If you read my first #BUMPLIFE post, you know Ita and I had to cancel two vacations we had planned (Cuba and Aruba). In order to fulfill our beach craving we headed west to California where it’s always warm and sunny. Right? Well, almost always.
This Texan-native and Israeli couple weren’t up to speed on the whole “June gloom” thing in California… basically it was cold and cloudy our first few days and we were told by the hotel staff that this week was “gloomier than usual”. AWESOME. While we were bummed about the lack of sun, no weather forecast has ever stopped us before from having a good time. It didn’t hurt that we were staying at the incredibly gorgeous Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point.
This gorgeous Orange County hotel is situated on a hillside overlooking its stunning grounds, golf course and the Pacific ocean. We stayed for 4 days, 3 nights. Here’s a look into the hotel and what we did during our trip!
I loved the neutral color palette of the room with faded light greens and blues. It was very relaxing and our bed was SO comfortable. We had a good size balcony where we could sit and enjoy the view. I especially loved the little monarch butterflies they would leave in your room every day! When we arrived there was one in the bathroom on the towels and every night they left chocolates and the box was in the shape of a butterfly. So cute!
There is nothing that says vacation more to me than being in a pool with a view of the beach. The Monarch Beach Resort’s pool area is perfection with its turquoise striped umbrellas, chic cabanas and infinity whirlpools overlooking the ocean. While we may have been a little chilly, we still laid out by the pool every day.
There are eight different places to eat at Monarch Beach Resort. Our first night, we ate dinner at what I think was the nicest restaurant at the resort, Stonehill Tavern. The service is outstanding and the place is very upscale. We had the juiciest chicken dish served with truffle mac and cheese. The server even shaved fresh truffles once our plates were served “compliments of the chef”. After our meals they brought out the tiniest and most adorable little cones of gelato. They were delicious!
The pool restaurant, Sombra, serves several dishes perfect for enjoying by the pool and can whip up any cocktail you like. I had their coconut shrimp and an order of fries one day and it was heaven.
We grabbed coffee and either a scone or breakfast sandwich at Part and Parcel Market every morning. It’s basically like a Starbucks with a really cute gift shop and sells other packaged food if you ever need a snack.
We had dinner at AVEO one night and brunch there as well. Their brunch was fantastic! I recommend eating out on their Moroccan tile patio overlooking the views. Definitely order fresh orange juice, avocado toast and the baked eggs (like a shakshuka). Here are a few photos from the restaurant (outfit details linked below as well!).
If you want to leave the hotel for a meal, we loved RJ’s for breakfast! Giant and delicious breakfast options for a ridiculously low price (I think my Chipotle-sized breakfast burrito meal was $7). We also had dinner at a new spot called Hendrix that had the most amazing brussels sprouts!
The Monarch Beach Resort has THE CUTEST tram that will drive you down to the beach. The drive is a great way to really take in how beautiful the resort grounds are since you weave throughout the property and golf course. We took it one morning to the beach and walked back which only took us about 20 minutes.
We worked out at their athletic club a couple of the days we were there. This facility has everything you could need and Ita even did a spinning class on one of those bikes with the video instructor. The hotel offers multiple fitness classes throughout the day which some are free and some cost a small fee (usually around $15). They offered free yoga one morning so Ita and I got up early to attend and it turned out we were the only ones there. This was perfect for us since our only real yoga experience is from our strength training in college soccer plus a few at home videos I used to do. The instructor was wonderful and tailored the class to our level as well as offered alternate poses for me since I’m pregnant. I would definitely recommend taking advantage of these free classes if you stay there!
I didn’t indulge in any spa treatments but they do have a full spa as well as a Drybar on site!
Monarch Beach Resort usually has great promotions like book 2 nights get your 3rd free, $100 daily resort credit and breakfast, etc. Their hotel staff is very attentive and ready to serve. So you can know you will definitely be taken care of here! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
Thank you to Monarch Beach Resort for having us!