The good life might have been invented in “The O.C.”—especially when it comes to resort destinations. With spas, elegant dining, posh lodgings, and impeccable service—plus endless ocean views—these lodgings set the bar for coastal luxury.
Relax on your own private oceanfront balcony at the Mediterranean-inspired Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. Nearby, relax in contemporary suites, play golf on the Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed course, or cool off in the enormous, main ocean pool at Monarch Beach Resort. (There’s a private beach too, where you can sign up for a surf lesson.) The oceanfront Montage Laguna Beach is set on an oceanfront bluff with Craftsman-style design, and celebrates the town’s rich artistic history by displaying plein air works by notable California artists in the lobby and reception area (non-guests are welcome to visit the lobby to see a sampling). Just north in posh Newport Beach, The Resort at Pelican Hill wraps you in Tuscan luxury, with over-the-top amenities such as villas with butler service and a private clubhouse. Golfers will beeline to the two Tom Fazio courses, known for nonstop ocean views.
All leading resorts offer spa services, open to guests and nonguests, so you get a dose of pampering even if you’re not spending the night.