Did you know that you can enjoy the gorgeous beaches of California with just a short 30 minute drive from Disneyland? After a few fun days in Disneyland this past March, we headed to the beautiful Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in California.
This resort is absolutely stunning! Upon walking into the lobby, we could smell the beautiful fresh floral arrangements and we were amazed by the gorgeous decor. We were travelling with our 22 month old son so one of the first things out of my mouth was “Don’t let him touch anything!” as my husband chased him down the lobby. If you have a toddler you understand how quickly they can get themselves into trouble, especially with so many delicate pieces around. I was pleasantly surprised to see how family-friendly this resort is and I’ll be telling you about some of these programs and conveniences throughout this post. Travelling with kids doesn’t mean that you can’ travel in style!
Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel – Rooms:
Our hotel room was as expected – gorgeous in every detail! The room was very spacious and the decor was very modern. The large bathroom included his & her sinks and a large wardrobe mirror perfect for checking your outfit before a stylish evening in the lounge. The closet area had plenty of space for hanging your clothes and storing items in drawers plus a full size ironing board, iron and more.
The guestrooms also include a 42-inch flat screen plasma television and high speed internet access. Our room included a mini fridge which is always a bonus when travelling with young children.
Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel – Salt Creek Beach:
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel provides direct access to a two mile stretch of beautiful beach. From the time the sun rises, you can see the surfers out in the water waiting to catch the perfect wave.
Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel – Beach Butler:
The Beach Butler experience was fantastic! The Beach Butler provides transportation to and from the beach and although you could walk down, having the transportation is convenient when trying to take all your supplies down to the beach. The Beach Butler services include setting up beach chairs, umbrellas, towels and offering food & beverage. The Butlers are able to provide you with body boards, swimming noodles, sand castle supplies, sun screen, tanning lotion and more. Our Beach Butler was incredibly helpful and attentive. You could really see that he wanted to make our beach experience memorable and he certainly achieved that goal. I can’t imagine going to a beach now without a Beach Butler!
Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel – Dining:
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers many styles of dining. Whether you want a relaxed meal with your family, a romantic dinner for two or just a drink with friends, there are many options to choose from.
The 180blũ Lounge is the ultimate in luxury patio dining. Umbrellas help to shade you from the sun while outdoor heaters help keep you warm in the evening. The staff even offers blankets to cover up with by the fire on a cool night. Ending a busy day on the patio with a Sangria in hand watching the sunset over the ocean is a memory I will never forget!
Raya is a gorgeous restaurant serving Pan-Latin Coastal Cuisine prepared with sustainable seafood, local produce, natual and organic meat. We enjoyed a delicious multi-course meal prepared by Chef de Cuisine Marissa Gerlach with a dessert sampler tray so mouthwatering that I’m still drooling over the memory!
If you are looking for a more casual setting for a treat, try the The Market Place. They offer gourmet coffees, pastries and other sweet treats.
For a sophisticated yet casual place for drinks and appetizers, visit Bar Raya.
While enjoying family play time at the pool you can stop for a quick bite at the Dana Pool Cafe. It is a casual dining experience with a wide variety of meals and snacks to enjoy.
enoSTEAK offers local organic produce and steaks made from prime and grass-fed, pasture-raised beef. It has a large selection of fine wines and offers a more intimate dining experience.
The Ritz-Carlton Club:
While staying at the resort we received access to The Ritz-Carlton Club – a more private setting in a relaxed lounge environment. Throughout the day they offer food selections such as breakfast, light snacks, hors d’ oeuvres, beverages and sweets. We enjoyed breakfast in The Ritz-Carlton Club each morning during our visit and were very impressed with the selection of food and the service received.
Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel – Kid-Friendly:
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel wants to ensure that even their youngest guests are well taken care of by offering items such as strollers, car seats, highchairs, cribs and other baby necessities upon request. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel understands that parents sometimes need a break and they want to make it easy for you to enjoy a romantic dinner for two by offering a list of local child providers.
For the older children, the concierge has a list of kid-friendly activities and restaurants in the area. While staying at the resort, all of our son’s meals were prepared by the resort. Our son has an allergy to peanuts so we are always cautious when ordering his food. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel understood our concern and was always helpful to take notes of his allergy and offer suggestions for meals.
They offer so many unique experiences for children of all ages – so many that I can’t list them all here. You can read more about all of these special programs on their website.
Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel – Eco-Adventures:
One of the many unique services that the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers are Eco-Adventures. They offer multiple programs for children and adults of all ages. The programs are led by expert naturalists who have a passion for all of the natural wonders that California has to offer. Their goal is to inspire you to be more environmentally friendly through the living classroom programs.
Inside the Eco-Adventure area, they offer a small gift shop filled with eco-friendly items and games. There is a play area for the children to learn and color, a small theatre area and a cafe with organic food selections. Everything in the Eco-Adventures center has been made in an environmentally friendly way such as recycling old materials to create new furniture.
During our visit we were able to participate in a Garden Tour where we were shown the area where local herbs, vegetables and fruit are grown within the resort. We were able to smell, touch and taste the different selections and we learned that the resort’s executive chef uses these very same items in the delicious dishes that they prepare in the kitchen. Pretty cool, right?
Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel – Other Activities:
This resort has so many other services, programs and amenities to offer for all ages. These services & features include:
- the spa
- the salon
- the fitness center with a beautiful ocean view
- Yoga & Pilates classes
- two tennis courts
- two outdoor swimming pools and two outdoor whirlpools
- business service centers
- gift shop
- pet-friendly services
- surfing experiences and more!
We had a fabulous time at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. The staff were all incredible and they really demonstrated to us that their main focus is ensuring a pleasurable stay for all of their guests. For more information about the resort, you can visit their website.
For more fun posts on our Disney & California adventures, check out our special page dedicated to Disney fun!
*Disclosure: My family was invited on a magical vacation to the Disneyland Parks and the beaches of Orange County. My flight, our hotel, park passes, meal vouchers and other various perks were provided to me as part of this adventure. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.