Rancho Palos Verdes, California
What it is
A 102-acre cliffside retreat on the Pacific Ocean with four pools, eight restaurants, par-3 golf course right on the sea, beach cove, and a 50,000 square foot spa.
What it isn't
Boring. Activities here include all manner of exploits to inspire, including falconry, archery, sea salt harvesting, a kids club for littles and tide pool tours by kayak.
What we think
This 360-room resort has the welcoming and warm yet tailored and traditional feeling of a Nancy Meyers movie (think “Something’s Gotta Give” goes to Southern California.) Guest rooms start at 450 square feet and are as fresh as the sea air in their palette of tawny sands and cloud grays; each one has a private balcony and sitting area that peer out on the Pacific. We love the 900 square foot suites for their separate living room and extra powder rooms, and especially the bungalows, where French doors open onto rolling green lawns. If you’re traveling en famille, the two bedroom villas might be the way to go, with their full kitchen and a flickering gas fireplaces below a soaring, open beam ceiling. Be sure to make a daily appointment in the spa, if you know what’s good for you; the treatments are pure California, from the CBD massages to sea mineral scrubs.
You're here because
You need to let loose like a kid again, and one of the four pools here has a 140-foot waterslide. Done and done.
Evern for an ardent locavore, the menu at Mar’sel is an edible marvel. Every dish was made from herbs and vegetables plucked from the hotel gardens or adjacent gardens, making it the freshest you’ve ever tasted. Tonight, it's the little gem lettuce salad you’ll be dreaming about long after the sun slips behind the sea: the shaved heirloom apples with date puree, and thick mounds of Point Reyes blue cheese.
Restaurants & Bars
Mar'sel - Set overlooking the Pacific Ocean with stunning panoramic views, mar'sel offers the ideal location for an elegant dinner or seasonal Sunday brunch.
Catalina Kitchen - Set against the scenic views of Terranea Resort, Catalina Island and the Pacific Coast, catalina kitchen hosts a spirited dining experience in a vibrant and modern setting.
Bashi - Enjoy inventive ‘wok’-style dishes inspired by classic Chinese, Japanese, and Southeast Asian recipes, weaving simple, fresh ingredients into flavorful creations.
Nelson's - Enjoy coastal cuisine and a warm, friendly bar atmosphere surrounded by outdoor fire pits and unrivaled sunset views.
Sea Beans - An ideal destination to start the day or unwind in the evening, enjoy gourmet coffee, specialty espresso drinks and organic teas – along with a tantalizing array of freshly baked treats. Fresh lunch items/light bites range from sandwiches, wraps, and salads, to smoothies and house made gelato.
The Lobby Bar & Terrace - Enjoy craft cocktails, fine wines and beers, and locally inspired fare - accompanied by Lobby Lounge live performances in the evening.
The Grill at the Resort Pool - Nosh on classic favorites and light bites while you catch the game on the big screen at the bar or in the comfort of your private cabana.
The Bake Shop - Bake Shop items include an assortment of sweet and savory selections such as pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, truffles, biscotti, sea salt pretzels, gelato, and more.
A 17 mile drive south of LAX, and just down the street from Three Sisters Reserve—a pristine 99-acre plot where hiking trails have panoramas of the ocean.