What’s best about Southern California? Some will surely sayit’s the picturesque mountains, while others are drawn to the vast deserts. Few will dispute LA’s glamourous allure or the mid-century nostalgia of Route 66. But the undisputed victor will always be the golden beaches. It’s what California dreams are made of and what beckons millions of visitors every year. Situated along the most desirable stretch of scenic shoreline in Dana Point, the Monarch Beach Resort spreads its majestic wings over a multi-level, sprawling Mediterranean villa overlooking a pristine Pacific.
Visitors are enticed with a spectacular visage of the ocean upon arrival. An eclectic blend of stylistic elements accent the overall setting of cool sophistication. The fireplace and lush sofas of 33 North bring a touch of coziness preceding the Frenchdoors that lead out to a tiled terraceoverseeing the spectacular pool, infinity edged Jacuzzis and seemingly endless rows of lounge chairs and cabanas. It’s a picture perfect wedding spot, so don’t be surprised if there are nuptial festivities any day of the week.
The Suite Life
Each guestroom features a private patio or balcony so you can wake up greeted by the sea or slip into slumber to the gentle lullaby of waves rolling to shore. No detail is forgotten in the luxurious rooms and suites bathed in a cool coastal palette of blue, green and crisp white. Marble topped armoires and nightstands are not only elegant but oversized to give ample space for belongings. Oversized extends to the bathrooms where a whirlpool tub is equipped with shutters to allow bathing while stargazing. A walk-in marbled shower, vanity table and spacious vanity area are nothing short of grand elegance. There is an ample supply of magnifying makeup mirrors and a speaker in the water closet so you never have put a movie on pause while taking care of business. Outlets and USB ports ensure everyone is always connected.
Miraval Life In Balance Spa
As one of the preeminent spa facilities in the region, the Miraval Life in Balance Spa is a magnet for guests and locals alike. Like its flagship spa in Tucson, treatments are inspired by nature with locally sourced ingredients for one-of-a-kind spa experiences. The concept of balance is immediately sensed in the spa’s soothing hues of gray and stone. Like walking into a cloud, one is enveloped in an aura of serenity. With a menu of over 70 services, we were particularly impressed that the treatments and practitioners did not rely on pseudo-nativism and faux Eastern rituals. Instead, the emphasis on lavish pampering will leave you in a state of peaceful bliss. Our massage featured an exceptionally emollient organic aromatherapy oil and is a must for anyone who visits the spa. There is also a Drybar and Deborah Lippmann Nail Salon to get you coiffed and buffed for a night out or special event.
Dying to try aerial yoga? Intrigued by cardio drumming or floating meditation? Equipped with a state-of-the-art facility and acclaimed visiting and in-house trainers, Miraval is a comprehensive wellness retreat offering a truly dynamic schedule of yoga, Pilates, cardio and spinning group classes. Start the day with a morning beach hike or sunrise yoga before a freshly prepared spa breakfast indoors or al fresco at the Spa Café.
Ranked 4.5 stars by Golf Digest, the Monarch Beach Golf Links 6,600-yard course challenges players of all levels. A retail shop, men’s and ladies’ locker rooms and a restaurant and grill with panoramic ocean views are served by the resort’s free shuttle.
More than mere dining options, the MBR is a foodie haven. Custom libations and premium brands are highlighted at 33 North, a convivial lounge and dining innovation. A fireplace sets the mood for an active social scene that convenes until the wee hours.
We can now add ‘farm to bar’ to the list of dining terminology thanks to Aveo Table + Bar. An imaginative Mediterranean meets California culinary concept that showcases regional ingredients for the plate and the glass. Open and airy with an ocean view terrace, Aveo Table + Bar is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a delectable Sunday brunch.
Stonehill Tavern is an exclusive Michael Mina concept restaurant. Experience modern American and tavern fare in a setting of superlative sophistication. Choose from classic, seasonal or chef specialty menu items prepared with the finest ingredients and an ingenious chef’s flair.