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“Best Starwood Resort/Hotel in California”

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Monarch Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 December 2011

We enjoy this resort in the Summer bc of its private beach and great pools. But, we also stay in the pre Winter in mid-Dec for our Anniversary. I always book a standard room w/a pool/ocean/resort view. They have this nice Christmas tree and snowman in the center courtyard. This time they gave me a suite upgrade that I didn't request; I received an extra 200 sqft and a garden view. I didn't see this as an upgrade especially for the occassion. Fortunately, the resort manager, Maria Fitzsimons fixed everything in seconds and gave me the room we requested. And she sent up a complimentary bottle of wine and champagne.
We drove up the coast to Mastros for dinner and came back to the room for a movie and drinks. I've been to every Starwood Resort/Hotel in CA being an SPG Platinum member, and this Resort is the best and I highly recommend trying it. We love breakfast room service on the outdoor balcony; Belgian Waffle, berry smoothie, and Huevos Rancheros w/scrambled eggs. It doesn't get any better.

Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
Thank Familyof07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,067 - 2,073 of 2,617 reviews

Reviewed 22 December 2011

Very nice hotel but like others have said front desk staff can't make decisions if you request something. Not sure what the deal is with management. Overall hotel is great but you pay heavily for it. Not sure if I would return.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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1  Thank Jaymaxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2011

We love the St Regis! The staff is always incredibly helpful
and work to exceed your expectations! They always give us
a nice upgrade.....SPG member! The hotel and the views are
spectacular. The have access to their own beach access via
a tram (big golf cart) very nice restaurant there.
The pool is excellent and the golf course is great too!
Close to Dana Point Harbor to get out to Catalina and close
to Laguna Beach for Art and great dining.
This hotel and location for us is better than being in Hawaii!
Much cleaner nice and professional!

Room Tip: Ask for the gold member upgrade
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2011

Wonderful visit. I have absolutely no complaints. It's a St. Regis and I think that's all that needs to be said. Will stay here again if given the opportunity. Very Quiet stay. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Beautiful location. Stonehill Tavern for dinner was perfect.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank jlsterling226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2011

As if your room isn't pricey enough, these 5 star properties find it out of line to provide basics like coffee in your room. As if anyone these days prefers to order a $25 carafe of java. By the way stopped in the cafe for the coffee....had better at the local mini-mart. It just felt like yeah it's a beautiful property...but the 'wow' factor in service wasn't there. Mattress was only average in comfort.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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1  Thank genaugenau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2011

Like somany others, I received an email from the hotel offereing an upgrade, for a fee. I agreed for the St. Regis suite at $250 a night and corresponded with the "rooms butler" to also get a dinner reservation at the M. Minna restaurant. Imagine my surprise when the hotel did not have a St. Regis suite and no explanation for the communications failure! the room I had was nice, although it viewed a parking lot. The manager pointed out how very many SPG platinums they had. In sum, nice room, but no nice treatment for spg platinum. I will not return. Also, you are pretty far from the beach. There are better choices around.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank FreqTravDaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2011

This is a nice hotel, the staffs are friendly, and the hotel grounds is beautiful. Here is a breakdown:

Room: We stayed in a Garden room hotel in the south wing, which we prefer over pool view since it was more private and quiet. Our patio opens to a beautiful view of the Pacific Lawn and Fountain. We have our patio door opened most the time and rarely saw any guests walk by.

If you are debating between an ocean view vs. a non-ocean view room because price matters to you, I would suggest "NOT" to get an ocean view due to the hotel's distance away from the ocean. We stayed in other like properties such as The Montage in Laguna Beach and The Terranea in PV, these properties are actually "ocean front." As such, an ocean view room would make a big difference & might be worth the upgrade.

We were pleased with our room, but thought the sleep quality and bedsheets used to be similar to other Starwood properties. There was nothing truly spectacular nor did it knock our socks off.

The room is also a bit dark. You need to turn on all the lamps in the room to still feel dark. We are used to dark rooms since we frequently stay in different W Hotels, but this kind of dark, feels...like it should really be brighter, not the W Hotel kind of dark, which is on purpose. So if that's an issue, get a corner room or a suite with lots of natural lights.

You can also hear other guests in the hallway or walking above your floor.

Pet policy: We also brought two of our dogs. The pet policy is that the dogs must be 30 pounds and under, and you can't leave your dogs alone at any time. Our dogs were greeted by a dog bed, two bowls, and a nice bone to share. However - we found the policy of never leaving your dogs to be difficult on our leisure activities. They do not offer dog boarding service while you are away. So if you plan on bringing your dog, be prepared to bring your dog EVERYWHERE. The hotel is adjacent to Sea Terrace Park, which does have a enclosed small and big dog run. The dog run is on the South end of the park, very close to PCH.

Parking: As for parking, VALET is the most popular option. They do have a self park garage, but no in-out privilege. If you do take your car out, you pay by the hour. Other guests gave bad reviews regarding the long wait. We never had that problem because we always call ahead to retrieve our car.

Beach Access: If you are expecting to stroll to the beach, it's a good 20 minute walk as the property is not beach front. Definitely bring a stroller if you have a toddler. If you go through Sea Terrace Park, it's a very pleasant walk. You can get to the beach by going through an underground tunnel right below PCH, near the south side of the park (left).

Location: The hotel is not ocean front, and there is absolutely "nothing" you can walk to. You definitely need a car here. It's about a 15 minute drive to Laguna Beach or San Juan Capistrano. A 30 minute drive to Newport Beach area.

Crust (coffee shop): Do not order the yogurt parfait. All yogurt parfaits should have a yogurt to jam ratio. This one is mostly jam, and little yogurt. Coffee was just ok. If you do go, please pick up the chocoates wrapped in small clear bags. It's very good. The menu is very limited. You are better off finding a Starbucks. We spent $ 33 without tip at this place for 2 people just to have bad breakfast.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay and found the hotel to be beautiful. The staffs were very professional and friendly. However - we did feel a little surprised that the St. Regis property fell slightly short of our expectations since St. Regis is a category 6, one of the highest ratings in the Starwood program, other than 7.

If price is not a concern to you, we thought the Montage was a better property. It makes sense, since an entry level room at the Montage is twice of what it costs at the St. Regis. Montage is ocean front, and has access to shops & restaurants within a walking distance.

We would recommend this property to others since the entry level room is only around $ 350.

Room Tip: South wing is quieter. 1st floor rooms have bigger patio, but no direct access to the garden due to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank linbay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Monarch Beach Resort

Address: 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA 92629-4085 (Formerly St. Regis, Monarch Beach)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Orange County > Dana Point
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Dana Point
#3 Romantic Hotel in Dana Point
#3 Business Hotel in Dana Point
#4 Family Hotel in Dana Point
Price Range: $504 - $1,172 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Monarch Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 400
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our AAA Five-Diamond resort overlooks the Pacific and offers private beach club access, with watersports, oceanfront golf, award-winning Miraval Life in Balance Spa, swimming pools, upscale dining, activities programs and more. Located in Dana Point, the resort offers easy access to a variety of Southern California attractions including Catalina Island, Dana Point Harbor, Laguna art galleries and events, Disneyland and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St. Regis, Monarch Beach Hotel Dana Point
St Regis Dana Point
St Regis Resort Monarch Beach

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