In the years past, our family has always traveled to Hawaii for Thanksgiving to visit my in-laws. However, this year, we are staying locally so I decided to have a staycation to get in the holiday spirit. There are several great family resorts around LA and OC and of course Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel is one that has always been on the list of best beach front hotels. You guys know I’m a big fan of luxury hotels that are family and kids friendly, the Ritz Kids Club looked like they have many fabulous activities for kids to do. On the heels of our recent stay at the Ritz Carlton in Denver and the kids really enjoyed the experience there, the Laguna Niguel location is a sure win for Thanksgiving.
Thankfully, the weather has been in the 90’s and therefore making the beach front property the ideal place to stay and enjoy the rare late heat wave. We packed our bags with weather appropriate attire and headed to Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel to begin our family staycation. Our arrival was met with warm hospitality by the service team members. From valet to check in, to the bellman who brought our luggage to the room, everyone is very knowledgeable and in great holiday spirits. The size of the resort is pretty extensive and our room was at the south end of the resort so we got to see many of the resort’s restaurant options on the lobby level on our way to the guest elevator.
Enosteak is an intimate steakhouse that offers pasture raised beef and locally sourced produce in a beautifully decorated oak room. They also have a gorgeous private dining room featuring a pretty modern chandelier. The main restaurant is Raya a Pan-Latin themed dining prepares locally sourced produce, organic meat and sustainable seafood. The restaurant offers breathtaking ocean views, and has a very popular Sunday Brunch menu. We also walked by Market Place which is a cafe that allow guests to grab a bite, a bag of chips, a cup of latte while they are on the go. And lastly 180blũ is an oceanfront dining venue overlooking Salt Creek Beach from above and offers stunning sunset views.
After a long walk, we arrived at our corner Ocean Suite at the end of the hallway. My goodness was this a beautiful room. I was instantly in love with the marble entry, modern glass consoles and hallway wall panels. The room is airy, beachy and California chic. There is a separate dining area, a large and spacious living room with a king size Murphy bed available and of course, the million dollar view of the ocean from the living room balcony. Our bedroom was equally impressive, the bed with crisp sheets and plush bedding looked inviting and the decor for the rest of the room is coastal chic. The bedroom also bode its own balcony that offers ocean view.
We rested for a little bit before getting ready for the Thanksgiving buffet at the ballroom. Apparently the buffet is a wildly popular one because when we got down there at 4:45 (our reservation was 4:30) there were hardly any tables. The good news is that while waiting, we were able to get a family photo just at Sunset time. The food lineup was quite extensive with a seafood station with caviar, sushi station, carving station with assortment of meats, salad bar, bread bar, pastas, dim sum bar, cheese bar and many more. There is also a dessert “room” set up in one of the ballrooms which offers pretty much all the sweet treats your heart desires as well as a fresh waffle making bar and crepe bar. I think it suffice to say that we left there completely stuffed that we needed to walk off some of the calories with a mini stroll around the hotel property where we discovered the giant lit Christmas tree in the front!
The next morning after the kids woke up, we hit the Ritz Club Lounge for some breakfast and bites to eat. I must say that the club lounge in Denver offered a more elaborate menu options and food varieties and got that true “lounge” feel, where as the Laguna Niguel location felt more like a casual bar with seating. The lunch option was almost exact for the two days we were there and breakfast items ran out fairly quickly and they didn’t really restock popular options like chocolate croissant and danishes. But the kids happily ate what food was presented and they do try to present vegetarian options as well.
After lunch, I asked whether the kids wanted to visit the pool or hit the beach and with much enthusiasm, they wanted to go to the beach and play with sand. Families looking for an ideal beach day can take advantage of the Ritz Carlton’s Beach Butler Service which not only brings your family straight to the beach via beach shuttle, but also bring all the beach essentials to you (towels, sunscreen, beach chairs and sand toys). They also pick up from the beach and take you back to the hotel’s meeting spot. The kids had so much fun, they didn’t want to leave.
Those who watched my Instastory must know that I lost my wedding band and Cartier LOVE ring on the beach, needless to say that this Thanksgiving family staycation has definitely been a very memorable one. I think the material things can be replaced, spending quality time with the kids and seeing their happy faces is far more valuable!! I absolutely enjoyed our stay at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel and we will be back in the future for sure. This time, I will remember to leave the rings in the room 🙂