Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel – Hotel Review

By Dan Collins on 20 May 2013
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The southern California coast is known for its beaches, canyons IMGP1359and is a longstanding favored destination for the elite. Carved into one of these seaside cliffs at the north end of Dana Point is the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

I arrived somewhat exhausted and disorganized after a CrossFit event, and while I was nowhere near my best, the Ritz-Carlton certainly was. My car door was opened, my baggage loaded onto a cart, and as I walked through the front door, I was greeted by a view of the sun dripping into the Pacific through a well-placed picture window situated behind the hotel’s well-known and popular bar.  It is a well-deserved focal point from the moment you enter the hotel. The front desk staff was warmly welcoming, and once checked-in, I was shown to my room, where in true Ritz-Carlton style, any stress I had from my day on the freeway vanished shortly thereafter.


The garden-view guest room was on the fourth floor, one higher than the lobby, and was a well-proportioned room with vaulted ceilings, seaside-themed décor a balcony overlooking one of the property’s two pools, and a prime spot to enjoy a sunrise. The king bed was piled high with pillows and a plush white duvet.

IMGP1228Apart from the bed, a leather chaise at its foot seemed a more natural perch for my luggage than a luggage rack.  This was good since the elaborate built-in drawers in the closet screamed “move right in.” .There was an additional upholstered chair opposite the desk, and both were in corners backed by a sea glass-like veneered box, one of which hid a mini fridge and barware.

The bathroom, lined in marble and mirrors, fit with the hotel’s beachside theme, with surfboards lining the walls and picture windows overlooking the beach, and in most cases awe inspiring surf. There were two vanities, a garden tub and a separate commode. The bathroom was luxurious, but not particularly spacious – which was for the better… Staying in the bathroom any longer than necessary would be a mistake.


The room’s garden view, which encompassed a luxurious swimming pool, IMGP1430the city lights and a ridge of Dana Point were perhaps the best features for this road warrior, and in these soothing surroundings I actually did get some work done. An oval, dark wood desk was elegant, but not overpowering, and a comfortable but non-ergonomic upholstered chair, sufficient power outlets, and ample light from the ring of jewel-like lights around the edge of the room all contributed to a pleasant and efficient work environment. The Wi-Fi speed proved to be more than adequate.

Despite the leisurely atmosphere, the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is actually extremely well prepared for meetings and business. The lower levels house several ballrooms, which may be combined to as much as 9,200 square feet (855 square meters), and outdoor meetings are also possible, given the climate. Upstairs, a private dining room is available.

Click here to continue to Page 2Dining and the Resort

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