TRAVEL REVIEWS

MONARCH BEACH RESORT IN DANA POINT

LOOKING FOR A LUXURIOUS ESCAPE? A $40 MILLION TRANSFORMATION HAS TAKEN PLACE AT THE MONARCH BEACH RESORT IN DANA POINT!

MONEY WELL SPENT!

 

Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point

Now, more than before, the Monarch Beach Resort has solidified its position as one of the top luxury golf resorts in Southern California along the Pacific Coast, and is a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awarded resort.

This spectacular destination features 400 exquisitely appointed guest rooms and suites, and the 6,600-yard Par 72 Monarch Beach Golf Links that sits on the bluffs overlooking the ocean next to the hotel. Designed by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the Monarch Beach Golf Links was designed much like a Scottish links course with tight fairways and rolling greens that meander along the California Coast in one of the most picturesque settings in this part of the world.

Monarch Beach Resort RoomsIn June of this year, Denver-based KSL Resorts, the company synonymous for luxury properties, such as Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, the La Quinta Resort in La Quinta and the La Costa Resort and Hotel del Coronado in the San Diego area acquired the development formerly known as the St. Regis Hotel. The revamped property now includes a fabulously redesigned lobby, with five new dinning concepts, a more expansive pool area and bar, renovated public spaces and also has an exclusive spa partnership with Miraval, a global leader in spa and wellness.

Each recently restyled guest room is awash with natural light through expansive glass doors that lead out to a private open-air balcony. Inviting and hard to leave plush bedding, lounge seating and a quiet and well laid out work table, completes a setting to make you truly at ease in the suite. The master bathroom is elegantly designed to provide spa-like comforts: deep soaking bathtub, which enjoys daylight through plantation shutters; rainfall shower and a spacious amenity-rich vanity. Each of the resort’s premium suites also features their signature Monarch Beach Resort Host Services, for intuitive or on-demand services, any time of day or night. Guest accommodations range from 535 square feet in a guestroom to over 991 square feet in the Pacific Suite.

MONARCH BEACH RESORT’S BEACH LOCATION IN DANA POINT AFFORDS ITS GUEST ACCESS TO MANY ENTERTAINING ACTIVITIES.

  • Surf lessons
  • Whale watching
  • Marine adventures through the Ocean Institute
  • History and architecture tours of the surrounding area (Historic Mission San Juan, etc.)
  • Art tours of the top galleries in Laguna and neighboring towns
  • Exotic car rental with coastal driving tour (self-guided)
  • Complimentary PCH Summer Trolley service between Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point Harbor, and Laguna Beach

Monarch Beach Resort The resort has a variety of special offers and packages which can be found on their web site athttp://www.monarchbeachresort.com. Monarch Beach Resort is a pet-friendly hotel.

Privacy is a huge drawing point. Their private beach is a great place to get the morning started with the Rise and Shine Yoga classes that are taught on the sand with the soothing sound of the waves as a background. More privacy is offered at the “guests-only” Monarch Bay Club on the sand where breakfast overlooking the ocean is a great way to end a yoga session.

For health conscious and fitness devotees, the resort’s association with Miraval, The Miraval Life in Balance Spa at Monarch Beach Resort, offers in excess of 70 of the signature treatments developed at the company’s flagship Miraval Resort & Spa near Tucson, Arizona. Each designed to “awaken the senses, create balance and promote a sense of well-being.”

The new facility encompasses 24 treatment rooms, spa suites, boutique, Drybar, Deborah Lippmann Nail Salon and relaxation and tranquility zones. The Miraval expansion program includes development of full-service Miraval resorts that offer immersive wellness experiences in key destination markets like Monarch Beach and Miraval Life in Balance Spas that offer many of the brand’s signature wellness programs, such as Miraval Tucson’s NÂGA and Shamana-Karma treatments; Ayurvedic, energy and body renewal rituals; and new treatments that incorporate coastal-inspired ingredients, including sea salt, crystal salt stones, algae and marine muds.

Other Miraval Tucson signature wellness programs are offered, including Mindful Stress Mastery, Mindful Eating and Mindfulness at Miraval. Custom yoga and body movement studios in the spa’s new Body Mindfulness Center feature the brand’s Cardio Drumming, Mindful Spinning, Aerial Yoga and Floating Mediation programs.

Miraval Spa Café Miraval-inspired healthy menu items are also available at Monarch Beach Resort’s restaurants, including the new Miraval Spa Café that is among the restaurant offerings—six of them with ocean views, including Chef Michael Mina’s lauded Stonehill Tavern, Club 19 and the Aveo Terrace.

The Monarch Pool, facing directly towards the Pacific, has been expanded to include 150 additional lounge chairs and new, private cabanas. Two new infinity edge whirlpool spas seemingly spill into the stunning seascape. The kid-friendly Family Pool has also been enhanced with a graduated entry and new cabanas around the perimeter.

Access to the 8 lighted hard tennis courts is complimentary for resort guests. A ball machine can be rented for $25 per hour. Loaner racquets are available upon request and guests can purchase tennis balls for a nominal fee. Private and group lessons are available. Tennis lessons are $160 per hour and $70 per half hour. Clinics for groups of 3 or more are also available.

The golf experience at Monarch Beach equals the luxury experience of the hotel. Also, the course is a Gold Medal Resort by GOLF Magazine.

Under the expert direction of GM, Eric Lohman, PGA, a pro’s pro, the Links at Monarch Beach is an excellent test of golf that requires players to use all of the clubs in the bag. The views and layout make a round simply exhilarating and more importantly, memorable.

Shifting winds constantly making club selection critical, the undulating greens really separate the good from great putters.

The golf experience at Monarch Beach The Par 4 third is the signature hole and measures only 315 yards from the back tees, but this dog-leg that runs along the beach necessitates exact shot-making to make a good score.

The Par-5 seventh is the most unique hole on the course with accuracy required more than length—even for a hole that can stretch to 612 yards. Two shots are required over hazards on this hole that dog legs left—and the ways to play it are endless. Par is a good score here— your playing partners will definitely attest to that after finishing the hole.

The club’s forecaddie program is outstanding and the service all around is exceptional. This is taken to another level with the “Fit Fore a King” experience that the resort is offering through the remainder of 2016, as a golf package for those interested in the experience of a lifetime. “The “Fit Fore a King” golf package is an ultimate guys’ golf getaway, as well as an ideal vacation for avid golfing couples, either for a weekend trip or an extended stay.

Available throughout 2016, the awesome package includes:

  • Private limousine service (to and from airport)
  • A luxurious suite for two nights at the Monarch Beach Resort (double occupancy)
  • Personal Butler Service throughout the stay
  • Club-fitting at world headquarters of Callaway (cost of new equipment is additional)
  • Unlimited golf daily on the Monarch Beach Golf Links
  • “FlexSet” golf club rental (while the new set is being built)
  • Golf cart and Monarch Beach “Waterman” personal forecaddie service for each round
  • Access to the resort’s private beach and “guests-only” Monarch Bay Club
  • Breakfast daily

Lohman notes that guests will be guided throughout the experience by a PGA golf professional from the Monarch Beach Golf Links staff.

“About the only thing missing is an actual castle – but our renovated resort is even better,” said Lohman, who is personally coordinating each “Fit Fore VIPs” golf experience. Guests will be chauffeured to and from Callaway Golf’s elite full-service facility – exactly where the tour pros go for their club testing. After a personalized club-fitting using the latest technology, the golfer can order custom-made clubs that will be shipped to their home.

The Monarch Beach Resort—a great destination has just become the standard for luxury golf resorts.

Average daily rates are $400.00

www.monarchbeachresort.com


Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, the California Golf Writers Association, and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers”, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf” which is in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s bestseller list. His latest book,” The Right Mind for Golf”, released last year, is now in its 8th printing.
He can be reached at www.pgtaa.com or drlotz@cbsgolf.net.


The Resort at Pelican Hill – When Five Stars Should Be Ten Stars!

There aren’t enough superlatives to convey the Wow Factor of this resort!

The Resort at Pelican Hill - When Five Stars Should Be Ten Stars!
I gave this resort a 5 rating, however, honestly it deserves a 10. If one item in particular stands out above all the exemplary traits found at the resort, it is that service is supreme.

The Resort at Pelican Hill is not simply a golf destination. It seeks to compete with nearby jewels like the Ritz Carlton, Montage and Terranea, for guests who come for spa services, poolside lounging, beaches, and nearby attractions, or to live the chic Southern California lifestyle. Golf is just one of the resort’s most prominent amenities, and what a lure for people who love the game.

Located between the toney towns of Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, abutting Crystal Cove State Park (a resort shuttle ushers guests to the park’s beach), Pelican Hill Resort is so “un-hotel”. There are no elevator lobbies to the guest’s rooms in the main building. The 332 guest accommodations are set apart and in two distinct areas – the Villas (128) and the Bungalows (204), both reachable via personal automobile, or hotel transportation.

The architecture of the main building, inspired by the design principles of the 16th Century Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, is a residential-style luxury retreat resembling a Mediterranean village. And, with the design genius of Tom Fazio, the two golf courses attached to the resort, are simply marvelous to play and the views offered are outstanding.

The setting, together with the well-manicured grounds and Olive trees, is reminiscent of a Tuscany village.

Over 750 hand-picked mature olive trees help complete the Mediterranean patina of Pelican Hill.

Arriving at the resort, you first see this grand herringbone-bricked square, one of the largest of its kind in the US. Then, at the porte cochère you are met by the valets, and that’s when the impeccable detail to service begins and continues throughout your stay at the resort.

The spacious lobby vestibule and the Great Room at the Resort have been transformed recently from an elegant, formal lounge area into an upbeat gathering spot, called a social lounge. The Lobby terrace offers great views of the ocean, golf course and the Coliseum pool.

The very inviting Coliseum Pool is the largest circular pool in the world, 136 square feet — and enjoys a coliseum setting. Its water is incredibly blue, thanks to more than a million iridescent glass mosaic tiles on the pool bottom. Poolside cabanas are available as well.

luxurious low rise guest bungalows and the 2 to 4-bedroom villas

The luxurious low rise guest bungalows and the 2 to 4-bedroom villas are on little lanes terraced into the hillside. Each one-bedroomed bungalow consists of no less than 847 square feet, is a single story with 15-foot wood-beam ceilings, and has a lime stone fireplace and some bungalows offer a private terrace overlooking the ocean.

What also makes the bungalows so inviting are the luxurious beds, Kings or Queens, the large flat-screen television, Bose sound system, granite wet bar, refrigerator, coffee grinder (and coffee beans), with a marvelous bathroom consisting of a separate soaking tub and oversized shower. Bath robes are available.

The Villa Program offers an entirely personalized, ultimate residential experience, right down to magazine preferences and favorite foods.

Each Villa features a full gourmet kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, full living room, limestone fireplace, one- or two-car garage, and private butlers to tend to your needs. Villa guests enjoy exclusive use of a private clubhouse with a pool and fitness center.

Nightly rates, depending on how one books, season and availability, range from $495 per night for the bungalows, green fees are $315 per round for the public (guests not staying overnight at the Resort), $295 for Resort guests and spa services are about equally priced. The Resort also offers special packages such as the Golf & Spa Family Hideaway for $795.00 per night. Book a one-night Bungalow or Villa stay with one golf round and one spa treatment, and get complimentary full-day access to Camp Pelican for one child or Latitude for one teen. The rate excludes tax and service charge and is based on double occupancy. This package is available through January 31, 2016 only

Also, the Fazio Unlimited Package offers select Bungalow or Villa accommodations with a two-night minimum stay. With this particular package, you can enjoy unlimited golf rounds for one guest on three of Tom Fazio’s designed and re-perfected courses, the Ocean North, Ocean South, and Oak Creek. The package includes complimentary forecaddie (at Pelican Hill Ocean courses), golf cart and golf club rentals.
Starting from $795 per night, excluding tax and service charge and is based on double occupancy (updated pricing for 2016).

Pelican Hill’s two golf courses, the Ocean North and Ocean South courses, both boast of their spectacular setting. The hillside property incorporates 350 feet of elevation change and permits ocean views from every hole.

Ridges, ravines, and uneven slopes define the golfing grounds, yet the two contrasting playing fields aren’t extreme.

Pelican Hill’s links-style Ocean North Course features glorious Pacific panoramas from every hole.

Located higher up on the hill, the longer, links-style Ocean North Course (Rating: A-), which measures 6,945 yards from the tips (135 slope) and 6,563 yards from the blue markers (130 slope), is Pelican Hill’s more challenging track thanks to its length, exposure to the wind, numerous forced carries, and the tall, throttling grasses that frame most holes. The Ocean South Course demands accurate shot-making, but not as challenging as the North Course.

What stands out on both courses are the fashioned, closely mown collars around the greens to give players a plethora of short-game shot-making options.

The South course back nine offers great views of the ocean.
The new clubhouse, a lavish companion to the resort, is now adjacent to the practice ground. Service reigns supreme, thanks to a new caddie program that produces knowledgeable and well-trained caddies.

The Ocean South Course features holes with tree-lined fairways, forced carries over canyons, some friendly containment contouring, and a four-hole stretch across Pacific Coast Highway that runs right out to the bluff and dunes above the beach at Crystal Cove State Park.

Unless otherwise requested, a forecaddie will be assigned to your group. Although carts are mandatory, you should definitely walk the ocean view courses. Your forecaddie will be happy to drive the cart. A $50 tip per player is adequate.

Their two consecutive par-3 holes on the back nine will immerse golfers in sand and coastal scrub vegetation as they showcase the mesmerizing Pacific shoreline.

The aerification schedules take place in April and September each year. During the recovery period, a discounted green fee is in effect. Check with the Resort as these dates may change yearly.

So what is there to do for a non-golfer and children?

The Resort at Pelican Hill has a top-of-the line spa with exceptionally well trained staff.

Their spa treatments utilize local seasonal herbal and botanical ingredients; such as wild jasmine, rosemary, sage, and thyme. The spa also provides guided nature walks and a special yoga golf clinic is offered by Pelican Hill Golf Academy that includes videotaped swing analysis, followed by yoga exercises designed to address one’s swing limitations. The Spa does offer more than 25 weekly fitness classes, including yoga in its movement studio.

In addition to the gorgeous coliseum pool with private cabanas with televisions, there’s an extensive workout facility.

“Camp Pelican” offers children’s activities. Even though there’s no beach at the resort, resort shuttle will take you to Crystal Cove State Park, which has a beach, hiking trails, and a beachfront bar/restaurant.

And, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach offer chic boutique shopping, shopping malls, art galleries, beaches, deep-sea fishing, and sailing.

 As for dining options, expect great service in the restaurants.

As for dining options, expect great service in the restaurants.

The Andrea, the resort’s signature restaurant, offers Italian Cuisine, marvelous pasta dishes and a great wine list, but is somewhat pricey, in my opinion.

The Coliseum Grill has a great setting and a wonderful view and a very reasonably priced menu.

The Pelican Grill at the golf clubhouse specializes in contemporary Californian cuisine. Their Cobb salad and short ribs, a house specialty, are great either for lunch or dinner. A gigantic television and nice bar make this a great spot for watching sports.

I have yet to experience a resort that surpasses The Resort at Pelican Hill’s combination of aesthetic beauty, comfort, opulence, and dedicated service. Pelican Hill’s devoted, personal service sets it apart from other resorts. You can expect both emails and phone calls from concierges eager to help plan your visit. You will also receive a personalized check-in and, thereafter, staff members will call you by name. During my wife’s and my stay, everyone seemed to make an extra concerted effort to see that we enjoyed ourselves. What more can you ask for?

22701 Pelican Hill South, Newport Coast, CA 92657.
855-467-6800
www.pelicanhill.com

Positive SSL