Staying at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach: Everything You Need to Know

Three things Southern California is best known for: its supreme year-round weather, its laid-back-yet-lavish lifestyle, and its beaches! But what you may not know is that Southern California is also home to some of the best luxury resorts in the USA! You guys already know I am a huge fan of Waldorf Astoria (we often vacation at their Pedregal resort in Cabo), and once again, they did not disappoint with their property at Monarch Beach in Dana Point, California. This Mediterranean-style hotel is perched on an oceanside bluff and spans 175 acres of lush gardens, perfectly manicured lawns, and coastal walking trails. The AAA Five-Diamond resort boasts seven extraordinary restaurants, a world-class spa, and views that will take your breath away. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a family-friendly vacation spot, or the perfect backdrop to host a once-in-a-lifetime event or destination wedding, you have to check out the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach.

How to Get to Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach

There are two local airports you can fly into to get to Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach. Just under an hour and a half away is LAX, but personally, I recommend flying into John Wayne Airport in Orange County as it is about thirty minutes away from the resort (more vacay time? Always!). Once you arrive, you can either rent a car or schedule a car service/rideshare pickup. Renting a car is great if you are planning to explore the area off the resort, but honestly, you probably won’t want to leave once you’re there!

The Rooms at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach    


Photo courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach by Hilton

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Walking into your room at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach, you will immediately feel the serenity and elegance that the hotel exudes. Each room is beautifully designed with textured wallpaper, marble floors in the bathroom, and custom furnishings. The beds are comfortable and plush, and the bathrooms feature double-vanity sinks complete with Aésop products. In the main area of the room, you will find a Nespresso machine, a mini bar (with Schott Zwiesel barware to boot), and plenty of snacks if you get hungry. Oh, and they passed one of my Jetset tests for true luxury… the ice bucket check! The ice bucket was pre-filled upon arrival (and again after turndown service! swoon!).

If you choose to stay on the ground floor, your patio will include a fire pit and a few chairs in which to enjoy it. On higher floors, your private balcony will have a comfortable seating area with two chairs and a side table. Honestly, I’m not sure if there is a bad view at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach. Our room faced the courtyard/inside of the property, and it was a stunning view at all hours of the day. We could still see the ocean in the distance, which was gorgeous at sunset.

The Property at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach


The elevated location of Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach makes for the perfect views from sun up to sun down. Every space at the resort brings a sense of peace and So Cal relaxation. For those who like to stay active, be sure to check out their stunning golf course with some of the best seaside views. And if you are looking for a little extra relaxation, head to the spa (more on this later!). Really though, you don’t need to have too many premade plans to enjoy this place. Between the grand terraces adorned with blue and white Tucci umbrellas, beautiful water features, bespoke shopping boutiques, sparkling pool, and swanky bar, the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach has it all.

For me, the perfect day at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach begins with a green juice from their grab-and-go market followed by a walk down to Salt Creek Beach (which is just under a mile from the center of the property). The water isn’t usually warm enough to swim (plus the water is a little rougher than I typically prefer), but it’s still worth the trek! Just be prepared – the walk there is easy peasy, but the walk back is all uphill, so plan accordingly. If you want to visit the beach but don’t want to get your steps in, the Waldorf offers a shuttle service that will take you there and back.

Speaking of the shuttle service – since this property spans 175 acres, you won’t be able to walk everywhere. To get across the property quickly, have the concierge call the shuttle in the hotel’s lobby. And if you still want to be somewhat active, opt for a Waldorf Astoria complimentary bike!

The Amenities at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach

Photo courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach by Hilton

With seven culinary experiences to enjoy, you won’t need to leave the resort to get a great meal! All the food we had at the resort (including room service) was delicious. For breakfast, we loved going to Aveo on the terrace. Not only was the food divine, but the view of the courtyard and ocean off in the distance is supreme. Highly recommend the avocado toast and acai bowl (and the fresh-pressed juices!!). Lunch by the pool or at the beachside restaurant (Monarch Bay Beach Club) is always enjoyable, but my favorite meals were always the dinners. Every bite of food I had here was fantastic, and the service was top-notch as always! And don’t miss the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach’s wine cave – if you are traveling with a group, you have to schedule a private dinner here!

Ahhhh, the spa. This was one of my favorite parts about staying at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach! The Waldorf Astoria spa wasn’t just an hour or two of R&R – it was an all-day affair. When booking a spa treatment here, you will be allowed access to the spa’s facilities from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and you may come and go as you please. Upon arrival, you will be offered cucumber water and given a tour of the entire facility including the gym, yoga studio, cycling studio, lap pool, jacuzzis, and more. After changing into your Waldorf Astoria sandals and robe (which was soooo comfy btw!), you can relax in the waiting room or enjoy one of the spa’s jacuzzis, steam rooms, or saunas before your treatment. My massage itself was dreamy, but the spa as a whole was truly a luxurious experience!

The Service at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach

Five-star, unbeatable service is what the Waldorf Astoria brand is known for worldwide. From the moment you step foot on the property, you are waited on hand and foot, and there is always someone ready and available to assist you with whatever you may need. Upon arrival and after checking in, a bellhop will bring your bags to your room, set them up for you, and review all features of your room. If you are looking to book a dinner or activity offsite (highly recommend dinner at Chart House for an unbeatable view of the marina!!), the concierge will be happy to assist you. Turn-down service includes fresh water, slippers, and chocolates each night (along with that all-important refill of the ice bucket). And when you are ready for your room to be made up in the morning, you can simply press a button to let them know (thus avoiding the awkward “Are you ready for housekeeping yet?” run-ins with the staff when you are trying to get ready for the day).

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach thought of it all and executed it perfectly. They even include a button to be pressed when you are ready for room service to come grab your empty plates and glasses! When you stay at this resort, the service is sure to be first-class.

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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.