Montage Laguna Beach
A scenic drive down the Pacific Coast Highway is always a welcomed escape, yet when it winds through the sleepy streets of Laguna Beach and into the cobblestone driveway of the picture-perfect Montage Resort, it’s an experience to behold.
Equal parts relaxed and refined, Montage Laguna Beach is a property immersed in its surroundings. Perched on a bluff high above the Pacific Ocean, the 30-acre site once played host to a mobile home park. All of that changed in 2003 with the opening of the area’s most lauded respite. Since then, the craftsman-style hotel has gained a loyal following of well heeled travelers, while garnering hundreds of awards and nods from nearly every top publication in the country. Now a renowned artists’ colony, Laguna Beach’s beginnings date back to the early 1900s – an era when the California Arts and Crafts movement was in its heyday. With distinctive period elements such as stone architecture, crown moldings, rich dark wood, copper gutters and a shingle-style roof, the resort’s unique craftsman-style design reflects this bygone era. The first and flagship property of the entire Montage Hotels & Resorts collection, the 258-room oceanside resort completed a full-revamp in 2019, with an increased focus on sustainability. This year, Montage Laguna Beach will celebrate its 25th anniversary. With 250 luxe guest rooms, several notable dining options, a perfectly appointed spa and a front row seat to Laguna’s Aliso Beach, the resort is in a class of its own.
There are no bad rooms, or bad views, since all of them boast balconies that face the Pacific. Much like the homes that grace the hillside above, Montage is elegant, but not overdone. It’s luxurious without being ostentatious. Contemporary but comfortable. Of course, any of the property’s 60 suites will undoubtedly do the trick. Egyptian cotton towels, dreamy marble bathrooms, fine art local to the area, feather top beds and picture perfect balconies with panoramic views are the norm.
The Loft is one of Laguna Beach’s most sought-after restaurants, boasting an award-winning team of chefs and sommeliers alongside an inventive menu. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with weekend brunch, the menu reflects the seasons and utilizes local purveyors for the most optimal culinary experience paired with an extensive New and Old-World wine list. Poolside, Mosaic Bar and Grille will curb your cravings with an al fresco meal that’s both tasty and toned down. Shrimp ceviche, lobster salad and tuna poke are amongst our favorites, and beach service is available upon request.
The Spa at Montage – all 20,000 square feet of it – is among the best appointed in the nation. The usual suspects abound. A sauna, Eucalyptus steam room, fireplace lounges and whirlpools make for the ultimate retreat, while the adult-only lap pool with full views is truly resplendent. In addition, the spa’s oceanfront facilities (with floor-to-ceiling windows that take maximum advantage of the nearby vistas) include a full-service beauty salon, an adult-only lap pool, fitness room with state-of-the-art weights and machines, yoga studio, and spa boutique. Opt for one of the spa’s signature Elements of Wellness rituals – all of which are designed exclusively for the Laguna Beach locale. In particular, the 120-minute California Wildflower Ritual fuses the modalities of full body vibrational work, traditional massage, body wrap, and foot scrub into one sublime experience.
Once a little known surf haven that was home to stars like Judy Garland and Ozzie and Harriet who were looking to get away from it all, Laguna Beach has since gained worldwide fame. Yet its roots are still those of the causal California lifestyle. Brimming with art galleries, locally owned eateries and quirky boutiques, a stroll through the streets is always eclectic and entertaining. The opportunities to take in the breathtaking physical surroundings abound. They include four pristine white sand beaches, 30 acres of lush landscaping, an impeccably manicured park overlooking the Pacific Ocean and marine tide pools. Nearby are miles and miles of hiking and biking trails in the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park and Crystal Cove State Park. The resort’s recreation outfitter, Adventure IO, provides unique, locally-inspired day trips and activities developed and hosted by professional athletes and local experts. Guests can enjoy adventures like Electric Hydrofoil with professional instructor Chuck Glynn, Family Hiking and Photography adventure with Lululemon ambassador and Soul Cycle fitness instructor Remi Sullivan, along with a stunning 100’ luxury yacht trip to Catalina Island. On property, the resort’s concierge can arrange beach-oriented activities like surfing, kayak tours, and stand-up paddle boarding. Guests can also take part in a weekly Coastal Eco-Tour Walk with the Laguna Ocean Foundation. In addition, Montage guests have access to Laguna Niguel Racquet Club with 22 championship courts. The resort is in close proximity to three area golf courses: Monarch Beach Golf, Talega Golf Club and Ben Brown’s Golf Course at the Ranch at Laguna Beach.