by Courtney Elko
Located in Crystal Cove State Park, the private-room cottages feature historic beach charm of Southern California. All of the unique cottages have been restored to reflect their 1930s or 1950s decor and feature wonderful ocean views, and a kitchen with a vintage-style refrigerator and microwave. Beach towels are not provided by the hotel however beach chairs and umbrellas are available to rent on a first come, first serve basis. There are two restaurants on the property serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a beachfront view. This is truly a place to unplug and enjoy family time as there are no televisions, phones or Wi-Fi availability in the cottages.
Our Editor Loves
- Vintage decor
- Steps to the beach
- No TV or Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
I’m writing this as I sit at the dining table of the cottage, looking out the window as the waves curl onto the beach. All weekend long, my family and I have enjoyed this amazing view.
Let’s face it, you stay at the cottages for the views and access to the beach. The accommodations are rustic with entirely vintage (used) furnishings. I loved the vintage kitchen and decor of the cottage. However, the mattresses and sofa weren’t vintage, they were cheap. They were not comfortable, and I could hear the springs every time I moved on them. Basically, they are furniture from a cheap motel. I don’t think upgrading the beds would lessen the experience.
Some things to know before you book:
-They have you unload your belongings at the entrance of the resort and shuttle you and your belongings to your cottage. You then have to park your car at the beach parking across PCH. There’s a $1.50pp shuttle that will bring you down to the Beachcomber or you can walk it. We had plans to eat and explore the area during the weekend, so this was unexpectedly complicated because I had my elderly parents with me.
-The bedrooms don’t have heaters, but the living space does. Rooms got very cold at night with the doors closed. We brought space heaters.
-Cottage 32 sleeps 9, but only one toilet. Luckily, the public restroom is just below this cottage, and it’s well maintained.
-We found that a rodent nibbled at some food we left on the kitchen counter. Don’t leave food out.
-They provide paper plates, plastic utensils, and water cups, but that’s it.
-The sleeper sofa is ridiculous. Only consider putting small children on that.
Still, would definitely come back. We’ll just be better prepared.
Every time I land a booking, I feel like the luckiest person ever. I have only been able to reserve through last minute cancellations as the online booking months ahead sells out in seconds. I've stayed in many cottages and dorm rooms and love them all. Each has its own charm. They are rustic but comfortable. They provide sheets and towels and you make your own beds. Instead of dining at a restaurant in Newport or Laguna, get take out or go to Trader Joes, and dine on your deck on the sand or high on the bluffs. Cottages have fridges and microwaves, sinks and bathrooms with showers. Some ADA units have stoves, at least they did a few years ago when I stayed in a dorm room that had an ADA approved kitchen as part of the entire cottage. I've brought my own electric skillet and crockpot to make meals. The main office has hot coffee carafes and hot tea in the morning. WiFi is limited, there are no TVs either, which allows you to really enjoy the waves and beautiful surrounding nature. Crystal Cove is magical. Never turn down an opportunity to stay here.