24 Hours at The Montage Laguna Beach
t was just a casual Sunday afternoon. Omid and I had decided to head out to Laguna Beach (like we do most weekends) and try a new spot for breakfast. We decided on Moulin, a French Café owned by a Frenchman himself. Our quick breakfast had me reminiscing my days in Europe. With a French radio station playing overhead as I crunched into my authentic French baguette and frothy cappuccino.
Our plan after breakfast was to head to the Montage to spend the afternoon working in their incredible lobby. Driving up, the gentleman at the entrance informed us that the valet parking was full and we would need to find a spot in their public lot just next door. Rather perturbed, we headed around the corner to their public lot which we knew would be completely full.
As we rounded the corner, the line to get into the parking lot was already backed up. Omid turned to me with that smirk in his eyes that I know means he’s thinking something dramatic and spontaneous. With a side smile he said, “Let’s get a room.” Rolling my eyes I replied, “What??” Even more enthusiastically Omid pressed, “Go online and lets book a room so we can park in valet!”
Laughing, we turn around, pull back up to the valet and proudly announce we have a room reservation. Looking skeptical after having just turned us away, they rather grudgingly help us out of our car and we head to check-in.
I was just laughing in my head the whole time because for anyone who knows Omid well, they know how this is totally something he would do. Book a room in a 5-star hotel just so we can park in valet. His whimsical and spontaneous personality is so opposite from who I am naturally: the Type A, organized, on-time planner. But the balance between the differences in our two personalities creates the perfect mix of stability and recklessness.
So after a year of visiting the Montage once or twice a week, saying over and over we would stay for a weekend, a full valet parking lot was the tipping point that finally got us to book a room…..
There was no better way to celebrate our spontaneous stay than with a drink in the lobby. We are absolutely in love with the atmosphere, the views, the food and the service at The Montage. For any who follow me on Instagram, you know that we are here at least once or twice a week just working on our laptops in front of their gorgeous fireplace.
After our celebratory drinks, we eagerly rush to find our much anticipated room at The Montage. The attendant at the front desk, Alex, was SO amazing at helping us get a room last minute, checking us in and even double upgrading us to a room with an amazing view.
The first place I always inspect in any hotel room is of course…..the bathtub. Now I know that Instagram has turned bathtubs into these trendy things that are overflowing with flowers and breathtaking views, BUT I would like to formally state that I was a dedicated bath lover looooong before they were a thing on Instagram.
Just ask my college roommates whom I would lock out of the bathroom during my “Lili Time” baths. They would of course pick the lock, intruding upon my relaxing, candle-lit alone-time and proceed to pour ice water all over me….ahhh college memories…
I’m gonna go ahead and confess that within the 24 hours that we stayed at The Montage I managed to take 3 baths in this glorious tub. I felt a little guilty about all the water I was selfishly using, but oh my were they great baths. I even tipped the housekeeping to leave three extra jars of bath salts….I know I should probably feel slightly ashamed, but when you’re that relaxed it’s hard to let anything trouble you..
Now that we had earned our valet parking spot and checked into our room we figured it was probably time to get our luggage. So, 15 minutes after checking in to our room, we proudly walk back to valet, get back in our car and drive home to pack for our spontaneous stay. Now here’s the thing with Omid, he likes to take his time no matter what he is doing. With only one night at The Montage, I knew I had to keep a strict timer for our packing or we wouldn’t make it back to the hotel for another 3 hours.
So with me counting down the seconds he had left to pack as though we were about to be launched into space, we both quickly assembled our overnight bags and were on our way back to our beloved Montage.
With heads held high, we drove up to The Montage for the third time that day. I’m sure the gentlemen in valet were silently wondering why we had check-in with no luggage, left, then returned again with all of our items. To be honest, I was just as confused as they probably were….but if they were, they didn’t show it as they cheerfully helped us from our car and unloaded our bags.
At last, we were properly checked-in and ready to fully embrace our stay. The Montage has absolutely breathtaking views of the beach and a perfect oceanfront walk along the cliffs of Laguna. The pool already overflowing with children, we decided to stroll along this path and enjoy the view before dinner. As the sun began to melt into the ocean, we cuddled up on a bench to watch the golden sunset.
The Loft at The Montage is our favorite place to eat at the resort and dinner is by far their best menu. Romantic candle light flickering across our faces, we stared across the table into each other’s eyes as the rest of the room disappeared in the beauty of the moment. As we sipped our wine the moonlight performed a magical dance on the waves leaving us completely entranced with the view and each other.
With bellies full of mouthwatering food and hearts full of love our first night at The Montage came to a close. Our only alarm clock was the cool ocean breeze, crashing waves and the sound of enthusiastic seagulls gliding by. We woke to the most amazing foggy view of The Montage pool. Bundled up in one of their luxurious robes, I made myself a Nespresso from the in-suite bar and snuggled up on our balcony to enjoy the quiet beauty of the morning.
I sat there on the balcony with the love of my life sleeping away peacefully on the bed inside thinking to myself, “I don’t know why we even need to travel when we have places like this 15 minutes from our home.” Of course, one of the aspects I love most about travel is getting to experience a new culture and way of life, so I’ll never be able to change that hunger. But when it comes to a purely luxurious, relaxing vacation, I would lounge on that Montage balcony in my fluffy robe and slippers every weekend if I could.
We had booked our room through Omid’s American Express Platinum card which included a ton of great perks during our stay. By far the best addition was our 4:00PM late check-out. And you better believe we had every intention of taking full advantage of it.
The Montage has several different restaurants throughout the resort, but we pretty much exclusively eat at The Loft. Although dinner is by far our favorite meal, breakfast is a strong second. Indulging in some fluffy blueberry pancakes, we sipped our cappuccinos while enjoying the panoramic views of Laguna Beach.
Having spent a year staring down at the gorgeous Montage pool, we were ecstatic to finally claim a lounger for the day. Shamelessly, we spent the next 4-5 hours sun bathing, jumping in and out of the crisp pool, enjoying the pool-side service and again, taking in the incredible ocean views.
Having spent so much time at The Montage, we had extremely high expectations for our stay and I am so pleased to say our quick staycation absolutely lived up to the hype. No one can argue with the breathtaking views and elegant rooms The Montage boasts.
What transforms the experience from a relaxing vacation to a uniquely incredible memory is their impeccable service staff. From the gentlemen in valet, the waiters/waitresses across the resort, the housekeeping staff and even the maintenance workers, every single person greets you with a cheerful smile always ready to assist you in any way they can.
Grudgingly, we headed back to our room to pack up our bags. With a heavy heart, I said my last goodbye’s to the beautiful marble tub and my cozy bathrobe. I’ve been dying to do a post on The Montage for months now and share some photos of their breathtaking property. Even though it was a brief 24 hour, spontaneous trip, we enjoyed every minute of our indulgent staycation.
Can’t wait to be back for another, hopefully longer stay soon! Not even a week had gone by after our visit and we were already back in the lobby with our laptops, saying hello to our favorite wait staff. How lucky are we to have this paradise right in your backyard??