When you walk into your ocean view room at Surf & Sand Resort, you are swept into the sea. Not literally, but figuratively speaking the sound of the waves, lapping onto the soft sand, force you to forget the daily grind and focus on the rhythm of the waves.
All ocean-view rooms are situated along 500 feet of Laguna Beach, a seven mile long publicly accessible beach in southern California. Each room in the nine-story tower building features a private balcony with water views. Yes, the Pacific Ocean is so close that the hotel provides earplugs for the light sleepers among us.
My room, 248, was located in the tower building, room numbers 210 – 299.) All 167 rooms offer mini bar (you can remove items & restock items at no charge if you opt to stash your food in the fridge during your stay) hair dryer, plasma tv, dvd player, iPod docking station, in room safe & robes.
The outdoor pool is heated to 84 degrees and is open from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. The fitness center is accessible from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Note to self, why would anyone opt for an indoor workout when the beach is calling?
Room rates range from $465 – $1,175 for a luxury vista suite, depending on the season. As always, check the website for current pricing and package deals. Speaking of package deals, I chose the Splunches package from Aquaterra Spa. Priced at $185, the spa lunch package offered a three course meal, accompanied with a 60 minute Swedish massage.
My massage therapist, Annette, was from Sweden, but I didn’t opt for the Swedish massage. Instead, I requested a deep tissue massage and a reflexology foot treatment (additional charges – but so worth it!) The Aquaterra Spa includes a locker with spa robe and sandals, access to the fireplace relaxation lounge, the outdoor whirlpool, steam room and showers.
My three course meal included an appetizer, main course and dessert. The crab & faro salad ($19) was light and tasty, but it was the seared scallops that brought out the wow-factor from Executive Chef Ron Fougeray. Three jumbo scallops ($29) were surrounded by pearl barley, asparagus, butternut squash and a citrus reduction sauce. All seafood on the menu is approved by Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, a sustainable seafood program developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Rather than rush through dessert, I asked if I could have my warm apple cobbler ($13) with butterscotch caramel, brown butter frangipane, almond brittle and vanilla ice cream brought to my room later that evening. In true “can do” style, I was told to call room service that evening and they would note my request with in room dining. My decadent dessert was cheerfully delivered after an evening spent wandering downtown Laguna Beach.
I didn’t have a chance to check out 15FiftyFive for their small bites served near fire pits and overlooking the ocean. I’m told the Uno Dos Mas tacos on tap Sundays between 12:00 – 4:00 are muy bueno!
Need to know:
The daily resort fee covers WiFi, access to the fitness center, bottled water, in room tea & coffee service, nightly turn down, local calls, use of guest computer in Pacific Perk & beach chairs & umbrella for the beach (ask a pool attendant for assistance.) Concierge service is on site. The hotel is pet-friendly for dogs under 30 pounds. There is a $150 one time pet fee. Valet parking is available for $30 daily and there is no self-parking option. If you arrive at the resort early, check your bags and hang out at the beach or pool. The resort will text you when your room is ready.
Check in: 4:00 p.m.
Check out: 12:00 p.m.
If You Go: Surf & Sand Resort (949) 497-4477
1555 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, California 92651
Insider Tip: Shop and dine downtown Laguna Beach without the car. There are so many things to see and do in the OC. Take the free trolley that runs along the Pacific Coast Highway from The Ritz Carlton in Dana Point to Cajon Street in North Laguna. The trolley runs approximately every 20 minutes. Download the free Laguna Beach app for realtime location. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @nancydbrown and follow @SurfSandLaguna and @VisitLaguna for local tips.
Article, video and photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Orange County Visitors Association and Surf & Sand Resort, however all opinions are my own.