Surf & Sand at Southern California’s Monarch Beach Resort

The quintessential SoCal beach lifestyle is the inspiration behind many trips to the Golden State. There are plenty of choices when it comes to picking a place to stay during a trip to Southern California, but Monarch Beach Resort has figured out how to take the best of west coast living and put it all in one beautiful location.

Monarch Beach Resort offers 400 rooms and suites split between two wings. You’ll receive a map at check in, and though at first it seems like it might take a while to learn your way around, you won’t need it for long. Rooms are located in either the North or South wing; once you know which side of the property you call home, the layout of the resort easy to understand and fun to explore.

There are a variety of accommodation options to choose from during a stay at Monarch Beach Resort. Jr. Suites are spacious with balconies, marble covered bathrooms, and soaking tubs. Along with a king bed, there’s a generous sitting area with a chaise lounge and a couple of cushy chairs. Plenty of natural light, along with a color palette featuring light greens and blues, give the space a modern seaside feel.

The bathroom boasts a large vanity with two sinks, walk-in shower, soaking tub, and walk-in closet. The toilet is located in a separate space with a door, allowing more than one person to use the bathroom at the same time and still enjoy some privacy.

Along with a Keurig coffee maker, there’s a bowl of colorful salt water taffy that gets replenished daily. However, there’s no refrigerator, just a minibar with minimal space for guest use.

Activity rich, you could easily fill a trip to Dana Point without ever leaving the property. Along with the main pool, there’s a family-friendly pool, and a third pool attached to the Miraval Life in Balance Spa. More than 40 classes a week, ranging from beach yoga, to mat Pilates and cardio dance, are offered to guests at no charge.

An electric beach tram shuttles guests to and from the Monarch Bay Beach Club. It takes less than ten minutes to reach the wide stretch of sand where umbrellas, chairs and towels are waiting. In between surf lessons, stand up paddle boarding, building sand castles, and maybe even a nap, it’s worth spending time with a beach ranger to learn about the coast’s eco-system.

The beach lawn, with chairs, umbrellas, and tables with fire pits, is a great spot to take in sunset, and roast s’mores. The beachside bar and restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining with views of the Pacific Ocean from just about every seat. A handful of other dining options including Bourbon Steak Orange County, Mediterranean inspired AVEO Table + Bar, and grab-and-go Part & Parcel Market, are located at the main resort.

Monarch Beach Golf Links is a par-70 course with ocean views from every hole. Even if you don’t play golf, you can still soak in the scenery on a guided tour of the greens riding a Golf Board or Phat Scooter. It takes a bit a practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be all smiles as you speed along the course.

Rates for Junior Suites start at $799. Rates for a Monarch King Guest Room or Monarch Two Queen Guest Room, the property’s standard room, start at $419. In addition, Monarch Beach Resort has a daily resort charge of $50. Valet parking is $50; self-parking is not available.

Compare rates and make your reservations at Priceline, Hotels.com or your favorite online booking site.

Review and photos, except where noted, by San Francisco Bay Area travel writer and television correspondent Dana Rebmann. Her stay was organized by Monarch Beach Resort, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.

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