MY NOT-SO-PRIVATE PACIFIC SANCTUARY
Admittedly, there are other marvelous ways to pamper yourself, but one of my favorite,
not-so-secret hideaway delights comes once a year, when I set aside a few days for me,
myself and I at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California.
Some of my friends and family like going to the mountains to be alone for contemplation
and renewal. Others like the desert. Give me the beach, especially off the beaten path
and away from the maddening crowds.
Specifically, give me the serene, sophisticated sanctuary at the AAA Five Diamond
Laguna Niguel resort located in sunny Orange County, halfway between Los Angeles
and San Diego.
WORLD CLASS LUXURY
Built at the top of a 150-bluff that overlooks the
Pacific, it is an example of what a luxury resort
should be—elegant, refined, quiet, graceful and
hospitably comfortable. Lush gardens and
sprawling ocean-view lawns add an unforgettable
It’s no wonder why this Ritz-Carlton is consistently
ranked among the best resorts in the world and
why it continues to cater to many of the world’s
most discriminating guests, as it has for over two
decades, in its 393 guestrooms which include 30
suites and 38 Ritz-Carlton Club Level.
Every room features 42-inch plasma televisions,
DVD players, walk-in-closets and the most luxurious
down-filled bedding (the Comfort Essential
Collection is made exclusively for The Ritz-Carlton)
this side of heaven.
Okay, the Laguna Niguel label is a bit confusing—
the resort is actually located in Dana Point—but
don’t quibble. Breathtaking views of the ocean have
brought many coveted awards, including Gourmet
Magazine’s “Most Romantic Hotel in the World” and
Travel & Leisure’s “Best North America Hotel.”
Opened in 1984, the Laguna Niguel-Dana Point
resort has hosted more than 4,000 weddings, both
inside the lush courtyard and outside on the bluff.
Who knows how many more proposals and
anniversaries have been celebrated here? One
can only guess how many hearts have fallen in love
there, since the sunrises and sunsets overlooking
panoramic white-water views of the Pacific Ocean
and two miles of sandy beach easily translate into
If romance and renewal are not enough, you can
also enjoy myriad recreational activities— tennis,
swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, sailing,
kayaking, sport fishing and whale watching—both
on the property and nearby.
There is an unhurried pace at this Ritz-Carlton, and
nowhere is that more evident that in the 11
treatment area of newly remodeled spa. Even the
soft aqua and beige hues are relaxing. Add the
tranquil water features, saunas and signature
treatments (including Collagen infusion Facial, Hot
Towel and Herbal Infusion Massage, California
Citrus Body Polish, and Ashiatsu Deep Muscle
Massage), and you will understand why so many
people, including good ole Rosie, come back time
after time to this beckoning, soothing Southern