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“Encouraged to find almost hotel perfection”

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Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Dana Point
GreenLeadersSilver level
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
110 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
“Encouraged to find almost hotel perfection”
Reviewed 18 July 2007

My family of four, icluding a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old, stayed here for a three-day weekend. We didn't have any agenda for the trip and booked a room based on what we read on TripAdvisor. What we experienced was near-perfection in a hotel property and hotel management.

We booked a regular room which had two double beds, and upon check-in we were happy to find the roll-away that we had requested on-line already in our room. ($15/day for roll-away) The room itself was spotless with no carpet stains, no loose bathroom fixtures, and even the shower was mildew-free, which seems like a rarity in hotels.

The hotel sits up on a bluff above the harbor, which is about a 10-minute walk/climb. There is a nice-looking beach that we did not go to but looked to be about a 15-minute walk away. Adjacent to the harbor is the Oceanic Institue which provides lots of hands-on activities for children (touch the sea stars, guide an underwater camera, etc.) for a small fee. The hotel itself has two good-sized pools that were never crowded, and we were offered complimentary fresh pineapple and samples of a smoothie drink.

There were some minor negatives as there always seem to be with a hotel stay. We were charged for parking when this was to be included in our booking (corrected at check-out), and I didn't think the food at the Vue restaurant was all that good (wish hotels would focus on a smaller selection of good foods rather than trying to please everyone with a vast selection).

I have to particularly compliment the staff on being attentive and approachable. This hotel has achieved something that seems rare to find: a hotel experience that works for the kids yet lets the adults feel like they are staying in a nice, upscale place that satisfies them as well.

  • Liked — both kid-friendly and adult friendly
  • Disliked — restaurant food
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LSBurdett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2007

Criticism
1)Internet Access: Not providing free wireless in this day and age is simply nickel-and-diming in my opinion. The cost of broadcasting a wireless signal is really not that great and even if you are to use the excuse that it does cost a lot, $10 per day (per guest) is WAY over.
2)Drinks at The Vue: A group of us had drinks the night we arrived. We each had 2-3 drinks and every one of them could have been served to a 9-year old (there is more alcohol in cough syrup)!
3)Services: Overall the valet service was tolerable but it seemed clear to us that this was not a well run operation (inexperienced). If you are to charge for mediocre service like this I’d say the cost needs to be dropped a bit. But again, tolerable.

Praise
1)The Pool Area: Drinks by the pool were a nice mix (not too strong and not like a virgin drink (a la “The Vue”)). Basically just the way they are supposed to taste. The service by the pool was great, the food good and the area clean and well kept up.
2)Breakfast Buffet: Great omelets, nice selection of foods and alternatives. The cost is average enough for hotel buffets.
3)Housekeeping: great, thorough and consistent!

  • Liked — Location.
  • Disliked — Internet Access Charges. Hidden Charges.
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank BoBo1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago, illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2007

Reading some of the reviews, I wasn't 100% sold but booked due to location. The "three stars" also worried me, I know I am high maintenance and felt that was not a great sign as we have been fortunate enough to stay at many 4-star plus places. This is a high 3-star hotel easily. The rooms were bigger than expected, the service was absolutely better than expected, and so were the food and drink. In other words, we were pleasantly surprised by everything!

The room service food was very good, prompt, hot. We sat on the upper deck one day and watched the harbor -- very relaxing! The food was good, perhaps a little fancier than my 9 year old could appreciate, but very good for adults. The wait staff was attentive and helpful.

The valet staff was superb and efficient, we were very pleased with them. The Concierge was extremely helpful and pleasant. The front desk staff was really nice to us, and frankly, they took good care of us, I think above the call of duty. This staff was one of the best we have experienced lately, far better than some "better" resorts we have stayed at -- everyone said hello, asked if you needed anything, etc. The car was ready and waiting, and they got us out in far better time than ever when we were heading to the airport.

We had a pool view room, not sure it was worth any extra money except that I could see some blue water. On the potential downside, depending on your party, there was music playing until after 11 p.m. Since it was music we liked, we had no complaint and kept our sliding door open. When the sliding door was closed, the music was too muted to matter at all. The pool we saw was just rectangular, no special slides or anything...but it looked like people had fun relaxing by it. It was never too loud or obnoxious.

There were weddings during our stay, but nothing interferred with us. Those couples will have fantastic pictures because it has a beautiful location. The place is very popular with locals, and we found many who stayed there also for a break! You can walk down the hill to the harbor for lots of restaurants and some shopping, but it is harder uphill! Convenient location to 5 Freeway, right off PCH. The coffee shop was high priced, but it was good. If we had more time, we would have found local grocery store for pop and water.

I can't wait to have an opportunity to get back there, I will happily book there next year. I would get an oceanview room if you can justify it, but you're above the ocean on a cliff...great view but you're not walking on the sand without a hike down the hill.

We had a great stay and left sorry to go.

  • Liked — Location, view, convenience, staff
  • Disliked — Wish it were two steps to the sand???
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank highmaintenance_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grand Prairie, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2007

We stayed at this hotel from 06/08/07 - 06/14/07. The rooms were very comfortable and clean. The staff very friendly. If you make eye contact with anyone that works there they will ask you if you're having a good stay or how you're doing. I was impressed. The attention to detail is wonderful...fresh juice and water with strawberries floating are available in the lobby during the day.

The hotel is a five minute walk down hill from the harbor. There, you will find many activities, restaurants and bars.

Dana Point is a fun, cozy town that is centrally located between Los Angeles and San Diego.

  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank jte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ospedaletti, Italy
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2007

My husband and I stayed three nights in March, somewhat unexpectedly but the hotel was not even close to full and we got a good rate ($214, which seems reasonable to me for southern California).

The hotel location is good--set up on a hill just off the ocean (on the ocean side of the highway)--and the local area is charming. Just a couple miles from San Juan Capistrano, which is adorable, and not far from Newport and Laguna Beach, both of which had great shopping, strolling and dining choices. There are also some good seafood restaurants at the bottom of the hill. However, the area is not highly walkable unless you are a dedicated walker. We are, but we still took the car everywhere. Guess that is the California way anyhow.

The property is attractive--the exterior has a Victorian look but not overly Disneyesque--and the rooms are large. There is a comfortable chair and hassock, with a well-placed lamp for reading, and the bedding is terrific. Did not feel cramped in the room at all.

My primary criticism is that the walls are too thin. For a property called a "resort," I really prefer a little more privacy from other guests. You can clearly hear people in the hallway and in the adjoining rooms (all kinds of noises, including conversation, nose-blowing, etc.--not very restful). Soundproofing insulation is not that expensive, I don't understand why hotels cheap out on this.

My minor criticism is that it seems like nickel-and-diming to have to pay for parking when the parking garage is half empty. I can understand that perhaps in high season they need to disincent people bringing cars, but there really weren't many guests. That said, the garage is conveniently located and better than having one's car in a distant uncovered lot.

Did not eat at the hotel, there were too many attractive options outside.

Overall it was decent value for $200 a night in California for a couple nights (I would probably not be inclined to spend an entire week there), but I'm not sure it really meets a strict definition of a resort. If they called it just a hotel, it meets expectations. Then again, you're not paying resort prices at $200 a night. Maybe a little identity crisis for Marriott to solve . . .

  • Liked — Nice location, attractively furnished rooms
  • Disliked — Thin walls
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Melanie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United States
Level Contributor
55 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2007

I was pleasantly surprised by this hotel. Beautiful spacious grounds in a good location. Room was nice, great bed and furnishings. I would recommend it to anyone traveling in this area.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — a little noisy
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sctraveler05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alpharetta, GA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2007

This hotel worked out fine for our family of three. It was clean and roomy. We had an ocean front room-only two problems, hazy mornings in April and there are some beautiful trees that block a lot of the view. For parking, we paid the same fee as parking yourself (the tipping difference paid for itself with the convenience). I would have to say that they were top notch valet at the time of our stay. The biggest surprise to me was how great the SPA was! I went twice, very relaxing place. I had the best massage and facial- two very good therapists! Believe the introduction notes to the SPA- the showers are wonderful!

The best restaurant we found was Savannah Steak and Chop House, 32441 Golden Lantern Road. Great food and wine list!

  • Liked — Spa
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank The-Georgia-Longs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

Property: Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa
Address: 25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629
Region: United States > California > Orange County > Dana Point
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Dana Point
#5 Business Hotel in Dana Point
#5 Family Hotel in Dana Point
#6 Romantic Hotel in Dana Point
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 378
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dressed in charming Cape Cod style, the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort rests atop the majestic cliffs of the "California Riviera" overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Dana Point Harbor and is fronted by 42 acres of park, rolling lawn, and radiant gardens laced with bicycle and jogging trails. Take a short walk to the Harbor’s numerous shops, restaurants and ocean activities and to the beautiful sands of the Pacific. Each of the Resort’s 378 rooms includes a TV w/remote, Nintendo, work desk, STSN high-speed Internet, CD/clock radio, coffee maker, hair dryer, lighted makeup mirror and individual climate control. 24-hour health club facilities top the list of amenities, along with tennis, croquet, bicycle rentals and more. Enjoy two ocean-view heated pools or relax in the adjacent whirlpools. Recognized for its excellence in meeting services with a Gold Key Award by Corporate Meetings and Incentives Magazine, the Resort offers 50,000 sq ft of flexible indoor and outdoor function space with state-of-the-art technological capabilities. Our newest addition to our AAA 4-Diamond resort is the 14,000 square foot spa. Enjoy treatments tailored to your own tastes. Our spa facilities, including a sauna and whirlpool, are also available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Laguna Cliffs Marriott Hotel Dana Point
Marriott Laguna Cliffs
Marriott Dana Point
Dana Point Marriott

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