooking the coast and verdant resort grounds.”
The Telegraph notes, “The Resort at Pelican Hill offers 204 Bungalow Guest Rooms & Suites, and 128 two-, three- and four-bedroom Villas. Bungalows are the property’s standard equivalent and are available with a garden or ocean view. Along with wood-beam ceilings, they feature light wood furnishings and a soft brown color palette. Each also has a private terrace, fireplace, Bose sound system, and wet bar.”
Four Bedroom Villa
This four-bedroom 3,580-sq.ft. residential villa spans two stories, features a gourmet kitchen, living room with fireplace, private garage, and California sunsets from your wrap around terrace. It’s perfect for long stays and relocations.
More suites, bungalows and villas at The Resort at Pelican Beach.
3. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Conde Nast Traveler says, “Perched on a gorgeous seaside bluff between Los Angeles and San Diego, this Mediterranean-inspired four-story hotel has fountains and French doors that open onto private terraces. Rooms have walk-in closets and are decorated in sea and sand tones. Raya serves pan-Latin coastal cuisine that focuses on sustainable seafood, local produce, and organic meat; EnoSteak serves prime and grass-fed, pasture-raised beef and organic produce. The views from this property are beautiful, and the grounds are perfectly maintained.”
Forbes Travel Guide adds, “This is a surfer’s paradise—take surf lessons, surf tours, surfer clinics for women and stand-up paddleboarding classes. Wetsuits, Billabong boards, wax and other equipment are provided as well, so all you have to do is show up and dive in. The family-friendly California hotel offers a variety of ways to keep little ones busy, but some of the best activities for kids are through the property’s Ambassadors of the Environment program, which plans everything from whale-watching excursions to tide pool trips. Beach butlers are at your beck and call. They will shuttle you to Salt Creek Beach in a golf cart; set you up with beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, and sunscreen; dole out body boards, water noodles and other gear; take care of any food and drink orders; and even build sandcastles with the kids.
The Ritz-Carlton Suite
The 1,550-sq.ft. Ritz-Carlton Suite offers direct views of the Pacific Ocean and stunning coastline you can enjoy from your private balcony. On those chilly nights retreat to theliving room with fireplace.
More suites at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.
4. Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club
Forbes Travel Guide says, “Overlooking the Pacific Ocean from its cliff-top perch, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club offers not just panoramic vistas of an unending sea but also acres of lush gardens, quick access to a tucked-away SoCal beach and a Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course that makes it a retreat all its own. Arriving for check-in in a deep-blue, white and gray lobby mirroring its ocean surroundings, you can look out from the Dana Point hotel’s sprawling terrace, where you can survey the remarkable tiers of scenic activity descending to the beach, from AVEO Table + Bar’s veranda a step below to a grand Mediterranean fountain, brilliant turquoise pools and sun chairs, a delightful sculpture garden and the greens of the golf course fading into the ocean beyond.”
Conde Nast Traveler notes, “The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach sits a little bit back from the beach, about a half mile—and pulling up to the resort along a fairly nondescript suburban thoroughfare, you might wonder if you made a wrong turn somewhere. But the Italianate fountains at the entrance is your first hint that a resort wonderland awaits. Winding around the fountains, you’ll arrive at the hotel’s porte cochere, framed by two pillars and another towering water fountain. Once inside the lobby, the front desk seems almost like an afterthought compared with the stunning lit-up bar and open-air terrace at the back with views of the pools, the golf course, and the ocean.”
The 3,100-sq.ft. Presidential Suite offers two bedrooms, two private terraces, a living and dining room, two fireplaces, a butler pantry, and a spa-inspired bathroom with separate soaking tub and shower.
More suites at The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club.
5. Balboa Bay Resort
Forbes Travel Guide writes, “When you dream of a sunny Orange County escape, you probably imagine a place like Balboa Bay Resort. Sitting along 15 acres on the water, the hotel hosts summer concerts, screens films and throws Fourth of July barbecues. The lushly landscaped resort — fragrant jasmine and succulents surround the Mediterranean-style building — has three Duffy boats that ferry guests to local waterside restaurants; they’ve been used for conferences and scavenger hunts in team-building exercises. Over the past few years, the resort has undergone major indoor enhancements as it evolves from old-school nautical elegance to coastal, contemporary and modern. The goal was to reflect Newport Beach’s casual elegance.
The Telegraph adds, “The yacht-studded bay comes into focus as you make your way down the driveway. The resort shares the bay front with the members-only Balboa Bay Club. Public spaces utilize the waterfront scenery, (and pleasant year-round weather) spilling outside whenever possible. Seats around the fire pits are popular spots to unwind both before and after sunset.”
The two-bedroom 3,000-sq.ft. Presidential Suites gives you a crows nest view of Newport Bay views from three private balconies. There’s a full full wet bar, spacious living room, and the dining table seats 12 making it a perfect venue for entertaining.
More suites at the Balboa Bay Resort.