The Laguna and Newport Beach Guide
In the last ten-plus years, Laguna Beach has pretty much become a household name, largely thanks its presence on TV. But for those who know it well, it’s a quirky beach town tucked into Orange County marked by palm-tree studded streets, a string of art galleries, hotels both big and small that sit right on the bluffs, plus, locally run boutiques and beloved restaurants that have been around for years. Farther north, a 25-minute drive up Highway 1 in Newport Beach, we’ve set shop with goop GIFT in Lido Village. In honor of our pop-up location, we corralled a few of our favorite neighborhood shops, go-to cafés, and one very good boat rental just for the occasion.
Montage Laguna Beach30801 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach | 866.271.6953
Many goop staffers opt to stay at the Montage for the special occasions—and the Laguna Beach location, perched on a coastal clifftop overlooking the Pacific, is particularly memorable. It's the kind of place that's perfect for both family vacations (it's great for keeping littles occupied) and romantic getaways. Each of the 250 guest rooms feature Craftsman-style architecture, dark, stately furnishings, and make the most of the views. The property is so pretty you won't really want to leave, so it's easy to alternate between the three restaurants, all of which cull ingredients for their menus from the resort's expansive garden. Almost everyone comes here for the 20,000-foot-spa, which is most certainly worth it if you're in need of R&R. Tip: If you book a treatment as a non-guest, you have access to the gym and (less crowded) spa pool.
The Ranch at Laguna Beach31106 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach | 800.223.3309
Tucked in a canyon about a five-minute walk from the beach, this ranch-like resort has bit more word-of-mouth appeal. Here you'll find a bit of everything to keep you entertained and totally relaxed—from a nine-hole golf course, beach volleyball court, a pool, spa, and an amazing farm-to-table restaurant (think: Laguna's version of Calamigos Ranch). It's worth giving a shout-out to the extremely knowledgable staff, whose happy to keep you posted on what's happening when you're in town, including gallery tours and tips to the best hidden surf spots.
The Resort at Pelican Hill22701 Pelican Hill Rd., Newport Coast | 888.507.6427
This 504-acre property features ocean views from practically every room and restaurant. There are several ways to stay here: For a romantic getaway, check into one of the resort-style rooms or private bungalows (stand-alone suites with ocean-view balconies); for a longer stay, families will appreciate the private three- and four-bedroom villas where everyone shares a living room and kitchen. Villa guests have access to a private pool, restaurant, and fitness center. To add to the thoroughly considered accommodations, the concierge will set up a picnic, beach chairs, towels, and everything needed (ride included) for a day spent at Crystal Cove.
Casa Laguna2510 South Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach | 949.494.2996
With its design-forward decor (the colorful, textured interiors throughout are punctuated by gorgeous mosaics) and relaxed vibe, this twenty-three-room hotel checks all the boxes for the perfect long weekend in a small, low-key oceanside setting. Interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard is behind the considered Moroccan and Spanish accents, which pay tribute to the architectural integrity of the original 1920's building—think: clawfoot tubs, intricate tilework, and a mix of velvets and well-worn leather furnishings. In the morning, a light continental breakfast is served from 7-10:30 a.m. in the dining room (homemade pastries, freshly squeezed orange juice). For those looking for a little bit of pampering, a new indoor/outdoor spa features a fairly straightforward menu of reflexology, hot stone massages, and Swedish massages with views of the Pacific in the distance.
Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel1 Ritz Carlton Drive, Laguna Niguel | 949.240.2000
Situated on the bluffs of Laguna Niguel, overlooking the Pacific, has all the creature comforts you'd expect from a big Ritz-Carlton—luxury spa, multiple restaurants, top-notch service—but in a quiet setting with quick access to Salt Creek Beach. The restaurants here are solid (Raya is open all day and serves up Latin-inflected dishes, while 180blũ has the prettiest water views and live music on Fridays and Saturdays), as is the spa, which offers reflexology, beach stone, and couples massages. Bonus: It's super kid-friendly, making it an easy weekend escape for families.