Greetings from The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
Last week my husband was scheduled to speak at a small conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Because it looked so pretty, and was so close to LA, we decided at the last-minute to bring our kids along and make a family getaway out of it. The drive took us a little over an hour, and the second we drove up I knew it was going to be a nice few days. The hotel is gorgeous, low-key and lush, it almost feels like a private home when you first drive up. We were greeted with a plastic pail and shovel for the kids to bring to the beach, and not long after we arrived in our adjoining rooms, they delivered a snack of cookies and milk for our children, and a bottle of wine for us. By this time I was, clearly, swooning.
This was the first time that we had stayed in a hotel as a full family. My daughter is two, and my son is six months, and selecting two rooms that adjoined turned out to be the perfect scenario for us. The gorgeous marble bathroom was large enough to accommodate a pack-n-play for the baby, and my daughter slept in the big bed. Our rooms had small balconies overlooking the pool, and small empty fridges where I could keep bottles and apple juice.
On our first full day, after my husband had given his conference talk, we decided to walk down to the beach. During the warmer seasons they have a small shuttle that will take you, and towels and drinks available at a kiosk, but the walk really isn’t very far, even with the kids. We played in the sand and let the water tickle our toes. The beach is one of those things we take for granted in Southern California. It’s right in our backyard, and we just never go.
It was still a little chilly, so we didn’t last long right by the water. After awhile, we decided to hit the heated pool instead, and I consumed one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever tasted. A bleu cheese bacon burger, a little sun on my legs, I was in heaven. In the late afternoon, while the rest of the family napped, I slipped away to the spa for a much-needed massage. There were all of the spa amenities: steam room, sauna, a quiet lounge with little snacks and good magazines. My masseur was experienced and gave me lots of options that I don’t always see at the spa, like the warmth of the table or volume of the music. Nearly two hours later, I left relaxed and slightly sleepy.
The one thing I didn’t get to experience while staying at the RCLN was dinner at the nice restaurant downstairs, Raya. The hotel does provide contact with an outside babysitting service, but I just didn’t get it set up in time. We enjoyed room service, but I believe dinner with that gorgeous view would have been divine.
On our way home, we stopped at the Long Beach aquarium and ate a little lunch. As we pulled back into Los Angeles, my husband and I couldn’t believe we had only been gone 48 hours. It felt like we had taken a full-on vacation. We vowed to go back, and to make more little getaways like this in our future.
DISCLAIMER: We booked our stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel months ago, but they did provide our second room and my spa treatment complimentary. My opinions here are all my own.