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“Nice Resort”

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Monarch Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 January 2007

The St Regis Dana Point is a very nice resort. The rooms are exceptional. The grounds are beautiful, but if you want ocean vistas then you should go to the Ritz.

Had dinner at Motif and was thrilled. The service was excellent, the food was superb and the wine list extensive.

I didn't get to play golf, but I walked a couple of the holes and it looks impressive.

I have stayed at the Ritz (just across the highway) and comparing the two:

Rooms: St Regis (significantly larger and much better looking)
Landscaping: I give the nod to the Ritz. Ritz is right on the beach and has beautiful views.
Service: Ritz; St Regis needs to work with their employees while the Ritz employees are always smiling and welcoming
Food/Restaurants: They are both great
Pool(s): I think the Ritz because they have more variety

If it is your first stay at either of these properties, I would say go for the St Regis (the rooms are so much nicer) unless you can get the Ritz for a significantly lower price (I recently had that opportunity as the Ritz was running a package promo).

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled on business
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6  Thank FlyingFrequently
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,456 - 2,462 of 2,622 reviews

Reviewed 14 January 2007

Have you ever read the story called the Emperor's New Clothes. Everyone is afraid to tell the King that he is really not wearing anything except one little child. I feel like that child. We attended a corporate party at the hotel this weekend. We were served the "Indulge' meal. Everything in this meal contained chocolate including the shrimp, scallops, seabass and beef tenderloin . Are you kidding me. I can't imagine anyone thinking that a group of 450 people would enjoy scallops with chocolate sauce. It was like some pms crazed chef had been turned loose in the kitchen. By the end of the meal everyone at our table was talking about what fast food restaurant they would stop at on the way home from the dinner. It would have been funny if it hadn't have cost a fortune.
I get the impression that the hotel is visited by insecure people that are too intimidated to tell the emperor that he is in fact naked.

  • Stayed: January 2007
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3  Thank emperorsclothes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2006

After a couple of days in Newport Beach we spent some time in South Orange County before heading back East.

What a great time we had. The St. Regis resort is a large, magnificent hotel with lots of grounds and space to roam around. Their Sunday Brunch is fantastic as is their new restaurant Stone Hill Tavern.

For such a large hotel with so many rooms and so much staff the service is great. Everywhere I went I bumped into smiling employees offering to help or offering me good wishes.

I loved their holiday decor with the sand castle in the lobby.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled on business
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3  Thank zjstme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2006

This is a beautiful hotel. Our room was a "pool view" and was very large with a balcony. The bath was all marble and large. Loved the marble shower with glass doors. It is an expensive hotel. We had a room with unlimited golf. I thought that the service was very good. All of the staff spoke to us and always were willing to help. We did not eat at the restaruants. Had drinks on the lovely patio off the lobby. We did get coffee every morning from the coffee bar downstairs. It is very expensive, like $5 a cup (big cup). Ordered a $12 turkey sandwich to go from the same place for our golf round and it was a joke for $12. Sliced bread with a little turkey and a slice of cheese. The pool areas were very nice. There were two weddings every evening but did not feel it interrupted our stay. We went to the Ritz Carlton for the Seafood Buffet on Friday (which was just ok), and after seeing that hotel, felt that the St. Regis was better. We realized that the beach was not right next to the hotel before we left. Thought the shuttle to the beach was no big deal. Loved the beach and all the amenities. Overall, we really enjoyed our stay. Just know that it is pricey and be ready for all the extra costs and tips. Don't go by the hotels directions, we got lost, do your own mapquest if driving.

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Parshooter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2006

After having been "evicted" from The Ritz across the street (p.s. the right side of the street) due to some sort of massive convention, we evacuated to The St. Regis, a much newer and grander property, but a mere shadow of the Ritz for service, food, and certainly location.

Two things struck me as almost other worldly about the service at The St. Regis. The first is that no matter where you eat or drink within the hotel you will be asked for your name before your drink or food order will be taken. That the hotel is hedging it's bets against ever being taken for a free meal or drink is beyond the obvious. Personally I found it akin to being asked for my credit card in a restaurant before your waiter will take your order. When I inquired about this on several different occassions at several different venues within the hotel I was told it "is hotel policy". It's a policy I truely resent.

Secondly, re the service, EVERYONE in the hotel always seems to have their hand out to a degree I have never before experienced. Example: turn down did not leave ice or water and when I called the "butler" to deliver same I practically had to push him out the room because I simply did not believe a tip was in order for this most standard of services. I would describe him as flat out rude.

Example: FedX delivered a package to the hotel for me and I never recieved a call that it arrived. At 11:30 AM I called hotel operator and was told the package was indeed waiting downstairs. After the requesting that it be brought to my room I again had the butler experience (with a bell man this time). Call me crazy but bringing an envelope to my room is to me a most basic hotel service, and just not a "tipping" occasion. This was the second hotel employee who had his hand out in my face and who I was afraid was planning to camp out in my room until I tipped him. Did I? Not likely with that attitude.

Ok, I've bored you enough and I will not go into the miserable food experience I had in the main dining room (fine service except I had to do the name and room routine before my order was taken), nor will I comment on the location, except to say that if you like being on the ocean, and enjoy the sound of the crashing Pacific surf, forget it. The only sound you will hear are the cars on the very busy Pacific Coast Hwy.

  • Stayed: October 2006
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4  Thank ofteninlove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2006

My wife and I used 54,000 Starwood points to get five nights at this hotel. We'd just spent a laid-back week in Santa Barbara, and my wife wanted some real luxury.

We got it :)

This hotel really outclasses the Ritz-Carlton down the road, which I'd stayed at on a business trip. Its grounds are beautiful, and the staff has some creepy system by which 90% know your name at all times. All staff were relatively standoffish (I really wish luxury disn't = cold) but exceedingly helpful and polite.

The beach requires a tram ride, but we expected that after noting reviews here and on FlyerTalk.

I have never seen more Rolls-Royces (2), BMWs (countless), Mercedes (countless), Lamborghinis (1) or Maseratis (1) in my life. I have no idea how much the place costs when you pay cash rather than SPG points, but it must be a lot.

The spa was the nicest I'd ever been in, and the hot stone massage left me, well, stoned. It also cost a small fortune.

The only downsides I can think of are:

1. Everything is very, very expensive. Restaurant wines in particular had one of the highest markups I'd ever seen.

2. The food was just OK at the high-end restaurant. For the prices they demanded, it should have been fantastic. The middle-of-the-road restaurant actually had fantastic food for much less.

3. $30/day valet sucks.

4. The hallways are looooooooong. Going from room to elevator to pool was a 10 minute walk, easily.

I tend to forget that even award stays require a lot of money if you use the property to its fullest, and unfortunately we did.

If you need to be pampered or have money to burn, it's the place for you, and I can't recommend it enough.

I've posted some photos, but the hotel website is what really shows the property off.

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank djottercreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2006

We stayed at St Regis Monarch Beach during the fall so was out of the busy season. The area of Dana Point is very upscale and nice. We actually had our rental car upgraded to a Jaguar XK and that was kind of the average car in the area. I've never seen so many fancy cars and rich people in an area before.

The hotel is very nice but it is NOT on the beach. As a matter of fact it is about 1 mile from the beach across a housing development, the Pacific Coast Highway and a golf course and it is straight down hill. They offer a shuttle down to the beach but it is a fairly small public beach. This is not the hotel to stay at if you are looking for a beach vacation.

The hotel itself is very nice and upscale, similar to a Ritz Carlton. The service however was only so-so, good enough but not like you'd expect. The restaurants on site were also only so-so. Our room have a view of the pool area and golf course but could barely see the ocean even though it was an ocean view room. If you are a golfer there is a nice golf course right in front of the hotel. The pool is a salt water pool so very nice.

The area has a fair amount to do. Dana Point is close and has a nice little marina/shopping complex. Laguna Beach is about 15 minutes north and is where the bars and nightlife are. We ate at the best mexican restaurant there, unfortunately I can't remember the name, just look for the place with the long lines. Further north is Newport, which is a fun area to hit the shops and look at the boats.

All in All a nice place but not a great place. I'd give it a marginal recommendation.

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank mike1318
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 Business Hotel in Dana Point
#3 Romantic Hotel in Dana Point
#4 Family Hotel in Dana Point
Price Range: $526 - $1,201 (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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