Oceanfront opulence makes itself at home in a relaxed SoCal atmosphere.
At first glance, as one approaches from the Pacific Coast Highway, Montage Laguna Beach seems surprisingly small for the luxurious boutique resort experience it promises. Once you enter the main lobby and see the grand view through the windows, it's an entirely different matter. Perched on a coastal bluff in the picturesque community of Laguna Beach, this classic Craftsman-style resort is a work of art that impresses at every turn.
Each of the 248 guest rooms and suites is done in pale shades that seem to absorb the natural light that flows in past the private balconies and patios. Among the standard amenities are goose-down pillows and flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms are outfitted in marble with deep-soaking tubs, high-end bath amenities and Egyptian combed-cotton towels and bathrobes. Sumptuous feather-top beds with 400-thread-count linens invite a cozy nap after a treatment at the 20,000-square-foot Spa Montage. Spa facilities are impressive, ranging from al fresco whirlpools and fireplace lounges to dry redwood saunas and eucalyptus steam rooms.
House restaurant, Studio, has long been a regular on GAYOT's Top 40 Restaurants list. The menu here infuses contemporary French dishes with California influences, to be enjoyed with selections from the extensive wine list and uninterrupted Pacific Ocean views. In addition, The Loft, boasting a marvelous cheese sommelier, is one of Southern California's best-kept dining secrets.
A variety of leisure activities are offered at Montage, including kayaking, surf lessons, snorkeling and art classes. It's also appealing to simply find a quiet corner and curl up with a good book. The grounds here are impeccable, beautifully maintained and landscaped so they retain a picture-perfect yet organic California beach look and feel — an atmosphere that's particularly coveted by couples, since there is only one wedding scheduled here per day at the most. The resort's sense of the tranquility extends to the immaculate beach, pocketed with coves both north and south along the shoreline.
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