by dailykongfidence

What I love about staycations is that even though you are not too far from home, you feel transported to another destination and it can feel like you are worlds away.

A few weekends ago I was swept to a luxurious, coastal playground at the newly renovated Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA (this used to be the old St. Regis Monarch Beach hotel and underwent $50 million in renovations). Although my stay was incredible short (how could it not be when you are at a fabulous resort like this?), it was just what I need to refocus, reenergize and reinvigorate for the week ahead.

Upon arrival at the Monarch Beach Resort, the majestic fountain display, swaying palm trees, and the nearby ocean breeze stalled my breath as I knew this stay would be just the calm I craved. The wide open windows of the hotel are welcoming with views of the endless Pacific Ocean. The coastal, yet modern interior decor embraces the beauty of the seaside while staying minimal and upscale.

Valet entrance of the MBR complete with trolley to take you to the private beach

Lobby entrance of the resort

The Monarch Beach Resort property is in one word, grandeur. With the lush landscaping, perfectly manicured golf course and ocean views from every window, I can see why this is THE place to host weddings, special events, and parties. In fact, while we were here, the Children’s Hospital of Orange County was holding a fundraiser dinner which included a star studded performance by Alicia Keys herself.

Beautiful succulent and landscaping all over the resort

Taking it all in near the resort pool

On the infamous steps from the resort to the grounds

I stayed in a standard guest room with the resort pool view and a peekaboo view of the ocean. The spacious 535 square feet room is the definition of comfortable elegance. Every room in this resort features a private balcony or patio to enjoy the fresh breeze of the ocean or capture the picturesque sunset. While a hotel room has to include many things to grab my attention, a comfortable bed for a restful sleep is undeniably at the top of my list. The luxurious goose-down comforter and the firm mattress definitely makes it almost impossible to get out of bed. The marble bathroom with soaking tub is equally relaxing as the bed while you indulge in the fragrant La Labo Santal toiletries. The standard guest room sleeps four, but if you require more space during your stay, you can see the larger room options here.

Welcome salt water taffy and note

King size bed with 300 thread count linens

Writing table and dresser

Chaise lounge and private balcony

Marble bath and shower

Luxurious Le Labo toiletries

Le Labo Santal bar soap

Marble countertop dresser

Cozy knitted throw provided for your use

Writing essentials

Comfortable duvet and sheets make waking up difficult

Etched monarch symbol on window to private balcony

Resort view from our balcony

Resort pool view from balcony

While it was too cold to take a dip in the magnificent pool, that didn’t stop me from checking out everything from Sombra, the pool bar, to the private cabanas complete with an adorable swing chair. What I love about this pool is that there is an abundance of seating for all of the guests. There is also a separate kid friendly Family Pool as not to disturb the adult guests. Two jacuzzi spas are set to an infinity edge so that you can relax as you overlook the golf course and the Pacific Ocean. In addition to these stunning pools, there is a lap pool located inside the Miraval Spa.

Resort view from the pool

Extra large seating at the resort pools

Abundance of lounge chaises available as well as private cabanas

Private cabana equipped with a swing chair

Family pool area

Get bites and drinks at Sombra the poolside restaurant

Golf course view from resort pools

Speaking of the spa, I was treated to a luxurious manicure and pedicure at the Deborah Lippmann Salon inside the Miraval Spa. Deborah Lippmann is the go-to celebrity manicurist for many fashion magazines and fashion houses and her polish colors are all so stunning and ironically, named after songs. Fun fact, Deborah Lippmann is also a jazz singer and I was able to watch her perform live at the Monarch Beach Resort in conjunction with the release of her newest nail polish collaboration, Brand New Day, with the Miraval Spa.  In addition to the Deborah Lippmann Salon, the spa also has The Dry Bar right next door which pretty much makes Miraval Spa a one-stop shop to relax, get pampered, and get ready for the day!

While I was here I was able to dine at three of the six restaurants at the resort. I started out with appetizers from 33 North and sat outdoors on the patio amongst the fireside pits overlooking the ocean. What I love about 33 North is that it features locally sourced, natural, and organic seafoods, meats, poultry and produce.  Since dinner was in an hour, I only had time to much on some chips and guacamole as well as bruschetta.

Dinner was a sampling of all the amazing features of Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern. I was able to enjoy my dinner in the living room salon of the resort while listening to the talented vocals of Deborah Lippman. The dinner tasting included some of Michael Mina’s famous dishes including lobster pot pie, ahi tuna tartare, endive salad with pomegranate and hazelnuts, white truffle risotto, braised duck, and truffled mac and cheese. Everything from the food presentation, to the impeccable service, to the flavor of the food was absolute perfection.

As if I didn’t indulge enough already, the next morning I was stuffed beyond belief at AVEO Table + Bar.  I opted for the extravagant breakfast buffet which pretty much includes a make your own eggs/ omelet station as well as an extraordinary display of pastries, breads, oatmeal, yogurt, bagels, and hot breakfast items you could possibly desire for breakfast. I even managed to make my own avocado toast creation with the guacamole from the egg station (because you know I can’t live without my avocado toast).  This breakfast literally left my belly full till dinner that night!

AVEO Table + Bar entrance

AVEO’s gorgeous interior decor

AVEO private dining available

All in all this was an incredible staycation and I would come back here in a heartbeat. I barely had time to experience all of the activities that the resort has to offer and will definitely be back again in the summer to take full advantage of the pool and private beach access. While the service and luxury of this resort speaks for itself, even the view alone is worth a visit to this gorgeous resort.

// Pros //

// Cons //

  • Restaurants can be pricey as expected for resorts
  • Rooms have Keurigs not Nespresso machines

Monarch Beach Resort
One Monarch Beach Resort
Dana Point, CA 92629

/ Outfit Details /

Sweater | Anthropologie
Jeans | Zara
Boots | old (similar style here)
Sunglasses | Celine
Bag | Chanel

Bomber Jacket | Missguided
Denim Jacket | sold out (similar style here)
Jeans | Korean brand (similar style here)
Boots | old (similar style here)
Sunglasses | Celine
Bag | Balenciaga

Thank you to the Monarch Beach Resort and Miraval Spa for spoiling me beyond belief during my stay.

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Lauren Nakagawa February 28, 2017 - 12:49 pm

You’re looking fabulous Christine, love this hotel!


dailykongfidence February 28, 2017 - 5:07 pm

Thanks Lauren! This hotel is such a perfect getaway that really makes you feel like you are on vacation on a different island!

Jo February 28, 2017 - 2:32 pm

This resort is truly breathtaking Christine! As I said before, I love reading all your hotel/resort reviews which are all very informative, detailed and honest. They help us while we plan for our future vacations. I love when you described their big windows opens to the gorgeous view of pacific ocean which reminds me a hotel I stayed at in Maui years ago. I always have a thing for beach/ocean resorts, they always give me that romantic feelings which I love so much. If I ever make to your part of country, this resort will definitely be on my list to visit/stay. I also adore the outfits you shared here, very casual yet chic at the same time. Great post as always, Christine.


dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:09 pm

Awww, thanks Jo! I definitely agree with you that there is something about an oceanview hotel that makes it so special and relaxing. This hotel is just a few miles from my house but literally feels like I am on an island somewhere!

Amy February 28, 2017 - 3:35 pm

You are the queen of making travel look so glamorous and luxe, Christine!! Le Labo bath products at a resort are always a plus! I’m dying to stay here someday – maybe during a little staycation! Thanks for always sharing such great, in depth reviews of your getaways babe! Makes me feel like I’m right there with you 😉

xx, Amy

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:10 pm

Yes you have to Amy! You would love it and it is so relaxing. I will definitely have to go back and take more advantage of the experience!

Julia Shkvo February 28, 2017 - 3:45 pm

Great post and beautiful photo, Dear<3
I'd be happy friendship blogs ♥
Julia Shkvo

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:10 pm

Thank you so much Julia!

Mercy February 28, 2017 - 4:48 pm

I love staycations too, nice to have a getaway every now and then. I like your good review of the resort and the detailed descriptions of the amenities. Love your bags.

Catarine February 28, 2017 - 6:00 pm

Christine, i absolutely loved discovering this resort through your eyes, meaning your awesome post. What an elegant cool place.
The only bad thing was that you couldn’t dive into the pool due to the cold.
I would love to stay in this resort when the weather gets warmer.
Have a great week, dear.

Angela February 28, 2017 - 6:19 pm

I love your travel photos! Love the outdoor pool and design of the cabanas; especially paired with your outfits <3

angela | Ohh Angie

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:15 pm

Thank you Angela! I wish I could have used the pool but it was so cold when I went! =)

Ashleigh D'Mello February 28, 2017 - 6:24 pm

Oh WOW! This place looks so incredible! Staycations are so much fun and definitely underrated – perfect excuse to just relax and recharge without the stresses that going on a big trip brings!

Ashleigh x

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:16 pm

You totally said it Ashleigh! I love staycations and you’re right, less stress all together. This resort is definitely up there on my list of go to hotels nearby and I will be back for more relaxation there soon!

Mel February 28, 2017 - 6:27 pm

I love your gray sweater, it looks so comfy!!

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:17 pm

Thanks Mel! It has been a constant in my wardrobe lately if you couldn’t tell. =)

Nicola February 28, 2017 - 8:36 pm

Your clothes are so fashion, and i love your blog

Sarah-Allegra February 28, 2017 - 10:15 pm

Oh my, what a hotel! I hope you had a comfy stay! Love all the impressions and of course your gorgeous outfits!

All the best, Sarah-Allegra

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:18 pm

Thanks Sarah-Allegra! It was definitely a comfy and restful stay and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

Monica Sors March 1, 2017 - 1:47 am

This hotel is amazing, I really love it.

Mónica Sors

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:18 pm

Hi Monica! Thank you so much, I hope you are having a great week so far!

Amy March 1, 2017 - 11:38 am

What a beautiful place!! Loving your sweater and boots.

Amy Ann
Straight A Style

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:22 pm

It really is so beautiful and just the perfect getaway Amy. Thank you!

Natalie @ Passport Out Asia March 2, 2017 - 5:21 am

OMG This place looks perfect! Loving your Balenciaga bag, dear :*

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:23 pm

Hi Natalie! Thank you so much. This Balenciaga bag is a perfect size to tote around and I love that it is also a crossbody!

Liz March 2, 2017 - 6:25 am

So chic, so fancy


dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:25 pm

Thanks Liz, the hotel is fancy, but doesn’t feel uptight or too luxurious, it just feels so relaxing.

Sophie March 2, 2017 - 8:05 am

Nice hotel.It’s nowonder you feel like your stay was short.I love your outfits.So nice as well especially the grey sweater.

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:27 pm

That is true Sophie, the elegance and comfort of the Monarch Beach Resort was probably why the stay felt shorter than it really was. I love this sweater too and have been wearing it all winter long!

Yuliya March 2, 2017 - 11:49 am Reply
dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:27 pm

Thanks Yuliya, it really is such a gorgeous property! If you are ever in town, you absolutely need to check it out!

Jennifer March 2, 2017 - 11:55 am

Amazing! I stumbled upon this hotel review and am in love with the property. Adding to my hotel list for sure!

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:29 pm

Hi Jennifer! It is an easy property to fall in love with and there is so many wonderful things to do here. You must check it out one day if you are in the area!

Lucy Hernandez March 2, 2017 - 3:28 pm

What an amazing staycation! I’ve never been to this property but with it being so close now I have to visit! And I love that their in room amenities are LeLabo, hello luxurious! I’m also slightly obsessed with those boots and might have to stalk them! Cheers darling girl and have a great rest of your week.
PS can you just be my new travel resource?! XO

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:30 pm

You would love it here Lucy! Especially with the family…the kids would love the pool and they have a kids club too. With the private beach there too, it would be a perfect and quick getaway for you!

Oanna fashionsimbol March 2, 2017 - 3:46 pm

Such a gorgeous double denim , love it <3

dailykongfidence March 2, 2017 - 5:30 pm

Thank you Oanna! I have been obsessed with double denim lately!

Jenelle March 2, 2017 - 9:43 pm

What a view!! Love that pool too. There is something kinda fun about staying in a resort, right? Just to unwind and chill out. Love this look on you! That knit is so cosy and chic.
xx Jenelle

Camille March 3, 2017 - 5:00 am

Beautiful place for a staycation! Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

Camille xo

Kay March 3, 2017 - 11:49 am

Awesome resort and I never knew Deborah Lippmann is also a jazz singer, so cool!!

Much love <3

Aimara March 3, 2017 - 2:34 pm

OMG, when can I go? hahahaha
These photos are absolutely amazing and everything about your stay sounds amazing!
This looks like the perfect staycation for sure!
Have an awesome weekend girl.

diana March 3, 2017 - 3:05 pm

This place is really looks great to relax, reconnect and reenergized for a next busy month. The gray sweater looks so cool!
I seriously need to travel more in Cali and discover places like this one!

Jennifer Lee Quattrucci March 3, 2017 - 5:47 pm

This is truly a beautiful reflection of your staycation. I always enjoy reading your vacation posts because you describe everything so poetically and with such detail it not only helps me visualize every part of the adventure it makes me feel like I was there. I’m obsessed by the seating by the pool and can’t believe you actually heard Lippman perform! The breakfast you described sounds perfect and I’m so glad this was such a fabulous experience for you.

Aldora March 3, 2017 - 9:07 pm

Oh wow! How can you look so stylish and on point even though you are on a staycation? So did you manage to attend the fundraiser dinner with Alicia Keys performing? The resort looks awesome and definitely not crowded (I’ve been to one in Bali & it sucks to have people around to photo bomb my pictures). And your mani pedi experience sounds like a royal treat! I love how you reviewed the resort stating the features, pros & cons – I wouldn’t view not having Nespresso as a con because I’d rather immerse myself in the beautiful scenery than intoxicate myself with caffeine *LOL

Sharon Wu March 5, 2017 - 11:30 pm

Omg I would looooove to go on a staycation here! Literally looks like heaven. You look so chic as always! xo, sharon

Adelina March 5, 2017 - 11:56 pm

OH MY WORD! What an INCREDIBLE experience babe! I remember seeing all your snaps while you were there too and this place is magical! AND a performance by Alicia Keys! Need to visit this place next time I’m around!! xx, Adelina

Open Kloset By Karina March 6, 2017 - 8:24 am

Hey Sweet Christine,
This Resort is sooo Beautiful, and Love that you Show so Detailed post about the Place:)
I think this is very important, I travel a lot too and I show many Hotels
on my Blog:)
Totally would visit this Resort after seeing your Post and Review:)
And Alicia Keys… wow Love

Love Open Kloset By Karina
Happy Monday

Michelle March 6, 2017 - 4:08 pm

This resort looks AMAZING! I wish I was at that pool right now! And that was just a standard room? I can’t even imagine what an upgrade would look like. Hope you had a great staycation!

Lily March 7, 2017 - 1:25 am

Is this even real, oh my goodness! I’m so jealous – this looks and sounds SO amazing!!! I really loved those shots with your Chanel bag the most. What a freaking gorgeous resort though, my gosh!

Lisa Linh March 7, 2017 - 8:21 am

Wait, I need to visit this place now. So gorgeous!

Lisa Linh

Elif Kadioglu March 7, 2017 - 4:01 pm

This resort is heaven. Definitely on my list! It’s looks really relaxing! Such a nice pool would hang around ten whole day! I love your Chanel bag xoxo Elif

Thomas Falkenstedt March 8, 2017 - 1:05 am

What a truly splendid hotel which is worthy both a quick staycation or a longer vacation! I read your review and thoroughly enjoyed the richness of details as well as how vividly you described the resort and it felt like I was there at times! And if the only con (except it being a bit pricey) is the fact that there wasn’t a Nespresso machine in the room, then there certainly are no flaws at all to me as I don’t drink coffee, haha. 🙂
Thanks for a great review!

Eliza March 8, 2017 - 9:32 am

Everything looks so neat and wonderful. I bet you had a great time staying in this hotel. The place itself is just fantastic. I’d be delighted to spend their a week or two, enjoying the view and playing golf.

Cheers, Eliza |

Manda March 8, 2017 - 11:49 am

Wow! What a stunning place to staycation! The is one of the prettiest standard rooms I’ve seen and what breathtaking views! How nice was it to get a pamper sesh from someone so talented? When it comes to the meal…you had me at organic! It all sounds so lovely and this is definitely on my list of places to stay next time I’m in CA!

Manda |

EVA March 8, 2017 - 3:00 pm

You always share us beautiful places and hotels. Nice to see all feeds.

Sheree March 8, 2017 - 9:20 pm

I love this hotel! My best friend got married here and it was so beautiful. I’m a little sad that they changed the name to Monarch beach resort in lieu of the St. Regis brand, but the hotel is the same. The Le Labo is a nice addition tho. I would say both the pro and con is how difficult it is to get there lol…its like 20 minutes off the freeway. Great review.

~ xo Sheree
Posh Classy Mom

dailykongfidence March 12, 2017 - 3:07 pm

I know, it is such an amazing place to stay and get married. The landscape is beautiful for a wedding! You’re right, it is a bit off from the freeway but well worth it!

Katya March 9, 2017 - 11:53 am

I’ve never been to California but this hotel seems like a perfect choice to stay at! I absolutely adore the pool and those cute chairs that you can relax in! Also how cute is the room itself? If definitely invites for relaxation!

By the way, I’m so obsessed with your boots! The heel decor is so stunning! Not to mention that gorgeous sweater! You are such a beauty!

Kate Tik March 11, 2017 - 12:30 am

I have always wanted to go to this hotel! It looks absolutely divine. Hopefully next time my mom is in town we can make it out there and enjoy its beauty. Thank you for sharing!

dailykongfidence March 12, 2017 - 3:13 pm

You must Kate! I know for sure you and your mom will both be swept away by its beauty. They have a great tea time too!

marcy March 15, 2017 - 2:25 am

Such a beautiful resort babe!! Im always in the mood for looking and exploring new places for sure will add this to my bucket list.
LOVE the pictures and you look stunning.


Merel March 15, 2017 - 11:56 am

This hotel looks amazing!! <3 I really need to visit

X Merel

Marie March 28, 2017 - 9:35 pm

This resort is top notch! I just hope one day I can experience it for myself!

dailykongfidence March 28, 2017 - 11:08 pm

We should go together!


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