Montage lobby 520

Just before Christmas, I was chatting with Mr. “H,” the dear Mr. Hofmann who took over as COO a few years ago at the Hotel Laguna. He mentioned that they never see enough of the Laguna locals. True, my BFF, Lisa, and I stop in at the Ocean View Bar & Grille once every few months for a great lunch on the water, but we rarely go more than a couple times a year.

This reminded me of a walk my neighbor ladies and I had taken just a few days earlier.

The four of us met and walked the large path that winds between the Monarch Links golf course and Salt Creek Beach to work our way up to the Ritz Carlton for coffee. The walk is a stunner and the Ritz, of course, is lovely. We settled into the plush lounge there in front of the fireplace with our coffee and Rowdy, the dog, and had a great hour there. Much of the conversation focused on how we so rarely visit these globally renowned resorts when they’re right here in front of us.

This, of course, reminded me further of the visits I make to other Laguna Beach resorts – the glorious Ranch for Chef Camron’s even more glorious breakfasts, and the solitary walks I make to the Montage Resort on Sunday mornings to hang out (with free coffee) in their spectacular lobby lounge.

This morning, I was on the treadmill next to Theresa, a darling woman I first met at Zinc’s Café, and she and I were chatting about the amazing find in the Surf & Sand’s outdoor courtyard, the 15FiftyFive Lounge. She and her husband recently stayed there while plumbing was being reworked in their home, and she marveled at the beautiful treatment they received daily … and how few locals they saw on the grounds, if at all, during their several week stay.

Yet another great laguna Beach resort, the Surf & Sand is another great example – when I’m looking for some work planning time, I’ll drop in there, grab yet another free coffee and park myself on one of their plump couches with a fire pit at my toes. It simply can’t be beat.

Doesn’t it seem odd to you that we, as locals, rarely hang out at the resorts the entire world is coming to see?

I understand that the summer months may seem completely overrun, but most months of the year, these resorts offer the same friendly hospitality with all sorts of beautiful space to take advantage of. Further, they all offer their own locals’ packages for fitness, yoga, spa, swimming pools and more.

As I’ve gotten to know their chefs and management, it’s very clear that these gems are here for us, too. They’d like to see more of us. In the winter months (and year) ahead, I know I’ll be making more of a conscious effort to ensure that happens. I hope you do, too.

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