Southern California is one of our favorite places in the United States. The weather is perfect, the landscape lush and the views from mountain-to-sea are stunning. Checking into the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point, the latter is the showstopper.
From high on the hills of Monarch Beach, the resort’s main building presides over an enormous heated pool – complete with majestic fountain – and a manicured 18-hole golf course, before the grounds spill into the Pacific. It’s truly remarkable.
As with any St. Regis experience, service was friendly and attentive without being intrusive. And unlike many of the trendier luxury hotels, the staff actually seems happy that you’re there!
Drinks at sunset on the main terrace was a highpoint. As was dinner beachside at the Monarch Beach Club. Be sure to bring a sweater. The evening breeze can be chilly, especially for those of us from places where it just gets dark at night.
If you like a good spa day (who doesn’t?!) or golf is your thing, the St. Regis has you covered. Also, there’s a full slate of activities to keep children busy…although we saw almost no kids on our visit.
Pro tip: when you fly into Los Angeles or Orange County, drive to the resort via the Pacific Coast Highway, which winds along the coast and cuts through picturesque towns. It takes a little longer, but is so much nicer than being stuck on a congested highway.