We left the frigid New Jersey below 10 degree temperature for our stay at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, situated on an ocean cliff in the Dana Point area of California. The welcoming mid 70 degree temperature warmed our souls, as we thawed out and soaked in the west coast sun, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The last time we stayed at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, it was during the Watermen’s ball. We figured out that watermen meant surfers. We bravely embarked on a surfing lesson which was arranged through the resort. For those who have surfed on the east coast, the west coast was a drastically different experience. The Pacific Ocean is a little colder than the Atlantic and the waves are bigger. Two things that are great for surfing, and were challenging to us while learning! A very memorable experience and one we tell often.
During our stay in January, we stuck to our sport, tennis. The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel had two hard court tennis courts, with lights (tip: book your tennis times directly through the Spa at the resort. We booked our court time for our entire visit. Court costs are part of the resort fee. We had the option to book time with a contracted teaching Pro, but we chose to work on our singles tennis game.
Each morning, we enjoyed a hot breakfast buffet in the club lounge. The club lounge balcony provided a wonderful view of the coast line. After our relaxing breakfast, we headed to the tennis courts. The tennis courts were nestled next to the swimming pool area, near the spa. Each of the courts were private. There weren’t any distractions when playing tennis because each court was isolated. Outside the tennis area was a small playground, ping pong table with a seating area and pavilion. We noticed that the tennis courts were prepared each morning with fresh towels and water bottles. On our first morning, the attendant quickly brought out fresh Penn tennis balls for our use. It was a welcoming change to play tennis in the ocean breeze air!
It was exhausting, but after tennis each day, we sun bathed poolside and spent time in the spa’s facilities (tip: use of spa facilities included in resort fee): the sauna, steam room and spa rain showers, use of locker and relaxation area. After the spa, we settled in the club level lounge’s intimate setting, complete with excellent service, a cozy fireplace, ocean view and several seating areas.
We returned to the top notch The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel resort, for the beautiful ocean views, and excellent resort experience (loved our tennis experience) for our first tennis resort stay in 2018. The resort had something for everyone (tennis, beach, swimming, surfing, hiking, dining, shopping and golf (offsite), whether a romantic weekend with your loved one or with your family; great bonding time!
Travel tip: Fly into Orange County airport (SNA), 25 minute drive to resort. There are direct flights from Newark to Orange County, daily. Los Angeles airport is about an hour away (unless there is traffic).
The Camera Roll:
- We visited in early January. Temperature was in the 70’s every day. We played tennis outdoors every day.
- The spa provided new balls for our play. You need to ask. There was no charge for the balls while we were there.
- Uber/Lyft charges were going to be similar to renting a car and paying parking. We elected to rent a car as there was a chance for us to meet up with friends and family. Note: we flew into SNA which meant we were fairly close!
- We stayed at the club level at this property. This provided us light meals and drinks during our stay. One afternoon at lunch, while sitting on the balcony in the club room watching the ocean, the manager opened the sliding door. She handed us some binoculars and pointed. There was a whale in the bay! It was amazing…
Some links: (disclaimer… some may be monetized, so feel free to explore!)
- We booked through Marriott: Marriott Hotels
- We used Fox Rental Car at SNA. They are not onsite, you take a shuttle. They were almost 30% cheaper, but you do need to wait in a line.
- Normally when we fly to California from the East Coast we fly into LAX. There are more direct flights and options. This was a split trip which allowed us to fly into SNA with nice options. We flew United Airlines.
- There is a great deli in Dana Point. Tutor and Spunkys Deli! If you do go there, there is a vista point at the end of the road next to the deli that overlooks the harbor and bay. It is beautiful.