Celebrating the playful coastal lifestyle synonymous with Dana Point, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach is a AAA five-diamond beachfront resort nestled along a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The resort features a sophisticated ocean-inspired design that is intimate and approachable. It’s home to expansive accommodations, a wide variety of on-site amenities and activities, and a multitude of convenient and high-end features.
Conveniently located, the resort is just 30 minutes from John Wayne Airport and only an hour south of Los Angeles, making it easy for you to enjoy a day trip to explore Hollywood and LA.
Note from Katie: I mention hotel booking resources I know offer the best prices via membership programs or ones that are popular with readers. Mentioned pricing and amenities are subject to change. If you book through links on this page, I may earn a small commission.
Your Access to Exclusive Benefits and VIP Status
Through my role as a travel advisor, you have access to special Virtuoso amenities at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach that include:
*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates on Virtuoso, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation.
WHAT I LOVE
- Outdoor fire pits for all first-floor guestrooms and suites
- Multiple pools – Main Pool, Family Pool with Splashground, and Adults-only pool
- Woodie tram to the exclusive Monarch Bay Club
- Beach host service at Salt Creek Beach – chairs, umbrellas, towels, beach games, and activities
- State-of-the-art in-room communication panels with one-touch access to housekeeping and valet services
- Virtuoso amenities
GOOD TO KNOW
- It’s just a few minutes by taxi or Uber from the San Juan Capistrano train station
- The resort is set back from the beach but offers 7-minute tram rides to it from the lobby
- Rates are usually lower than other luxury Orange County resorts
- It is very popular with families
- Daily $50 resort fee
- It was formerly the St. Regis Monarch Beach and most recently Monarch Beach Resort
- The spa is no longer Miraval and will reopen in spring 2021
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Guest Rooms and Suites
An enthralling seaside oasis, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach features award-winning accommodations that celebrate the Southern California lifestyle.
Guest rooms and suites utilize a coastal palette of cool blues and greens to complement white patterned carpet, crisp white linens, and custom-built white furniture.
Extraordinary design elements like seagrass textured wallpaper, sleek dark wood furniture, and gorgeous ocean-inspired artwork only add to its beachy charm.
All accommodations include a private patio or balcony adorned with modern patio furniture, which is ideal for enjoying coastal breezes and extraordinary views. If you’re staying on the first floor, your patio even comes with its own fire pit.
They also have spacious living areas with wall-mounted flat-panel televisions, large desks, restful lounge seating, and plush bedding with custom embroidered white linens. Upscale features like flexible reading lamps attached to bed headboards, Bluetooth-enabled alarm clocks, and state-of-the-art communication panels with one-touch access to a variety of services enhance your stay.
Accommodations include spa-inspired marble bathrooms showcasing deep soaking bathtubs and separate rainfall showers. Marble-top armoires are also featured in each bathroom, adding an opulent functionality to the already elegant space.
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort Guest rooms
The resort provides five guest room styles with a choice of one king bed (sleeps 3 maximum) or two queen beds (sleeps 4 maximum). These include:
- Resort View
- Pool View
- Premium Pool View
- Fireside Terrace
- Ocean View
While each accommodation exhibits the natural beauty of the seaside surroundings and modern amenities, they have some slight differences. Here’s a quick glance at those differences.
Resort View Guest Rooms
Boasting 535 square feet of space, this accommodation can sleep up to four people. It features one king bed or two queen beds and a private balcony with picturesque views of your choice of the resort grounds. Accessible rooms are available in this category.
Pool View Rooms
Take in a view of the resort pool from your private terrace. These rooms are also 535 square feet with marble bathrooms and coastal decor. They can sleep up to four people. Accessible rooms are available in this category.
Premium Pool View Rooms
These guest rooms offer views over the main resort swimming pool but also may include an ocean horizon view. They’re also 535 square feet and sleep up to four people.
TIPThis is the category of guest room that I book the most because the next available Virtuoso upgrade is my favorite — the Fireside Terrace Guest Room. And, if it’s available at the time of booking, you’ll usually get it if the hotel isn’t projected to sell out.
Fireside Terrace Guest Room (Top Pick)
The largest of the guestrooms, Fireside Terrace Guestrooms offer between 535 and 792 square feet of space. These guestrooms are always located on the first floor, as their attached patios have the added feature of a cozy outdoor fire pit.
Ocean View Room
If you prioritize an ocean view, this is the room choice for you. You’ll overlook the resort out to the Pacific Ocean over the golf course. These guest rooms are also 535 square feet in size.
Suites at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort
The suites at Monarch Beach Resort are relaxation personified with their bright coastal design, highlighted by local artwork depicting living images of the Southern California lifestyle.
Warm and inviting, these spacious suites feature amply sized living and sleeping areas with soft lounge seating, large desks, flat-panel televisions, and incredibly comfortable beds outfitted with signature bedding.
They also provide private balconies with enchanting views, cool ocean breezes, and cushioned outdoor patio furniture, as well as expansive marble bathrooms providing signature bath products. There are six suite styles to choose from, including two Penthouse Suites. To help you choose the right one for you, I’ve provided a quick look at each of their specific features here.
The smallest of the suites, the Studio Suites can accommodate up to three people with an optional rollaway bed. They offer 730 square feet of space with a king bed, intimate sitting area, marble bathroom with a deep soaking tub and a private balcony. Choose whether you’d like a Deluxe Studio Suite (garden view) or Premium Studio Suite (fairway or pool view)
Fireside Terrace Suites
These ground-floor suites have private terraces with fire pits, a bedroon, seating area, marble bathrooms with walk-in showers and deep soaking tubs. Choose whether you’d like a Studio or One-Bedroom Suite. And, choose also whether you’d like resort, fairway or ocean views.
Ocean View Suites
Take in Pacific Ocean views from your private terrace. Ocean View Suites come as Studio Suites or One-Bedroom Suites.
The One-Bedroom Signature Suite can accommodate up to four people with a large bedroom equipped with a king bed and an expansive living room outfitted with a full-sized sleeper sofa.
You’ll enjoy a taste of beach house life in this oversized, 970-square-foot accommodation that features two spacious balconies and two opulently designed marble bathrooms.
You can also choose an Executive One-Bedroom Suite that offers 930 square feet and sleeps 3 people.
The Penthouse Suites at Monarch Beach Resort are the largest accommodations on the property. These suite options are located on the resort’s top floor and encompass between 1,466 and 3,100 square feet of space, respectively. They each feature multiple balconies overlooking the Pacific Ocean, an expansive terrace with a fire pit ideal for outdoor entertaining, and gorgeous coastal artwork created by renowned artists.
Penthouse suites feature spacious living areas, multi-purpose dining rooms, and master bedrooms with a large flat-panel televisions, walk-in closets, and marble bathrooms with separate steam showers and deep soaking tubs.
Unparalleled complimentary services are also included with these suites, including an assortment of morning beverages, assistance in unpacking and packing, two items of clothing pressed per person each day, shoeshine service, and laundry for workout clothing, and planning services. Here’s how the three Penthouse Suites differ.
Grand One-Bedroom Suite
An incredibly swanky suite, the Grand One-Bedroom Suite boasts a whopping 1,400 square feet of space with elegant and fresh design features like hardwood floors and coastal artwork. Available for two guests, it has a private bedroom with a comfortable king bed, a spacious living area, two stylish marble bathrooms, and two private balconies offering breathtaking views.
Ocean Grand Suite
The smaller of the two presidential suites, the Ocean Grand Suite, has an incredible 1,466 square feet of space. A luxurious and stylish suite, it features a well-appointed master bedroom equipped with a plush king bed, expansive living and dining room area, and a lavish terrace equipped with a fire pit.
The very definition of coastal living, the Presidential Suite is the largest accommodation on the property offering 3,100 square feet of space. Designed for spacious living and entertaining, the suite sleeps up to six people and offers expansive dining and living areas; the latter includes a full-size sofa bed. The space also features a Master bedroom with one king bed, a walk-in closet, and an opulent marble bathroom with a deep soaking tub and separate steam shower. A second bedroom has two queen beds.
Three Gorgeous Swimming Pools
There are three swimming pools at the resort. The largest is the Monarch Pool, which received a complete renovation a few years back.
A picturesque seaside oasis features a multi-level design, including a second tier devoted to sunbathing and lounging. The seating was increased with lavish chaise loungers. A fire pit surrounded by couches was added, and custom-designed cabanas featuring built-in music and fully stocked mini bars were brought in to offer a little more luxury to the scene.
Towel service is provided. If you happen to forget any of your swimming gear, the Spa Boutique and the Miraval Life in Balance Boutique provide a curated collection of designer swimwear, beach totes, sunglasses, and luxury brand sunscreens. If you get hungry, you can order food from the poolside restaurant Sombra, a Mexican Cantina-style eatery.
The main pool at the resort faces directly toward the Pacific Ocean. Made up of two infinity-edge pools, it appears that the water is spilling out directly into the ocean. On the ocean view area of the pool deck, there are two infinity-style whirlpool spas.
A variety of seating options surround these unique swimming pools, including chic daybeds, comfortable loungers, and private cabanas.
Specifically designed with children in mind, the family pool features a graduated entry like you’d expect when entering the ocean. Situated next to the lively and fun Splashground, the family pool is ideal for swimming and wading. Several cabanas surround this pool, making it a great place for families to gather for a day soaking up the sun or relaxing in the shade.
Adults-Only Spa Lap Pool
The pool located at the spa is an adults-only lap pool. It is available to all age-appropriate resort guests and membership holders, and day spa guests who purchase a day pass or treatment from the spa.
Beach, Spa, Golf and Other Activities
There are too many amenities to mention at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort, but these are the highlights you should know. There is also a Resort Experience Planner available to help you get the most out of your stay. Call ahead for insider tips.
Note that there is house car service in a Cadillac Escalade within Dana Point city limits. You can also take out a house bike for a self-guided local tour.
Monarch Bay Beach club
Exclusive to club members and resort guests, the Monarch Bay Beach Club provides the perfect picture of Southern California beach culture.
Originally established in 1962, the Beach Club underwent a total renovation complete with a new dining room. It offers a wealth of signature beach experiences including 30-minute No Fail Surf Lessons, Beach Rangers, Ocean Education, and surf and memorabilia exhibitions.
Located seven minutes from the lobby, you can catch the Private Beach Tram to this exclusive beach where umbrellas, chairs, and towels are set up. The tram departs every 15 minutes starting at sunrise and ending at 7:30 p.m.
Waldorf Astoria Spa
The spa will reopen in Spring 2021 as a Waldorf Astoria Spa. The 30,000 square feet of space features a boutique, lap pool, tranquility, and relaxation zones. I can not wait to see what they do. More details are forthcoming.
FITNESS at Monarch Beach Resort
The high-tech gym space is outfitted with all the latest equipment ensuring that you’ll enjoy an invigorating workout.
Open 24-hours, they provide a wide array of TechnoGym weight machines, ARKE Core Centric Training System, and more. The Athletic Club also offers over 40 diverse weekly fitness classes, including yoga on the sand. Complimentary towels and bottled are provided.
Monarch Beach Links
Designed by world-renowned golf architect, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the golf course has a traditional Scottish style. It’s set against the unrivaled backdrop of the majestic Pacific Ocean. This award-winning, championship, 18-hole course provides 6,600 yards of tight fairways and challenging greens.
Monarch Beach Links golf shop offers gear, lessons, and camps. The new restaurant, Club 19, overlooks the first tee box. If you’re a guest at the resort you’ll enjoy discounted green fees, preferred tee times, and discounted Flex Set rentals.
Dana Point Discoveries
Discover what makes Dana Point and Orange County so special with the help of the resort’s experienced activity planners. They offer a new collection of experiences designed to help guests explore the area. You’ll choose from a wealth of land and sea activities.
This includes surf and SUP lessons provided by the Surf Hosts, exclusive marine adventures by the Ocean Institute, and trail hikes to the Bluff Top. Additional experiences include seasonal whale-watching and a variety of tours.
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Restaurants
Monarch Beach Resort features seven extraordinary dining concepts – Bourbon Steak Orange County, AVEO Table + Bar, 33° North, Monarch Bay Beach Club, Sombra, Club 19, and Part and Parcel Market.
Each utilizes sustainable practices and seasonal ingredients to create their ever-changing menus. The variety in eateries offered means you’ll find an on-site restaurant for any occasion. To better help you find the perfect place to dine at any time, I’ve provided a quick look at each one.
Bourbon Steak Orange County
An Orange County staple, Bourbon Steak is an acclaimed, award-winning restaurant concept developed by renowned Executive Chef and James Beard award winner, Michael Mina.
You’ll enjoy classic tavern-style American cuisine with a modern twist like the signature Lobster Pot Pie. The restaurant is most well-known for its incredible dry-aged and butter-poached steaks.
AVEO Table + Bar
Created by hospitality firm Puccini Group based out of San Francisco based, AVEO Table + Bar is a Mediterranean-style eatery that offers expansive views of the California coastline.
Embracing the seasonal bounty of the area and a farm-to-table approach, this eatery uses resort-grown herbs and honey along with local ingredients to create a menu of Mediterranean delights, including a selection of grilled pizzas.
Located in the Rodrigo Vargas designed lobby lounge, 33° North was created to be a lively living and entertaining room for the local community to enjoy.
Sectioned off into three unique areas – a living room salon, a bar, and an outdoor patio with ocean views, the space is outfitted with soft comfortable furniture, ocean-themed artwork, and fireside niches.
The restaurant serves an elegant menu of bar bites, craft cocktails, beers, and wines by the glass. There is live music from Thursday to Sunday.
Part & Parcel Market
When you simply want a quick bite to eat, head to Part & Parcel Market. Here, they provide a variety of freshly made juices, gourmet coffees, savory snacks, and delectable pastries in a casual atmosphere. Conveniently located within the resort, it also offers a cool Italian gelato bar.
After you’ve enjoyed a round of golf head over to Club 19, a gastropub-style restaurant overlooking the first tee box. A warm and inviting space, it features an outdoor terrace with an expansive fireplace, perfect for a hot cup of cider or a flight or tequilas.
Inside, large panel televisions line the wall keeping you up on all the latest golf news. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’ll enjoy traditional American fare with selections like the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.
The go-to place to eat when lounging by the pool, Sombra is a cool, Mexican cantina-style restaurant serving up authentic fresh Mexican fare including fish tacos, nachos, and a selection of citrusy ceviches.
This incredible menu is paired with an impressive collection of Mezcal and Tequila, a variety of margaritas on tap, and, a selection of hand-crafted margaritas. You can dine in the poolside cantina or have your order delivered to your cabana or lounger.
Monarch Bay Club
Boasting a remarkable Southern California style infused with casual elegance, the Monarch Bay Beach Club offers a unique coastal-inspired setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
This refined, yet approachable restaurant features a rich, globally influenced menu where seafood takes center stage. Local microbrews, iconic signature beach cocktails, and an extensive California sourced wine list are also provided.
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort Reservations with VIP Perks
My readers can book in with Virtuoso amenities that add additional value to your stay at no extra cost to you. These include:
- Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability
- Daily full breakfast, for two guests per bedroom in AVEO Table + Bar or via room service ($80 credit per day)
- $100 USD Resort credit, to be utilized during stay (Cannot be used for room, tax, valet or resort charge, not combinable, not valid on retail items, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
You will also earn Hilton Honors points with a Virtuoso rate.
*You may need to be on the desktop version of Virtuoso.com to search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version of a hotel page from a mobile device, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation.
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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