As Valentine’s Day approaches, Liz Laing explores the perfect Southern California couples retreat.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, nothing compares to the bluff side location of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, perched above the Pacific Ocean with breathtaking views. The combination of nature, modern luxury, and the local art community of Laguna Beach makes this coastal resort unique. From eco-adventures to world-class dining, direct ocean access and a spa for pampering, you’ll find plenty of activities for a special weekend getaway.
After you check-in, be sure and take a walk along the bluffs or down the winding path to Salt Creek Beach, a popular spot for surfing. If you book a Fireside Ocean Guest Room, you can cuddle up by the fire while watching the sunset. Both Laguna Beach and the ocean serve as design inspiration throughout the rooms and suites at this luxurious Dana Point hotel. The colors, textures, and artwork evoke a sense of calm and the beautifully appointed rooms offer a sumptuous experience.
One of the most special dining experiences you can have at the resort is at RAYA, an elegant restaurant featuring Pan-Latin cuisine with incredible ocean views and excellent service. Chef Richard Sandoval’s menu also showcases local produce and sustainable seafood. You’ll find plenty of tempting vegetarian and vegan options. Order a cocktail or glass of champagne and watch the sunset over the ocean while snacking on Brazilian cheese rolls with avocado chile butter.
One of the best dishes vegetarian items on the menu is the Wild Mushroom Huarache with caramelized onion, black bean purée, goat cheese, and truffle oil. The Thai Curry Buddha Bowl also has great flavor combinations from charred corn, sweet potato, and a slightly spicy curry sauce. RAYA’s signature items include Achiote Salmon, Chipotle Miso Black Cod, and Pan-Seared Scallops.
Even if you’re full, find some room for dessert and order the light and refreshing Lemongrass Shaved Ice. The tropical shaved ice dessert looks like a painting on a plate with vibrant colors and textures. A Thai tea custard and tropical fruits are topped with a hibiscus cotton candy — the perfect way to end a meal.
Taking walks on the beach, enjoying an intimate dinner and getting a couples massage at The Ritz-Carlton Spa are other ways to add romantic experiences to your stay. Guests can enjoy a variety of recreational activities including surf lessons, whale-watching excursions, oceanfront golf, cooking classes and more. The hotel also has two swimming pools, tennis courts, a fitness center, and an Eco-Adventure Center. Sunset Romance Package Valid through December 31, 2020 Starting at $699 USD per night Includes overnight accommodations, champagne with strawberries, breakfast for two and complimentary resort fee.