Laguna Beach Surf & Sand Hotel Overview
by Regina Hinrichs
The Laguna Beach Surf & Sand Resort shatters every preconceived notion you have about an oceanfront resort. While we did expect to see the ocean in the distance; we didn’t realize that we’d be “in” the water. That’s how amazingly close the waves come to this hotel.
The view from each guestroom at the Surf & Sand is amazing. All you see is ocean, no sand, no beach, just waves rolling in. You literally have to step out on the balcony and look down to make sure there’s land and that the hotel didn’t drift away. If you’ve ever been on a cruise ship, picture the view from the verandah and you have a close idea of what the Laguna Beach Surf & Sand Hotel is like. This is one hotel where the rooms have that “WOW” factor.
With a view like that, they could have scrimped on the room’s décor, but the interior is bright, airy, welcoming and spacious. Because of its proximity directly on the water, there’s no air conditioning. Instead, the balcony doors are covered with Plantation shutters which allow you to control the ocean breezes. I don’t know about you, but when I travel a good night’s sleep can be hard to come by. At the Laguna Beach Surf & Sand Hotel, the combination of waves and salt air had me sleeping like a baby. It was wonderful.
There is high speed internet access (if you can stop yourself from gazing outside) and there’s a mini-bar. The bathroom has a great double vanity with lighted makeup mirror and a separate shower/toilet area. If you want to pamper yourself on a budget, order the “In-Room Bath Ritual.” For a modest fee they’ll deliver and prepare your choice of four aromatherapy options to enjoy in your bathtub.
A fun surprise is the turndown service. When I returned to my room in the evening, there was a CD playing. Displayed on my bed was a bathrobe with a bottle of water and, of course, there has to be chocolate. They also left a breakfast menu in case I wanted to dine in the room the next morning. I love these little touches that make a hotel unique.
The Laguna Beach Surf & Sand Hotel is deceptive. At first glance, it appears to be a bit small but then you start to explore the grounds and find that it has a lot to offer. There’s Splashes Restaurant which is very popular, in part due to the ocean view. Unfortunately, our meal wasn’t the best. (There’s no shortage of restaurants in the vicinity.) There’s a great gift shop, a pool with glass fencing overlooking the water, beach access and then there’s the Aquaterra Spa.
The Aquaterra is a full service Spa with your choice of massages, skin care and body treatments. The Spa is wonderfully serene with private treatment rooms. If you prefer, you can have your massage in an ocean side cabana or in the privacy of your room. One of my traveling companions had a massage and rated it one of the best he’s ever had.
The staff at the Laguna Beach Surf and Sand Hotel deserves special mention. Here’s a hotel in one of the more exclusive communities in the country. You might think that the staff is going to look down upon you if you don’t pull up in a Rolls Royce, but that’s simply not the case. Everyone was genuinely friendly and eager to help with any request you might have. They love to tell you about the area and to make suggestions to maximize your time there. If you can tear yourself away from your room, Laguna’s a great area full of shops, cafes and restaurants that you can easily walk to from the resort.
One negative that needs to be mentioned is accessibility for guests in wheelchairs. This hotel began with 14 rooms in the 1940’s well before any regulations were in place. There are now 165 guest rooms. While some of the rooms are accessible, there are a few steps that you need to use to get to the pool and there’s no access to the beach.
When you travel frequently, there’s a certain “sameness” from one resort to the next. The Laguna Beach Surf & Sand Hotel is a standout. This is a destination where memories are created. Once you experience it, you’ll find yourself planning to visit again, and again and again.
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