5 days in Southern California

Old Dec 12th, 2016, 06:56 AM
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5 days in Southern California

Hi all,

I need help! I'm overthinking this, I know I am, but I've always found these forums helpful.. So here goes.

We are going to Southern California for five days in February for a friend's wedding. She's getting married in Orange County and we are flying into San Diego and out of John Wayne.

Honestly? I want luxury. I want relaxation. I want beauty. Ideally we stay somewhere beautiful with a view..whatever the best view may be at that particular location. We are leaving our three small children at home (Georgia) and hoping to just enjoy the break. So not really looking to see everything (or anything).. Just want a drink in our hands and the opportunity to sleep in and/or relax as much as possible.

That being said, WHERE SHOULD WE STAY?! We have bounced around with Coronado and La Jolla and ending up in Laguna for the wedding... Our friend recommends La Jolla but I'm finding so many of the hotel options.. well, not exciting. Terribly exciting if we can spend $800 a night, but I think we're maxing out somewhere around $300 a night on average. Seems like that's plenty but holy smokes, California, you're killing me.

Kinda thinking one night at Loews Coronado to potentially see some of San Diego... One night at Scripps Inn in La Jolla... and then three nights at the Marriott Laguna Cliffs, per the bride and groom's suggestion.. But the Ranch at Laguna just seems SO amazing...

Do we skip Coronado and go straight to Scripps Inn for a night, then the Ranch for a night, and then three nights at Marriott Laguna Cliffs?

Is there something I'm missing? A hotel option I haven't thought of that would be nice?

Any advice would be welcome!
stonest is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2016, 07:10 AM
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Head straight for Laguna. https://bookings.mapquest.com/hotels...l_id=700033321
It has a heated swimming pool. Probably the best you'll find for less than $300/night.
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Old Dec 12th, 2016, 09:39 AM
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Changing hotels 3 times doesn't sound very relaxing to me. So yeah, skip Coronado and go straight to Scripps Inn, but for two nights. "relaxation"...to me anyway...doesn't mean checking in at 4pm, having cocktails and dinner and a sleep, and then packing up and hitting the traffic next day.
And I wouldn't spend $800, February is the rainy month & they're expecting it (hoping for it) to be wet this year. Hope for some sun, but you might not enjoy that rainy $800 view very much.
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Old Dec 12th, 2016, 01:00 PM
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OK, I can nail this one. Agree that February is generally our rainiest month. But it was supposed to be that with El Nino last year and that didn't happen.

If Laguna is where the wedding is going to be, I would highly recommend the Surf & Sand. IMO it's not pretty along the main road, but my oh my it really is something in the hotel rooms and the ocean side. And you are right ON the beach. No walking half a mile to get there. Needless to say, oceans views are the best and IF the weather is decent, meaning clear, you will have the luxury of seeing some of the prettiest sunsets ever. Love winter sunsets along the Southern California coast!

Re: the Marriott Laguna Cliffs. Nice property, but not spectacular (to me) in any sense of the word. We stayed there for my State Bar section retreat about 2 years ago, and I really wasn't all that excited about the place. The ocean, while you can SEE it from the property, it's a good walk or bike ride TO the sand. Pretty decent bike path. Now, the only thing I was particularly impressed by was the fact that it was right up the hill from Doheny State Beach, a beach made famous by the Beach Boys in Surfin' U.S.A. ("down Doheny way . . ."). Of course, they repeated mention of Doheny beach in Surfin' Safari, and included Laguna, so the places you're thinking are really part of the Beach Boy song history book!

We did like the Balboa Bay & Beach resort in Newport Beach, where John Wayne used to hang out. The rooms are luxurious, even the cheaper ones. And it's along the lido in Newport Bay, with a close drive to Balboa Island.

Further south, we also liked L'Auberge Del Mar, in Del Mar. Nice rooms and resort; overlooks the ocean, but a big trek down a lot of steps to the sand.

Now except for Surf & Sand where we just went for a short winter vacation, all of the other places mentioned we stayed for retreats with the state bar when I was on one of the subsection executive committees.

So, in my view, the number 1 spot would go to Surf & Sand (also, it's in walking distance of the main art galleries and boutique shops); and second Balboa Bay.

But going back to the Marriott for just a second . . . I did like its proximity to San Juan Capistrano and the Coach House, a small music venue that has some great old time "classic" rock (60's/70's) and tribute bands.
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Old Dec 12th, 2016, 01:52 PM
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I agree w/ both Debbie and Surfergirl.

two nights at Scripps and the rest at Surf & Sand.

That would perfectly meet your criteria.
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Old Dec 12th, 2016, 02:50 PM
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Surf and Sand is very nice. Laguna is a great little town for shopping and dining.
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Old Dec 13th, 2016, 07:04 AM
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The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel is heaven.
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Old Dec 13th, 2016, 08:11 AM
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I would have suggested the Surf and Sand and the Ritz Carlton too, but there's very little chance you'll get either one for $300 a night.
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Old Dec 13th, 2016, 12:18 PM
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I found a nice Doubletree Suites in Doheny Beach near Dana Point for $220, not too far a drive from Laguna Beach.
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Old Dec 13th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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That double tree can be a biatch to get to if you are coming in from say John Wayne -- the road directions get squirrely where hwy 1 divides.

It isn't on the beach but about a 10 minute walk from massive Doheny state beach where you can take really long walks on the sand. Some of the rooms don't have much of a view.
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Old Dec 13th, 2016, 02:16 PM
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Thanks all!
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Old Dec 18th, 2016, 09:58 AM
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You might consider checking Estancia Hotel on Torrey Pines above La Jolla.

It is a lovely resort with good freeway access and may offer discounts in Feb. I'd post a link but had trouble posting from my cell.
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Old Dec 20th, 2016, 04:03 AM
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http://meritagecollection.com/estancialajolla/

finally able to post it.
it is definitely worth checking out.
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Old Dec 20th, 2016, 09:20 AM
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I also like Surf & Sand in Laguna Beach, it's my go-to for a quick getaway from San Diego. The rooms are big, all have an ocean view and the restaurant is great (if a bit on the expensive side). You could also consider The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla. I don't know your exact dates, but I did a quick check in February and you can find rooms for around $300. Estancia is a great property, but The Lodge has beautiful views (I don't think Estancia has that, but not sure) and is more upscale I think-a good value if you can get a decent price.
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