The location: walking distance to all attractions and just steps to the sea
Fresh from a $3 million revamp
Casual vibe at Splashes on the Beach, the hotel’s seaside alfresco restaurant
What To Know
A $15 daily resort fee covers everything from the fitness club to beach towels
The hotel is 20 minutes from the Orange County airport
Valet parking is available for an additional $30 per day
Parking on site
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Recently renovated beach escape in downtown Laguna Beach, with a spa, pool and surfside restaurant
Laguna Beach was the hangout for the hip Hollywood set of the 1950s. Now stylishly redone, Surf and Sand blends this Golden Age glamour with bungalow-style beach appeal. Right on 500 feet of Laguna Beach’s premier sandy beach, the hotel tumbles down a hill to the water. Sometimes described as its own sun-drenched village, Surf and Sand feels intimate and secluded despite its prime address in the center of town.
Bed and Bath
Private, oceanfront balconies grace all 167 guestrooms, which are divided between the spacious Tower block overlooking the beach; the Seaview wing, which has views of the lounger-dotted pool and the ocean beyond; and the Surfside section, just a beachball toss from the sand. Interiors capture the spirit of beach life in a palette of ocean-blue and white, bleached wood and plantation shutters, and an abundance of original artwork gives a nod to Laguna Beach’s artsy reputation. Spacious and simple bathrooms have separate tubs and showers, plus double vanities (in Tower Rooms) and luxe products by Philosophy.
Foodie favorite Splashes by the Sea serves fresh, summertime dishes such as sweet corn ravioli, diver scallops and asparagus risotto with mascarpone against a sea-and-sunset backdrop, while the lively bar hosts a local crowd and a Sunset Happy Hour (try the handcrafted Tropical Mist). For a different sort of pampering, head to the Aquaterra Spa and indulge in a full body revival with the Summer Berry Bliss, a homemade treatment that includes a strawberry sugar scrub, an oatmeal wrap, a massage and an aloe berry eye treatment. The huge fitness center encourages cardio effort, as does mingling with the beautiful crowd at the cabana- and lounger-dotted beachside pool.
In the Area
Get in step with the beach town's artistic vibe and hip village mood with a walk down Gallery Row. Here, ateliers and galleries abound (contemporary gallery Peter Blake is a favorite), and the first Thursday of the month is reserved for the festive Art Walk, when the galleries stay open late. Cafés, restaurants and bars dot this walkable city — don’t miss the lobster truffle risotto and a sweet cocktail on the rooftop of K'ya Bistro Bar. Bibliophiles will want to linger at old-school bookstore Laguna Beach Books, while more adventurous types can go in search of whales (in season) and dolphins from a high-tech catamaran with Capt. Dave's Whale and Dolphin Safari. For an easy daytrip, take a drive to Crystal Cove State Park, the quintessential California beach adventure, with crashing waves, three miles of beach and 2,500 acres of backcountry.