We wanted to visit this Monarch property for some time and finally got around to it by renting a 1 bedroom unit. The resort is situated at the edge of rocky foothills and within an upscale residential community, San Diego Country Estates, catering to golf and horse riders. One of the first things one should know as other reviewers have mentioned is that this place is relatively isolated so you better have all your groceries and personal needs purchased before you arrive or you will have an 8 mile drive back to Ramona to make your purchases. Another thing is that if you are using your gps to get there the reception area is off Avenal and not Pappas which is used for the mailing address. However, if you are paying attention you will probably see it after exiting San Vicente.
If you are not playing golf or tennis, going horseback riding, or planning on walking or hiking a lot, then the only other thing left to do is take drives or hang around the resort and swim, visit with friends, rent a bike, or read a book. We opted to drive around some and hang out and relax for a couple days. The resort itself is made up of about 10 "L-shaped" two-story buildings surrounded by green belts. The amoeba-shaped pool (not heated) shown by TripAdvisor has a beautiful setting with views of a nearby rocky hill and is surrounded by potted petunias, irises, and jasmine. I thought the pool temperature was in the 70s and took a few laps, but others stuck in a toe and declared it freezing before moving elsewhere. At the south end of the pool is a 7' diameter oak surrounded by a raised half-circle deck with tables. This was a great place to read and we had the area pretty much to ourselves since most children are still in school and this was midweek.A much larger pool was more busy at the east end of the resort. There also is a spa and fitness room in a separate facility that we did not visit.
When we arrived the front desk receptionists were friendly and helpful. I found the rooms very adequate and clean. The bathroom had a separate toilet and tubshower room off a sink and counter room so no problem there. The tvs were the older crt type, but they worked fine. The kitchen was a little cramped, but it had everything we needed. The only real issue I noticed is that all the units on the north side of the resort got a lot of traffic noise from San Vicente. This is especially noticeable if you use the outside patio or deck area and it went on pretty much continuously until 9pm. When inside or on the south side of the resort buildings, the noise was not that noticeable.
We did make one dinner trip into Ramona to visit La Cocina restaurant which the TripAdvisor recommended and it was excellent and reasonably priced. As for Ramona itself there is little reason to go sightseeing other than the Western museum and a few stores on the east side of the town. I think the town exists for the same reason most small towns exist, because people need something. In this case most businesses are on or adjacent to Main Street which runs for a couple miles through the town. Ramona has the usual businesses that cater to ranchers and locals such as drug, grocery, feed, and hardware stores, gas stations, cafes, fast food, and real estate offices plus some businesses catering to the people who have moved into miniestates and condos such as antique stores, chiropractors, Brazilian Jiu-Jit-su, and tattoo parlors. Most of the new development is in a series of minimalls southwest of where 78 crosses Main Street. The museum and older part of town are to the northeast.
So overall this would be a great family resort or place to relax when the kids are in school. I'd give it five stars if there were some special focus like a beach, lake, or mountain park.or if there were more activities.
- Also Known As:
- Riviera Oaks Hotel Ramona
- Riviera Oaks Resort
- Riviera Oaks Hotel
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