Endless Summer - Orange County Edition


Sunset on the Orange County Coast

It’s 75 degrees this weekend in Southern, CA.


We’ve learned to fall in love all over again with some of our close to home destinations. Something I discovered last year when I was sidelined from scheduled trips to Europe, is that Southern California experiences some of the most favorable weather in the fall. Plus, you get the benefit of less crowds with kids back in school. In case you’re craving for a quick getaway, we’d thought we’d share the insider’s guide to hotels along the coast.


Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club, Laguna Niguel

You may be familiar with this resort as the former St. Regis. Walking into the open air lobby it conjures Hawaii as the ocean breeze greets you with a Pacific Ocean panoramic vista. The selling point of the property is the private beach club located right on the stunning sand of one of the best beaches in SoCal – and the only 5-star hotel in its class with a private beach club. There’s no upcharge for chairs and umbrella, you can have a beachside dinner, grab a surf lesson, or just soak in the California coast with waves crashing at your footsteps. Keep in the mind the resort itself offer ocean views but is not ocean front on the east side of Pacific Coast Highway. It is well renowned for its 18-holes of golf. Click here to see the live beach club cam.

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Pelican Hill, Newport Beach

Perhaps the most elegant of all options with a distinctly Italian feel, the standard rooms they call bungalows are great for entry level all the way to four bedroom villas. Like the Walford-Astoria Monarch Beach this has panoramic ocean views but sits across PCH from the ocean and beach. They do have a beach option with chairs and umbrellas, but I’d give this a C grade as far as enjoyability. Instead, indulge in the fabulous food, 36-holes of golf, luxurious spa, or just relax poolside and imagine you’re on the Italian Coast.

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Montage Laguna Beach Arrival Experience

Montage, Laguna Beach

Montage enjoys a spectacular location cliffside over the ocean and one of the best beaches in Orange County. Access is via a walkway and steps, and if you enjoy a walk on the beach you won’t be disappointed. While Montage can back some chairs and snacks for the beach, this isn’t really the beach experience you may be imagining. Rather, enjoy the Mosaic pool with ocean


views, superb wellness experiences – Valmont infused! Nobody captures California cool like Montage which works well for a romantic getaway or just a time to unwind.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Like the Montage, the Ritz-Carlton sits on a cliff above the ocean and a lovely beach. Their beach butlers organize chairs and umbrellas for you to enjoy on the sand and it’s a great surf spot for experienced surfers. The ocean view rooms are lovely with ground floor fire pits which come in handy in the evenings. We recommend the north facing partial ocean view for a great sunset and a softer price point. However, many of the hotel rooms are not ocean facing and arguably don’t have an enjoyable view at all. That’s why we like to hand pick the room type, but definitely beware if you are looking online. The other highlight of the hotel is the 180Blu with stunning ocean views and a lively happy hour with locals. We recommend even guests at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach hop over since they are in close proximity to each other.

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