There is something inimitable, romantic and breathless about sheer cliffs. Around the world, these dramatic earthscapes draw the eye and make the heart gallop. The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, Molokai’s 2000 foot Kalaupapa Cliffs, Chile’s Torres Del Paine: windswept and rugged. The immense sprawl of land’s end in California, falling from its northernmost point near the border of Oregon, to the seaside bluffs in Big Sur, to Southern California’s sandy overlooks in Laguna Niguel.
Perched hundreds of feet above the shoreline lies the Ritz-Carlton, poised for an endless supply of idyllic sunsets just steps away from some of the most luxurious accommodations on the golden coast. With guest rooms featuring airy layouts and private balconies, the hotel is the perfect location for a romantic weekend away.
Most beachfront hotels will boast “spectacular views” and “breathtaking scenery,” but the stunning views from the bluffs of Laguna define those claims. Emerald lawns and rugged sandstone fall away from the doors of the resort, diving off into the deep blue Pacific. First floor ocean-view rooms have their own fire pits, and the list of other amenities on site are enough to send one into the throes of relaxation even before stepping foot on property.
With all the preparation and waiting that travel requires, vacationing can often be more exhausting than relaxing. After planning an itinerary, arranging papers, booking tickets, prepping sundries, hauling luggage and staying “alert” per the TSA, CHP, FRA, the PA and all the other acronyms – not to mention your better senses – by the time vacation ends it is not uncommon to feel as though you need a vacation from your vacation - exactly the opposite of what my husband, Tim, and I were hoping to achieve on our recent weekend away in celebration of our wedding anniversary.
When the goal is to truly unwind, there is a strong case for a stay-cation, which means there is always a strong case for the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.
Since a weekend at the Ritz offers OC locals all the “away-ness” a vacation promises without the attending hassle, it’s an especially attractive option. Within a half hour, you’re in paradise, with no need to leave it until you’re headed home.
Of course, if you find yourself at any Ritz, you find yourself in luxury; but our Ritz has some special advantages. Most rooms offer breathtaking ocean views from private patios or balconies, and the entire southwest side of the property is ocean-facing, with nothing but sand interrupting the space between building and water. This factor alone transports you; but then it’s all the ritzy little things that make it a getaway. As aspiring foodies and oenophiles, the only challenge Tim and I experienced during our stay was in deciding which of Ritz’ array of dining destinations to choose from.
If you are a local, dining at the Ritz-Carlton is itself a worthy reason to pay a visit any day of the week, but for a romantic retreat, you could literally have a different experience for every meal, each appropriate to the moment: a light, casual breakfast at the Market Place (try the quinoa bowel for a guiltless treat); a poolside snack while lounging midday (the fresh pita and house-made hummus from the Dana Pool Cafe is surprisingly finger-licking); craft cocktails and small plates at the outdoor, oceanfront lounge, 180blû (the Tequila Sangria is a specialty) or the fine dining experiences at Raya or enoSTEAK.
With a coastal illuminating facial to start your morning and ocean-view experiences into the early evening, the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers romantic, breathless, and inimitable views from the cliffs, far above the sea (and all your worries!) below.
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is located at One Ritz-Carlton Drive in Dana Point.
For information or reservations, call (949) 240-2000 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com