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Anyone stayed at the new Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach?

Anyone stayed at the new Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach?

Old Jun 19th, 2003, 04:31 PM
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Anyone stayed at the new Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach?

Husband and I were all set to book 2 nites at Surf and Sand Hotel right on the beach and near all the galleries (so I've read in Travel Talk), then comes along a whole review of Montage in Travel and Leisure I think, and then in Instyle, and it looks tempting. Anyone have and first-hand reviews of this new property?
Thanks!!!
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Old Jun 20th, 2003, 03:01 PM
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we live close by - this based on walking the grounds and having lunch there a few weeks ago. Montage is much more expensive: lunch at the outdoor grill with two glasses of wine $60, 2 martinis in the lounge were $22, and I believe the prices for the rooms are in excess of $300 per night.Montage is adjacent to a popular public beach and feels less private that the S&S, the pool area was very crowded with many screaming children, it's a much larger hotel, (Disneyland on the beach) vs. the S&S which we feel is more intimate.
+ it's in South Laguna and not walking distance to the main drag of Laguna Beach. Thumbs down for me.
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Old Jun 21st, 2003, 08:04 PM
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I disagree with the previous posting. Montage is brand spanking new and super luxurious at that. Expensive yes, but the Surf and Sand is much older and not nearly as nice. Really no comparison. Only drawback to the Montage is that its a few miles outside of town. Other than that, it's five star all the way.
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Old Jun 21st, 2003, 09:13 PM
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I agree - the Montage is a first class hotel and the Surf and Sand is getting old. We stayed at the Montage and loved it.
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Old Sep 7th, 2003, 06:25 PM
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Just returned from a 3 night Labor Day weekend visit to Montage. Have also stayed at the St. Regis and the Ritz Carlton all in the Laguna area. My 1st choice is the St. Regis because of the private beach. The Montage has beautiful grounds that are very public. That means there is a public walkway right across the beach front area in front of the hotel rooms. At all times of the day locals and tourists are walking their dogs or dragging picnic coolers across the walkway that lines the beach. Quite annoying when you are paying $600.00 a night (cheapest room). In addition because the beach is not private like the St Regis you are sharing w/other locals and tourists and it gets very crowded. The Laguna police beach patrol will not allow the hotel to keep your beach chair vacant. When we returned to the beach after a 1 hour lunch at the pool we found all our personal belongings taken off the lounge chairs and dumped on a single chair. While the grounds are gorgeous and the dining is very fine I feel the prices are way out of line for such a "public" hotel. They offer a lot of lip action (apologizing for the Beach incident) but nothing is done to rectify the many management problems or make it up to the guests. A little local information is that the hotel will charge you $10.00 to valet park your car for the day ($5.00 if you buy a drink/food) so you can use the hotel facilities, but if you overnight they charge you $30.00!!!!!
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Old Sep 7th, 2003, 07:49 PM
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Flowergirl,
I live close to Montage and go there often for lunch, but have not stayed overnight. It will cost you--I believe $600 a night is correct, but the hotel and ocean views are stunningly beautiful! If you can possibly swing it, I'd go for it.

Their signature restaurant The Studio, in a separate arts and crafts bungalow on the ocean just received the highest honors you can get: Mobil Travel Guide 5 Stars and AAA 5 Diamonds. Only 12 other restaurants in the country have received this. Wait till you are there at night, with the waves lit up--and wait till you taste. The ultimate.

The St. Regis is also very beautiful and new. Across the highway from the ocean, might be a little less $. S&S can't compare with these, but their restaurant Splashes is popular with nice views and good food, hotel's more affordable. Hope this helps, whatever you choose, have a great trip!
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