Montage Laguna Beach
Montage Laguna Beach
Web Address: http://www.montagelagunabeach.com
"HALL OF FAME"
Perched on a bluff above the mighty Pacific Ocean with the rugged coastline below, the Montage Laguna Beach is a stunning property set on 30 beautifully manicured acres halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego.
The gorgeous lobby has massive floor to ceiling windows that showcase the crashing waves and slender palms lining the rocky coast. Cozy couches dot the Craftsman-style space, and guests can enjoy their libation of choice expertly mixed or poured at the lobby bar while listening to the live piano music drifting through the air. The resort showcases a museum-quality collection of fine art inspired by the Early California Arts and Crafts movement.
Every guest room in this 250 room resort offers a stunning view of the ocean. Upon entering, my room felt bright, airy and immensely comfortable. A plush bed of pure white linens sang a siren song to my travel weary body. The bathroom was massive and the sight of the bathtub made me feel giddy with happiness. Luxe, nearly full sized toiletries smelling of lemon verbena adorned the yellow and white striped bathroom, while a golden glow emanated from the light fixtures at the vast marble sink. It was this bathroom and the balcony overlooking the crashing waves that fought for my attention. The balcony looked out over the Montage’s elegant ocean front infinity pool, as well as one of the resort’s restaurants, perched on a bluff that seemingly arose straight from the cerulean depths. Shades of yellow, blue and white were ever present in the spacious room, replicating the sun, ocean and white sands of Laguna Beach.
The Loft restaurant is a truly unique experience, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. Bright and airy with a 6 foot wood burning rotisserie and wonderful views, it is a great spot for casual dining. But it is the interactive cheese bar that amazes. A frommagier helps choose a set of cheeses and sauces to complement them, like a Keens Cheddar, a rich earthy cheese paired with ginger and cinnamon infused applesauce, a Beemster gouda, a smoky and salty cow cheese served with a tangy caramel sauce, and D’Affinois, a creamy, brie style cheese served with strawberry compote. Paired with a chilly New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, recommended from an intense 33 page wine list, the Loft at Montage is a “foodies” idea of food heaven.
Studio is the hotel’s premier restaurant, perched on a rocky outcropping offering a stunning ocean view and serving up modern French cuisine. Studio offers an intimate dining experience in the richly decorated dining room, with classic touches like the finest of linens, china and glassware. The selections rotate seasonally, but expect items like butter poached main lobster with agnolotti, artichokes, fennel, espelette pepper, basil and sauce Americana, or smoked squab with wheat berries, dried cherries, haricots verts and pickled pearl onions. Although they may sound a bit pretentious, the food is hearty and delicious−and strangely, the view of the ocean seems to make the food taste even better. Appetizers $18-29, entrees $28-$51, desserts $13
The word “Montage” should be synonymous with “service.” From the moment I stepped into the building, I was treated like royalty. I was personally escorted to my room. Moments after my arrival in the room, a tray of local fruits was sent in for me to enjoy while watching the sunset over the Pacific. Each and every Montage employee will be at your service and will be as talkative or as quiet and peaceful as you desire.
Rooms start at $735 and suites in the low $1,000’s. Various packages are available online, including dining options and the popular Mercedes Benz rental package.
WHAT OTHERS SAY….
Forbes Four Star
“Find a ‘slice of paradise’ at this cliffside ‘hidden jewel’ on the Southern California coast’, where the food is ‘divine’, the spa ‘consistently excellent’ and the setting ‘unbelievable’ with ‘everlasting’ views; there are ‘fabulous rooms…and the ‘amazing’ staff ‘knows what you want before you do’…ZAGAT
WHILE YOU ARE THERE:
Four white sand beaches afford opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking, surfing and beach volleyball. There are three pools, a fitness center and a wonderful spa. Guests have golf privileges at Monarch Beach Golf, or Talega Golf Course. Nearby a spate of quaint small towns including Capistrano Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemente, strings along the South Coast Highway offering visitors art galleries, shopping and dining options.
Los Angeles: 1 hour
San Diego: 1 hour 18 minutes
Santa Barbara: 2 hours 39 minutes
San Jose: 6 hours 37 minutes