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“If I could only move to Laguna- Beautiful!!!”
Review of Surf & Sand Resort

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Surf & Sand Resort
Ranked #6 of 22 Hotels in Laguna Beach
NC
Level 5 Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“If I could only move to Laguna- Beautiful!!!”
Reviewed 20 June 2006

My boyfriend and I flew into Vegas and drove the next day to Newport Beach and the next day Laguna Beach. We stayed on the top floor of the Surf and Sand in a newly renovated room and it was absolutely breathtaking! Yes, there was a younger staff but everyone was polite, there was a 5:00 pm cocktail hour, we even found out they had taped a function for Laguna Beach, on MTV, there the first season. Everyone was exceptionally nice, we ate dinner at Las Brisas, which was great and I would recommend the Surf and Sand to anyone wanting a beautiful place to stay on vacation! I Loved It!

Helpful?
6 Thank K_NC
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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Los Angeles
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2006

My family and I have been going to the Surf and Sand for over ten years. Although the service is famously subpar (the front desk staff seems to turn over completely every year or so, the concierge [is there a concierge?] is capable of fulfilling only the most rudimentary requests, and the wait, pool and beach staffs seem recruited from local high schools), the setting is so lovely that it could be overlooked.

That is, until our last visit over Christmas. Although the hotel was in the midst of a major renovation, its owners/management had elected to keep it open...and not to inform guests at the time they made their reservations or upon checking in. We thus had construction on the floors directly above and below our rooms; patio doors had to be kept shut from 8 am (when work began, except for Xmas day [what a gift!]) until dark; and construction crews were everywhere. Did management at any time take the initiative to try to alleviate - let alone make right - any of this? Nope.

With rates now in the $500 a night range, one should expect a lot more. At every level.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank TrutherReviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auburn, Maine
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2006

Great Hotel, Great Location, Awesome Beach, Fantastic Restaurant, Really Great Gift Shop, Impeccable Professional Staff.
Relaxing, rejuvenating,refreshing.
Excellent location to everything.
You must go to Crystal Cove State Park/Beach in Newport Beach.
Wylands gallery is just down the street from this hotel.
I can't find one reason other then it is a little pricey to not stay here. I went there once in 2002 and went back 4 years later and they remembered me with a card and a bottle of wine & truffles upon check in.
They pay every attention to detail!
Don't hesitate book now!!!
Oh yea, the bar is right on the beach and the waves crash into the bar/wall (safely) at high tide and it is awesome!!!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lyonking37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CA
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2006

The surf and sand is all about expectation. This was our 4th stay at the place. I like it but it is not for everyone. If you think of it as a coastal motel you will not be disappointed. Its major asset is location, location, location. As others have noted the service is poor. no kidding. There is mold. Absolutely. The hallways are dark and dumpy. Yes. The restaurant has fair-poor food and even worse service (but a killer view). Yes as well. The bathrooms are a joke, the showers just trickle, and there are funny smells everywhere. You only stay here if above and beyond all that you want to stay basically in the sea foam. If your legs were a few feet longer you could dangle them off the balcony and let your feet touch the water. By all means do not stay in a poolside room (what's the point?), spend the little extra and get a room in the tower. Okay, so who would like this motel? I think weekenders, romantics, people with a do-it-yourself attitude. You think for the price there should be services but there are few. The concierge is basically nonexistent. If you want the "resort" experience I would stick with the Ritz or the Hyatt both are at about the same price point. I would also hesitate to recommend this hotel (with an M) to out of town guests/family (older folks)who do not know their way around town. It really is a do-it-yourself kind of place. No one to direct you to the nearest coffee shop in the morning. My favorite fish taco place (Wahoo) was closed for repairs. I asked several people for another taco shop recommendation and they all shrugged "i don't know". We spent about 3 hours per day at the pool (small but nice) and no one asked me if I wanted a drink. Often, there are no towels at the pool. There are NO beach services at all. Amazing, for $400+ per night you'd think they would have chairs, umbrellas, beach towels and toys available during Spring Break week but no. But we are do-it-yourselfers and I love LB so we stay here when we go. Things to know: 1. There are 2 good liquer stores nearby. The mini-bar is stocked with lousy wine. One is 1/2 block north on pch, the other is 2 blocks south on the other side of the street. 2. Only eat at Splashes if you have to. Even if someone else is paying it is not worth the time. 2 Nice restaurants across the street and south on pch 2 blocks. Mozambique and Rumari. 3. Great coffee and cin. bun place 3 blocks north on pch called I think Heidelberg bistro. Cross the highway at Cress and then go one more block north on PCH. 4. Use the safe in the room if you have anything valuable. We always carry a roll of quarters when we travel to LB because all the meters give 15 minutes for a quarter. We left the roll on a dish in the room and went out. Someone (housekeeping or other?) helped themselves to it. Not a big deal but annoying. I did not report it because it is just not the kind of place that would respond.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
29 Thank trvldoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
187 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2006

Since our first stay at the Sand & Surf in 2000, my husband and I have been back at least twice.

Yes, it is expensive but we have always been able to find discounted rates online. MUCH cheaper rates. I love luxury hotels like the Ritz Carlton but would not pay the published rate of $460 or so for the S&S. Around $250 represents the value more closely.

The location is FABULOUS. If you like small hotels, with few people and relatively little action - this is the place. Although, the reality show Laguna Beach did this place no favor. We heard a teenager talk on her cell phone by the pool announcing that "yes", she is at "that" hotel. Increased traffic is good for management, not for guests :-).

What I love most about this hotel is that EVERY room seems to have ocean view. When you come into the room and open the plantation shutters: you see, hear, smell the ocean. The rooms are simple and not big; bathrooms were nicer than I remembered (marble). We also saw the "sneak preview" of their room remodel for 2006 which looked good; not radically different. You also have a little balcony. In theory, there is no need to ever go anywhere else from the balcony :-).

The pool service is ok (much better than it used to be). The valet guys seem to have overly high expectations of tips, which they should not display.

Laguna itself is a beautiful little town with a number of great restaurants. There's a Belgian one that we went back to. Partners was good too. It's a wealthy town and it's all there. Lot's of galleries. Beautiful town to take long walks.

Overall though, it seemed over-priced to me this time, compared to other luxury hotels. We checked out the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel which is gorgeous. It is on a cliff and not right on the beach. It also seemed very busy (multiple weddings going on etc.)with a lot of traffic.

The location, fabulous beach and ocean front of the rooms is what makes the Sandand Surf. The rooms themselves are just ok, not like the RC at all. There's also a lack of space, e.g. to get to the pool from one side of the hotel, you have to go through the restaurant. The pool restrooms are shared with the restaurant - again, one has to walk past people trying to eat in peace.

The weather: this February was the coldest Laguna had seen in years, but there is still always sunshine and blue sky at some point during the day.

We also checked out the new Montage hotel up the road, which is stunning but huge. It's beatiful but lacks the intimacy of the Surf and Sand. To get an ocean view room probably costs a fortune. I think we will come back to the S&S. It just has something that keeps us coming back (not in February though). It's a beautiful place for people who love the ocean.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Natascha T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Surf & Sand Resort

Property: Surf & Sand Resort
Address: 1555 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651-3299
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Orange County > Laguna Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Laguna Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Laguna Beach
#4 Business Hotel in Laguna Beach
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Laguna Beach
#8 Family Hotel in Laguna Beach
Price range (per night): ₹ 28,382 - ₹ 54,196
Hotel Class:4 star — Surf & Sand Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 165
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surf & Sand Resort, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and holder of AAA’s Four-Diamond Award, lies on California's Laguna Beach shoreline where the waves of the Pacific meet 500 feet of pristine sand.All 151 guest rooms and 16 suites at Surf & Sand command spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The resort also houses Splashes Restaurant, featuring a Mediterranean-inspired coastal menu by Executive Chef Ron Fougeray; the intimate Aquaterra Spa; 10,000-square-feet of meeting space and wedding venues with stunning ocean views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Surf And Sand Hotel Laguna Beach
Surf And Sand Hotel
Surf Sand Hotel
Surf And Sand Resort

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