The Best of the Best 2003: Resorts - Montage Resort & Spa

<< Back to Robb Report, June 2003

It is ironic that in Southern California, the region of the United States most closely associated with fun in the sun, resorts are typically located across the highway from the sand, causing guests to wonder, where’s the beach?  The Montage Resort & Spa, which opened its doors in late February, is an exception. It is indeed situated on a beach—and not a rocky patch of shore, but rather a long stretch of sand populated by sunbathers, joggers, shell-seekers, wave-riders, and castle-builders.

The resort’s atmosphere is pure Southern Californian, with sophisticated glamour and beach-casual elegantly coexisting; (designer) flip- flops are as welcome as suits and cocktail dresses.

Taking advantage of the prime Laguna Beach location, each of the resort’s 262 guest rooms, suites, and bungalows features a stunning view of the Pacific.  While not excessively large, the guest rooms do not skimp on the finer touches. They feature lofty feather-top beds and down-filled pillows; ultrathick, supersize towels; and elegant marble baths chock-full of amenities from bath pillows to showers with shaving mirrors to sound systems that pipe in sound from your television.

Massages, beauty treatments, and salon services are offered at the seasidespa. The glass-walled fitness center overlooks the ocean and includes yoga and Pilates rooms, a lap pool, top-of-the-line resistance and weight-training equipment, and cardio machines with built-in DVD players and televisions.

 

Chef James Boyce, who was wooed from Mary Elaine’s at Scottsdale’s Phoenician, serves his robust Mediterranean cuisine at the resort’s signature restaurant, Studio. Be sure to reserve a window seat to take advantage of the 280-degree ocean views, and to save room for dessert, because Studio’s pastry chef is a genius.

Afterward, you might wander to the comfortable lobby lounge to enjoy cocktails and live music. As you stand on the terrace watching the waves crash below, don’t be surprised if a Beach Boys song comes to mind and you find yourself wishing they all could be California beach resorts.

Montage Resort & Spa, 888.715.6700, www.montagelagunabeach.com

The new Sanctuary Collection of suites takes a top resort in Mauritius to another level of luxury…
This retro-chic resort takes a modern approach to the classic British farmhouse…
The recently renovated ships feature all-new woodwork, upholstered furniture, and more…
US Open - Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
These New York hotels offer extravagant amenities and close proximity to the grand-slam tennis...
Photo by Thomas Hart Shelby
Robb Report’s senior travel editor visits Los Cabos’ hottest new hotel to open since Hurricane...
A Global Journey by Private Jet, October 13 through November 4, 2016...
Photo by Giorgio Salvatori
Italy’s storied Motor Valley is best understood from the seat of a vintage roadster...
Now travelers can touch down within a few miles of Mukul, the boutique beach, golf, and spa resort…
From the Central Coast to Napa Valley, here are the best places in California to stay during crush...
The stylish hotel offers fashion fans access to one of Italy’s most important shopping districts…