The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Dana Point, Orange County, California

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Award-winning spa Gaucin
  • Breathtaking views
  • Michael Mina's acclaimed Stonehill Tavern
  • Huge fitness center
  • Constructed in harmony with the Orange County nature
  • Fabulous Sunday Champagne Brunch
  • Stunning pool area
  • Pet- and family-friendly

Cons

  • Not directly on the beach
  • $25 daily resort fee
  • Slow Internet connection
  • No iPod docks in the rooms

Bottom Line

The sprawling St. Regis Monarch Beach is situated on a beautiful golf course overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With elegant, comfortable rooms, large, beautiful bathrooms, and stunning grounds, it's easily one of the nicest hotels in Orange County. But it's one-and-a-half miles from the beach, so guests who want to be closer to the sand should consider the nearby Montage.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Beautiful views, but not directly on the beach

Opened in July 2001, the St. Regis Monarch Beach combines Tuscan-style architecture with a beautiful natural setting. Its location atop a steep cliff offers astounding views of the Pacific Ocean, but it's a seven-minute drive (or ride on the free hotel tram) to get to the beach.

 Location

Mid-way between San Diego and Los Angeles, the St. Regis offers a quiet and relaxing location overlooking the sea.

The sprawling grounds of the St. Regis Monarch Beach hotel are located between Los Angeles and San Diego, far from the big towns but with easy access by car to the main attractions in this part of Southern California. The 10-15 minute drive on the Pacific Coast Highway to Laguna Beach offers breathtaking views of the steep cliffs and the sea.

  • 7-minute drive to the Dana Point Harbor - Catalina Island ferry
  • 7-minute drive to Dana Point whale watching
  • 12-minute drive to The Mission San Juan Capistrano
  • 13-minute drive to San Juan Capistrano Amtrak station
  • 15-minute drive to Laguna Art Museum
  • Three shopping malls under a 35-minute drive: Fashion Island; Irvine Spectrum; and South Coast Plaza
  • 42-minute drive to Legoland California
  • 45-minute drive to Disneyland Resort
  • 75-minute drive to San Diego Zoo
  • 90-minute drive to LAX
  • 90-minute drive to San Diego International Airport
  • 90-minute drive to Universal Studios

 Rooms

Spacious, luxurious rooms with resort or ocean view

Ocean View Room
Ocean View Room

The rooms at the St. Regis Monarch Beach are spacious and get a lot of sunlight, but you get the feeling they haven't been updated since the hotel opened back in 2001. (The telephones aren't the latest model, and there are CD players, not iPod docks.) Overall, though, the rooms are beautiful and in great condition.

All rooms include:

  • Private balcony
  • Five-fixture marble baths with tub and a separate shower
  • Goose-down comforters
  • 300-thread-count sheets
  • 42-inch TVs
  • A wireless keyboard and a DVD/CD player
  • Butler service for guests staying in any of the suites

Room types:

  • Superior and Deluxe rooms: 535 square feet; one king or two queen beds
  • Executive suites: 350 – 792 square feet; king bed; separate living area
  • St. Regis suites: 935 – 991 square feet; separate living area; pull-out sofa; guest bath; king bed; master bathroom with tub and separate two-person shower
  • Monarch suites: 1,466 square feet; king bed; Jacuzzi tub and a two-person shower; separate living area with a fireplace; a guest half bathroom; a wet bar and pantry; and a dining area that seats 10
  • Presidential suites: 3,100 square feet; living room with a piano and a fireplace; a dining room with seating for ten people; a guest bathroom; a full-size bar and pantry; a master bedroom with a flat-screen TVs that rises from the foot of the bed; a master bath with Jacuzzi tub and steam shower; and a connecting guestroom with a king bed and full marble bathroom

 Features

A fabulous spa, a huge fitness center and a private beach club

The pool
The pool
  • Monarch Bay Club: This private beach club is located directly on the beach, located seven minutes from the property by the hotel’s tram or by car. The restaurant serves char-grilled meats and seafood daily for lunch and dinner. It is also open on Saturdays for breakfast, and on Sundays for brunch.
  • Swimming pools: The main swimming pool and the lagoon pool both have stunning views of the ocean. Guests who get spa treatments also have access to the spa’s three-lane lap pool. Cabanas are available for rent at the main pool.
  • The award-winning Spa Gaucin is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and 8 a.m.to 7 p.m. for treatments. It features 24 treatment rooms and four couples’ suites, as well as a eucalyptus steam room; a sauna; a three-lane lap pool; a tranquility lounge and an organic cafe.
  • Large fitness center with private yoga and Pilates classes available upon request
  • Eight tennis courts (open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily) equipped with ball machines; $30/hour to rent a court or $125/hour for private lessons
  • The Sandcastle Club for kids five to 12 years old offers half and full-day activities such as surf and tennis lessons, and group entertainment. Open seven days a week 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays).
  • On-site 18-hole golf course with beautiful views of the ocean
  • The well-equipped business center features a 60-inch plasma TV; video conferencing technology; a projection screen and integrated sound system; and a remote-controlled AV.

 Food

Excellent American fare from Michael Mina and a renowned Sunday champagne brunch

Club 19
Club 19
  • Club 19: American cuisine restaurant open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily
  • Motif: Serves international cuisine by executive chef Frederic Castan. Open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. It also offers the pricey but excellent Sunday Champagne Brunch.
  • The Lobby Bar & Lounge: Offers live entertainment and regional cuisine 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily.
  • Stonehill Tavern: Acclaimed chef Michael Mina serves modern American cuisine Wednesdays through Sundays from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant also offers an outdoor terrace for dinner and cocktails. The bar opens at 5 p.m.
  • The Wine Cellar is a private dining venue featuring 17,000 bottles from around the world. It is available by reservation only.

 Bottom Line

The sprawling St. Regis Monarch Beach is situated on a beautiful golf course overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With elegant, comfortable rooms, large, beautiful bathrooms, and stunning grounds, it's easily one of the nicest hotels in Orange County. But it's one-and-a-half miles from the beach, so guests who want to be closer to the sand should consider the nearby Montage.

Things You Should Know About The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort

Address

  • 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA, 92629, US

Room Types

  • Executive Suite
  • Garden View Room
  • Monarch Suite
  • Ocean View Room
  • Pool View Room
  • Presidential Suite
  • Resort View Room
  • St. Regis Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 250
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Dana Point, Orange County
Address: 1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA, 92629, US
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