by Lissa Poirot
High on a coastal cliff, overlooking Dana Point Harbor, is the luxurious Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa. With views of the sailboats in the marina and the seemingly endless ocean, the resort is a relaxing escape in the heart of Orange County. Stroll along the paved walkways of Dana Point that pass right by the resort’s great lawn and visit the harbor for sailing and charters, or simply wile away the days at the resort’s two pools before enjoying first-row seats to some of the area’s best sunset views.
Our Editor Loves
- Kahuna Laguna Kids' Club
- Splash Park at family pool
- Suites to accommodate up to eight
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Laguna Cliffs features 378 rooms with city, ocean and pool views. First floor rooms offer patios and those with pool views are within steps of the family pool. Second and third floor rooms offer balconies. Fourth floor rooms do not have balconies, so be sure to request other floors if you would like private outdoor space. Mini-fridges are available in some rooms.
Resort, Pool or Coastal View
Standard rooms rooms offer views of the resort, pool or coast, and provide one king or two double beds, and some have sofa beds. Rooms feature 32-inch flat-screen TVs, iHome players, coffeemakers with free coffee and tea, bottled water for a fee and Wi-Fi access for a fee. Connecting rooms are available, as are cribs and rollaway beds upon request. Rollaway beds are $20 per stay.
For larger accommodations, the resort provides Executive Suites with full-size dining tables for four, sofa beds, 32-inch flat-screen TVs, iHome players, coffeemakers with free coffee and tea, bottled water for a fee and Wi-Fi access for a fee. The largest suite is the Dana Pointe suite, which offers a private dining room for six and can connect to one- or two-bedroom rooms to accommodate up to eight people. Cribs and rollaway beds are available upon request, the latter charging an additional $20 per stay.
I would have given this resort 5 stars, except that they charged my son $7 in order to park (valet parking only) in order to come have breakfast with us. I have no idea if the valet parking is owned by Marriott or is contracted out, but considering the prices they were charging for their breakfast, I think they could have validated his parking ticket for free parking. If they contracted out the valet service, they could have paid the parking service for the parking in order to have people come and spend more money at their resort.
This is a beautiful location and a very nice property. We were excited to stay for our anniversary. The valet service was excellent and friendly. Other than those things, there is a lot of opportunity for improvement. Our family left us a a bottle of champagne and some treats and asked the front desk if they could arrange nicely in our room. When we entered the room we found the Trader Joe's bag set on the dresser. We went out to the pool on Monday and there was no service for drinks or food. We were told the pool was technically closed because it was "off-season". We ordered room service which was prompt and the food was tasty. Our stay was 3 nights and our room was only serviced once and only because we called and scheduled a housekeeping service. On day of check-out, we called and were able to get a 1 pm check-out but housekeeping, who never came to the door before, knocked 3 times before 11 am and then the front desk called to ask when house-keeping could come and make up the room. Other than the valets, the customer service for a resort location seemed lacking and not polished. I did not feel like I was at a luxury beach resort for a special occasion.
Kahuna Laguna Kids' Club
This seasonal club, which operates in the summer months, offers half- and full-day seasons for children ages 5 to 12 to enjoy themed activities and playtime.
The resort features two outdoor heated pools. In the summer months, one offers a bar and becomes an unofficial adult pool, while the other features a Splash Zone water play area with fountains, water cannons and surfboards kids can ride. Kids receive free smoothies from the pool bar all summer, as well. Cabanas are available to rent, with reserved shaded seating and service.
Kids also receive special Passports at check-in. Kids are invited to visit various areas of the resort and receive stickers with each visit. If they visit all of the sites in their passports, they receive a prize.
The hotel offers Trek bicycles for year-round rentals to enjoy the harbor and trails. Visit the concierge for rentals.
Special Seasonal Events
During the summer, families can enjoy free movies on Friday and Saturday nights in the hotel's theater with complimentary popcorn, snacks and drinks. Meals can be ordered in from room service, as well. Children get to walk the red carpet and hand in a ticket at a makeshift ticket booth, with their stub serving as a voucher for free breakfast the next morning at Vue Restaurant.
During the winter months, Breakfast With Santa and S'mores & Stories are provided with special arts and crafts, face painting, cookie decorating and more.
Dana Point's extensive walking trails and parks are located adjacent to the hotel, and in the summer months, the city offers movies on the park lawn and bocce courts.
One of the town's most popular restaurants with -- as its name implies -- fabulous views, Vue is the resort's breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant. Offering traditional breakfast fare in the morning, guests can enjoy small and large plates with lunches consisting mainly of burgers, salads and sandwiches, and dinners offering a bit more gourmet fare, especially seafood and steak options. Guests have the option of a continental breakfast for $18 or a buffet breakfast for $23.
OverVue Lounge and Deck
Enjoy indoor or outdoor seating in the resort's lounge and deck for snacks and appetizers throughout the day. Especially popular in the evenings for its extensive wine list, parents will love to enjoy this spot while the kids are in the Kahuna Laguna Kids' Club.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wi-Fi is included in the resort's $25 resort fee, which also covers pool towels and other small amenities.
Valet parking is available for $32 per day.
A Hertz Rental Car office is located onsite for car rentals.
A 2,500-square-foot fitness center, connected to the spa, features strength training and cardio equipment featuring individual TVs.
Check-in is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at 11 a.m.
The Art of Smart Timing
Dana Point's Orange County location means you'll find mild temperatures throughout the year, with plenty of sunshine. The resort receives most of its guests during the summer months and holiday season, but the area is a great place to visit at any time of the year. The kids' club, however, is only offered during the summer, so if you have interest in your kids having some time to play, save your trip for that season.
The resort is closest to the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, just 30 minutes away. Dana Point is located between San Diego and Los Angeles, and is roughly an hour from each respective international airport.
The resort is just a short walk from the Dana Point Harbor, with a host of restaurants and shops, as well as sailing charters, whale watching excursions, and trips to Catalina Island. The area has 10 miles of beach and plenty of paved walking trails, but if you'd like to leave Dana Point and really explore Orange County, you will need to have a car.
For Mom and Dad
When slipping away from the kids while they enjoy the resort's kids' programming, parents should head to the recently refurbished spa, which has a private outdoor lounge with a fireplace. The 14,000-square-foot full-service spa provides private lockers, steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools, and a number of treatment rooms with a sampling of massages, body treatments, facials and Vichy treatments.