Inn at Laguna Beach
Beach and hotel combine for ideal getawayOccasionally, everything comes together – the perfect location, the perfect room, the perfect place to find as many or as few things to do as you want on your vacation or getaway.
For us, it all came together at the Inn at Laguna Beach.
There's nothing quite like having a little time off to sit on an oceanfront balcony and just stare at the Pacific horizon, the rich blue sparkling water that seems to shimmer in the Southern California sunshine. Maybe there are a couple of Coronas on your lanai table, or maybe it's something fruity, or maybe you're still in your bathrobe enjoying a morning cup of coffee as the sun rises behind you. The point is, it's you and the ocean. It's a place for you to get lost in your thoughts and appreciate the beauty that is the Southern California coastline.
That pretty much describes the Inn at Laguna Beach. With what some might say is the best beach location in Laguna – footsteps from downtown, yet with a wide beach nearby for walking, playing or anything else beachy you want to do – the Inn at Laguna Beach, with its 70 updated rooms, is the perfect place to plant yourself for an upscale holiday with your Significant Other. Laguna Beach is surprisingly close to Los Angeles, just an hour's drive give or take from the busiest hustle and bustle on the West Coast. Yet it's a quiet beach enclave, an artists' community that grew up along a lush narrow strip of beaches, bluffs and foothills between Newport Beach and other beach cities to the south such as San Clemente.
A lot of people compare Southern California's climate with the Mediterranean and so it's fair that Laguna Beach might well be compared with the French Riviera and some of the spectacular locations along that sun-drenched coast. If ever there was a place to build a coastal city, Laguna Beach is it – beaches, an ocean that beckons the soul, and colorful, varied topography that seems to wall off this enchanting community from the rest of Orange County.
The city is home to some of the area's finest tourist amenities, from world-class restaurants to luxurious beachfront hotels. And many of those amenities are located downtown, across the street from the Inn at Laguna Beach.
You probably won't want to just stay in your room while visiting Laguna Beach but, if you chose to, you would be comfortable doing so at the Inn at Laguna Beach. A recent remodel has created a light and airy beach motif in each room from the wicker furniture to the white louvered doors leading out onto the lanai. The walls are light-colored and accented by brown carpet with multi-colored cushions and pillows. It all works – you walk into a room here, you look out toward the balcony to see the blue Pacific and you think you've just been transported to Hawaii.
The Inn at Laguna Beach has the mega-hotel location, yet still has the feel of a boutique inn. The swimming pool is there, the rooftop bar, the endless beach along with some interesting coves and outcroppings just a short walk from the hotel – it's all there for exploration and combines luxury with the best coastal views in Southern California.
Among those views are the tanned 20-somethings that play volleyball on the beach next to the inn. Look up on the lush green hillside and there are luxurious homes perched precariously in positions that must give them National Geographic quality views of the California coastline. Downtown, the parade of luxury cars never really stops, as well-heeled residents and visitors look for a place to park so that they can explore the many trendy galleries in Laguna, or stop for a gourmet lunch. The California lifestyle is even on display at the downtown market where health foods outnumber fast foods by approximately 100 to 1.
Just north of the inn there are some well-developed walkways that will take you to even more photo-ops, such as Heisler Park, with its gorgeous views of the Southern California coastline. Get out and explore and you'll see that there is a lot more to Laguna Beach than what you see from your car driving down the coast highway.
Laguna simply is not your run-of-the-mill ticky-tacky beach town. It does exude a free spirit that seems evident in the way people look, dress and act, but it's not the kind of place you go to ride go-karts or do loops in a Ferris wheel. There's no beach boardwalk or carnival rides and you'll find no endless rows of shirt shops. Laguna is where you go to see how the other half lives, or to continue enjoying your luxurious lifestyle if you happen to be in that other half.
That's not to say Laguna is not a family destination, because it is. A family would feel right at home renting a couple of units at the Inn at Laguna Beach and, for the more budget-conscious, there are some excellent nearby accommodations in Laguna Beach that cater primarily to families. Whether it's the Mediterranean climate, the Hawaii-style beaches or the upscale Southern California beach lifestyle that interests you, a stay in Laguna Beach will be memorable – especially if it all comes together like it did for us at the Inn at Laguna Beach.
For more information on the Inn at Laguna Beach, please phone 800-544-4479 or visit www.innatlagunabeach.com.
PHOTO CREDITS: Cary Ordway
RECOMMENDED LODGING: Orange County lodging
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