And, just as moths are drawn to the flame, a parade of pilgrims followed the bright, oversized, rather garish beacon to Hotel Laguna, the first lodge of its kind to debut on picturesque, romantic, Laguna Beach, Orange County, California. Alas, the beacon came down in the mid-1960’s, but today it is word of mouth from seekers of old world charm that draws the discriminating visitor to Hotel Laguna.
I had the pleasure of walking in the footsteps of luminaries such as Joan Fontaine, James Irvine, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and John Barrymore, to drop just a few names. Their signatures, and those of many other stars, can be seen on the guest registration books, now part of the hotel’s historical records. Today it still serves as a secret hideaway for certain stars and Hollywood moguls seeking a comfortable respite from the limelight.
My visit was not to escape, but to spend precious time with relatives, who lived nearby in Newport Beach and Laguna Woods. Rather than stay with them and travel back and forth on the Pacific Highway, I booked a room and invited them to join me for breakfast, dinner, and afternoons on the beach. It was a relaxing stay for me and a perfect way for me to entertain my family and not burden them with entertaining me.
Founded 82 years ago, the “Grand Old Lady,” as she is sometimes known, went through a number of transformations and one demolition before the major makeover in 1985, which gave her an ageing European grace, but maintained her pride of place directly on Laguna Beach. Amenities include a Day Spa for hair styling, manicure, pedicures, and massage therapy. Many guests schedule a spa visit after a day on a beach, where, by the way, lunch will be served to you as you lounge on your beach chair.
Hotel Laguna has 65 rooms, which, because of the age of the hotel, are comfortable, but basic. There are plans underway for major renovations, but in the meantime, please be aware that it is primarily the hotel’s old world charm, service, and location that make it the perfect choice for a stay along the Pacific Coast Highway.
The hotel’s location is in the center of town, directly on the beach, and its front opens to the shops and boutiques of the charming town. It is very popular in the winter months, so do plan ahead; the ocean view rooms and those with views of the Rose Garden are most popular. If you prefer to be part of the hustle and bustle of the town of Laguna, ask for a room overlooking the shops.
Planning a wedding? Do you dream of exchanging vows while your toes are in the sand and the waves are splashing at the water’s edge? No one does a beach wedding like Hotel Laguna. Have a look at comments on Trip Advisor.
The food is varied and tasty and The Ocean View Bar and Grill is a dinner destination for many “in the know” local residents. My brother, who appreciates fine food and a relaxed ambiance, joined me there twice for meals.
At breakfast, if you are greeted with “Good Morning Sunshine,” you will know you are being welcomed by the vivacious Eugenia, whose personality alone makes a visit to Hotel Laguna a unique experience.
The world-renowned Hotel Laguna rooms feature a unique and incomparable experience. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors and floral scents of the Rose Garden, the ocean breeze flowing through your windows, or the hustle and bustle of the shops and boutiques along South Coast Highway, our Hotel Laguna rooms take you away from the daily grind and into an unforgettable getaway.
Hotel Laguna is located at 425 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA. 92651. Parking is beside the hotel, the beach is in front, the spa on the ground floor, and the shops, attractions, and free, sight-seeing trolley, are steps away.
Because of the beautiful weather and higher temperatures in Laguna Beach, summer room rates apply from May 1 through September 30. For further information, please visit the hotel’s website at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949.494.1151.