As a family travel contributor, I’m often asked about what I look for in a perfect family vacation. For the most part, my formula for making memories is pretty straightforward: take one part luxury travel, one part kid-friendly activities and add a stunning locale as the backdrop. The recipe is steadfast and undeniable; you’ll have created holiday magic.
Hence, it’s no surprise that The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Southern California is just my ticket.
A celebrated icon along the California coast, today The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel boasts a newly re-imagined and modern vibe. Perched timelessly atop a 150 foot bluff, against cascading views of the Pacific Ocean, the hotel is tailor-made for travellers who desire a playful approach to luxury.
I snapped the above photo during a tour of the hotel, one of the highlights of our recent #DisneyVacayCA adventure. Standing on a balcony, perilously hanging over the edge, I gasped in awe at the view from this celebrated Dana Point landmark. Squinting against the glare of the sun, I tried to decipher the figures below, wondering where my husband and boys could be. Were they squatting on the beach, building castles in the sand? Or dipping their feet in the cool Pacific Ocean? Our tour moved on, and I reluctantly tore my eyes away from the breathtaking scenery.
Back inside the hotel, we were introduced to one of Southern California’s most enchanting retreats.
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers a serene, sophisticated presence among Laguna hotels and resorts. Savor the extraordinary selection of fine oceanfront restaurants; indulge at The Ritz-Carlton Spa or simply delight in a true Southern California surf experience – the entire resort offers unmatched opulence for the discerning family travellers.
The magnificent ocean view rooms feature direct vistas overlooking the Pacific Ocean and coastline, a personal ocean view balcony or patio and comfortable outdoor seating for two. The stylish, recessed lighting and thoughtfully efficient furniture arrangement enhance both the room’s functionality and appeal. Keep entertained with an iPod docking station, 42-inch LED flat-screen HDTV and DVD player for your personal use. Finally, unwind with exclusive Asprey Bath essentials, plush terry cloth bathrobes and a large, luxurious marble bathroom.
The stunning pool area, with its colouful lounge chairs and gorgeous palm trees, is perfect for the laid back vacationer. Stretch out and worship the sun while sipping a fruit cocktail from the delightfully breezy poolside café. Signature drinks include Laguna Lemonade, Monarch Mist and Dana Punch – and don’t forget to order The Dana Burger: a scrumptious grilled sirloin burger topped with cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle.
And when booking a vacation at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, you can be assured the entire family will enjoy a variety of fun and recreations, all located within a short distance from the resort:
– The resort is minutes from Laguna Canyon and set amidst bluff tops overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Remember to bring your shoes for hiking!
– There are a variety of cultural attractions nearby, and guests enjoy complimentary admission to Mission San Juan Capistrano
– Located minutes from the Laguna Beach artist colony where the juried art show Festival of Arts and stage production Pageant of the Masters run throughout July and August
– Guests can enjoy two outdoor swimming pools, one perfect for family fun and one quiet pool
– Two tennis courts provide a day of play
– Dana Point Harbor is minutes away and offers sport fishing, sailing and whale watching
– Water Sports include extensive California surfing experiences including Billabong Surf Experience, beginner lessons or stand up paddle boarding
And of course, the hotel is very conveniently located to Disneyland Resort – about 30-minute drive!
I recommend taking a leisurely stroll down to the beach (don’t worry, the resort shuttles will offer a return ride up the hill). Pitch an umbrella and absorb the melodious sounds of the ocean, lapping against the shore. Feel the warm California sun on your skin, and wait for a cooling gust of air, peppered with saltwater and surf.
Take your bucket and shovel to the perfect spot – just where the sand meets the shoreline – and begin to build your empire.
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel caters to the luxury traveller. As the only oceanfront resort in Orange County, it is the crown jewel of the California Riviera. Click here to experience the resort.