A familiar golf and vacation destination this time of year along the Southern California coast has a new name and some intriguing new amenities as the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point dropped the St. Regis moniker that it had since 2001 and now, after a $40-million renovation over the past year, has solidified its position even more as one of the top golf destination resorts along the Pacific Coast.
With its new name there is even more luxury in this five-star resort that features panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, 400 exquisitely appointed guest rooms and suites and of course the 6,600-yard Par 72 Monarch Beach Golf Links that sits on the bluffs overlooking the ocean next to the hotel. Designed by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the Monarch Beach Golf Links was designed much like a Scottish links course with tight fairways and rolling greens that meander along the California Coast in one of the most picturesque settings in this part of the world.
The adjoining resort, which is now being operated by Denver-based KSL Resorts, has a re-designed lobby, five new dinning concepts, a more expansive pool area and bar, renovated public spaces and an exclusive spa partnership with Miraval, a global leader in spa and wellness.
Each recently restyled guest room is awash with natural light through expansive glass doors that lead out to a private open-air balcony. Plush bedding, lounge seating and a quiet worktable complete a setting to be truly at ease. The master bathroom is elegantly designed to provide spa-like comforts: deep soaking bathtub, which enjoys daylight through plantation shutters; rainfall shower and a spacious amenity-rich vanity.
KSL, which took over operation of the resort in June, has a long history of running top high-end resorts in the region such as the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, the La Quinta Resort in La Quinta and the La Costa Resort and Hotel del Coronado in the San Diego area.
The Monarch Beach Resort is located in Dana Point along the Orange County Coast line and with its location, the many activities along the beach next to this resort offer an array of entertaining activities.
The private beach that the resort enjoys is a great place to get the morning started with the Rise and Shine Yoga classes that are taught on the sand with the soothing sound of the waves as a background. There is also the “guests-only” Monarch Bay Club on the sand where breakfast overlooking the ocean is a great way to end a yoga session.
The Miraval Life in Balance Spa at Monarch Beach Resort offers more than 70 of the signature treatments developed at the company’s flagship Miraval Resort & Spa near Tucson, Arizona, each designed to “awaken the senses, create balance and promote a sense of well-being.”
The new facility that opened in April encompasses 24 treatment rooms, spa suites, boutique, Drybar, Deborah Lippmann Nail Salon and relaxation and tranquility zones. The Miraval expansion program includes development of full-service Miraval resorts that offer immersive wellness experiences in key destination markets like Monarch Beach and Miraval Life in Balance Spas that offer many of the brand’s signature wellness programs, such as Miraval Tucson’s NÂGA and Shamana-Karma treatments; Ayurvedic, energy and body renewal rituals; and new treatments that incorporate coastal-inspired ingredients, including sea salt, crystal salt stones, algae and marine muds.
Other selected Miraval Tucson signature wellness programs are offered, including Mindful Stress Mastery, Mindful Eating and Mindfulness at Miraval. Custom yoga and body movement studios in the spa’s new Body Mindfulness Center feature the brand’s Cardio Drumming, Mindful Spinning, Aerial Yoga and Floating Mediation programs.
Miraval-inspired healthy menu items are also available at Monarch Beach Resort’s restaurants, including the new Miraval Spa Café that is among the restaurant offerings—six of them with ocean views, including the Stonehill Tavern, Club 19 and the Aveo Terrace.
The golf experience at Monarch Beach equals the luxury experience of the hotel. Under the expert direction of General Manager Eric Lohman, PGA, the Links at Monarch Beach is an excellent test of golf that requires players to use all of the clubs in the bag.
Not only are the shifting winds constantly making club selection critical, but the undulating greens really separate good from great putters. The Par 4 third is the signature hole and measures only 315 yards from the back tees, but this dog-leg that runs along the beach requires some exact shot-making to make a good score on this hole.
The Par-5 seventh is the most unique hole on the course with accuracy required more than length—even for a hole that can stretch to 612 yards. Two shots are required over hazards on this hole that dog legs left—and the ways to play it are endless. Par is a good score here—and most players will attest to that after finishing the hole.
In addition to the club’s forecaddie program, the service all around is exceptional. This is taken to another level with the “Fit Fore a King” experience that the resort is offering through the remainder of 2016 as a golf package for those interested in the experience of a lifetime.
“The “Fit Fore a King” golf package is an ultimate guys’ golf getaway, as well as an ideal vacation for avid golfing couples,” noted Lohman, “either for a weekend trip or an extended stay.”
Available throughout 2016, the package includes:
• Private limousine service (to and from airport, club-fitting)
• A luxurious suite for two nights at the Monarch Beach Resort (double occupancy)
• Personal Butler Service throughout the stay
• Club-fitting at world headquarters of Callaway (cost of new equipment is additional)
• Unlimited golf daily on the Monarch Beach Golf Links
• “FlexSet” golf club rental (while the new set is being built)
• Golf car and Monarch Beach “Waterman” personal forecaddie service for each round
• Access to the resort’s private beach and “guests-only” Monarch Bay Club
• Breakfast daily
Lohman notes that guests will be guided throughout the experience by a PGA golf professional from the Monarch Beach Golf Links staff.
“About the only thing missing is an actual castle – but our renovated resort is even better,” said Lohman, who is personally coordinating each “Fit Fore VIPs” golf experience.
Guests will be chauffeured to and from Callaway Golf’s elite full-service facility – exactly where the tour pros go for their club testing. After a personalized club-fitting using the latest technology, the golfer can order custom-made clubs that will be shipped to their home.
At Monarch Beach Resort—a great destination has just gotten better.
For more information: www.monarchbeachresort.com