Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, California - Review

Los Angeles' Own "Island" Getaway

by Alain Gayot

An aerial view of the Terranea Resort property
An aerial view of the Terranea Resort property

Just about a half-hour drive outside the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles is an oasis and ideal outdoor vacation destination on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. At 582 rooms, the resort may seem large, but spread over an expansive 102 acres — 75 of which are open land — it provides quietude, privacy and unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.

In addition to the main 360-room hotel that comprises 34 suites and 20 neighboring bungalows, the resort also includes 50 oceanfront casitas and 32 detached villas. The smallest of the rooms is still an ample 450 square feet, while the villas range from 1,850 to a whopping 2,800 square feet. Located in a secluded enclave, the villas each feature their own full kitchen (but who wants to cook while they're on vacation?), living room, and private garage, while some have private outdoor hot tubs and fireplaces. The casitas, or "small houses," have private entrances that provide a luxurious, residential feel, and the bungalows, although closer to the main building, offer views while providing direct access to the resort's four restaurants, three pools and lavish spa.

The lobby of Terranea Resort
The lobby of Terranea Resort

Making the most of the prevalent SoCal sunshine, Terranea makes it easy to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including horseback riding and kayaking. There is also a public nine-hole, three-par oceanfront golf course and a walking trail along the coastline leading to the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. The center features exhibits highlighting the history of the Peninsula and its wildlife.  Unwind at The Spa at Terranea, a 50,000-square-foot retreat that offers sweeping ocean views and customized services in 25 treatment rooms. If relaxing by the pool is more your style, there are three heated swimming pools on the property with private cabanas and food service.

One of Terranea Resort's spacious guest rooms
One of Terranea Resort's spacious guest rooms

One of Terranea's four restaurants, bashi, offers contemporary Asian cuisine. For a casual meal, Catalina Kitchen offers breakfast, Sunday brunch, lunch and an evening menu that features California market cuisine with a Mediterranean influence. Don't miss out on Terranea's signature gourmet restaurant, mar'sel, a classic Southern California oceanfront restaurant featuring herbs and vegetables grown on the property. Another notable restaurant, Nelson's, is located directly above the Pacific and offers a fun, sports bar-like atmosphere and regional California favorites.

If you're looking for that fast-paced Los Angeles experience, or proximity to Hollywood and Venice Beach, Terranea is not the place for you. Perfect as an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to go too far, Terranea's peninsula location gives its guests the feeling of an island getaway, without requiring a boat or plane.


View more Terranea Resort Photos


Terranea Resort
6610 Palos Verdes Dr. S.
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
310-265-2800 | Reserve with for the best rate!

Related Content:
More about Terranea Resort in the GAYOT Blog
The Spa at Terranea review on
Catalina Kitchen restaurant review on
mar'sel restaurant review on
Nelson's restaurant review on


Sip your way through wine country with GAYOT's list of charming inns and resorts, featuring vineyards from Napa Valley to Long Island, New York.
Go off the beaten path and explore GAYOT's Top 10 Extreme Hotels, which feature one-of-a-kind accommodations for a truly unforgettable experience.