November 28, 2017 | By Ali Moffitt
I recently returned from a weekend stay at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California. We left our three young kids at home and spent the weekend celebrating my husband’s 40th birthday. I cannot recommend this property enough; it was absolutely incredible! The decor of the hotel features the monarch butterfly throughout (as their name suggests) and everything felt very new, updated, fresh, and impeccably clean.
The view from the lobby balcony overlooking the grounds, pools, golf course, and ocean is a spectacular welcome after your arrival.
Their Miraval Spa is similarly gorgeous. We treated ourselves to a couples massage (in a treatment room with a huge private bathtub lit by firelight!), and enjoyed the cozy relaxation rooms throughout the spa, as well as the steam room, sauna, and private whirlpools in each genders’ locker room. Let me also just compliment them on their range of snacks in the relaxation rooms. Most spas I go to have green apples and some sort of trail mix or granola. The Miraval Spa did indeed have those staples, but also had a salty nut mix, dried fruit, and some chocolate covered pretzels. Yes!! As someone with a sweet tooth, I like a little sugar while I relax at a spa! It completes my zen.
We were upgraded from a pool-view room to an ocean-view room with a large balcony, much to our enjoyment. Our room was gorgeous and well-appointed.
My husband golfed on Saturday morning and loved the course, particularly the holes set along the ocean. The course was well-designed by legendary golf architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and we found it easy to see why it currently ranks “Best Places To Play” with 4.5 Stars (out of 5) by Golf Digest and #1 Best Golf Course in OC by Orange County Register for 2017.
While he golfed, I took the cute beach tram down to the beach for a walk in the sand. We didn’t get a chance to eat at the Monarch Bay Club, but the setting couldn’t possibly be beat. I watched three dolphins frolic while I wandered to the trail that would wind me back up to the resort along the golf course, over picturesque bridges, turning back to pause and enjoy the ocean views when I felt lazy.
We ate lunch on their AVEO restaurant’s balcony to further enjoy the views, and while they had many lovely healthy options, we were all about celebrating a birthday and having a decadent weekend. Guess what I had for lunch? “Nutella crunch french toast and rum flambeed caramelized bananas with maple butter and toasted hazelnuts.” I’m still daydreaming about it.
We enjoyed a lot of time at the pool over the weekend, particularly the infinity edge hot tubs that overlook the stunning golf course and ocean view. (Will I ever stop talking about the view??) At one point, all of us whirlpool loungers even had a birds-eye-view of an intimate wedding going on in the botanical garden beneath us.
Monarch Beach Resort is a member of the Virtuoso luxury travel consortium, and so is Andavo Travel. This means that if you book your stay at Monarch Beach Resort through us, you’ll receive the following Virtuoso amenities – all complimentary:
Plus, from now until March 31, 2018, you’ll also receive 10% off the resort’s best available rates.
Clearly, I’d suggest a visit.