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surf & sand: my new laguna beach home!

Surf & Sand balcony

Oh, if only that title were true.

I mean, don’t I look like I belong on that balcony overlooking the Pacific?

Michael and I discovered Laguna Beach not long after we moved to California almost 17 years ago, and we fell in love with it immediately. It’s a gorgeous, art-focused beach town which I will write about separately but, because it’s less than an hour’s drive, we’ve never stayed overnight there.

Boy, have we been missing out.

When Visit Laguna Beach invited us to come and experience this gorgeous destination in ways we never had before, we couldn’t wait to jump in the car and head to Surf & Sand, a luxury resort which had been recommended to us for years. In fact, as soon as I posted a photo on Facebook, it seemed like half the world wanted to share their fond memories.

The hotel is just a mile from Main Beach, and you really can’t tell from the street front what’s on the amazing other side of the building. So when we opened the door to our room and saw this, we just grinned at each other.

Surf & Sand open terrace door

We live in San Diego, so we’re used to good views. But this? It was like being on a cruise ship, surrounded by ocean.

Surf & Sand ocean splash Also, we had a corner room so wherever we turned was spectacular.

Surf & Sand Laguna view

And we could enjoy all of it from the well-placed bed (which, by the way, lit up from underneath and was very helpful when I got up to pee in the middle of the night).

Surf & Sand bedAs if the views weren’t enough of a welcome — and, trust me, they were! — we had this personalized treat waiting for us. To me, there is nothing that says more about a hotel than its customer service. When they go out of their way to do something special for a guest, it makes me want to sing their praises — which is what I’m doing here. And what I did on Twitter. And Facebook. And Instagram.

Surf & Sand treats

I know I have to show you more than just our hotel room but, honestly, why would you even want to leave a room like this? Even the bathroom was filled with products from my all-time favorite, philosophy.

Surf & Sand bath products

But we did leave the room and had an incredible couple of days doing things in Laguna which, somehow, we had never even known about before. I will share those with you later but, meanwhile, let me show you some other parts of the hotel. The next three photos are from Surf & Sand because my own pictures don’t do them justice.

Just look at how pretty the pool is at twilight. We took a group photo here but can only imagine what we were all doing in it.

Surf & Sand pool

We enjoyed cocktails by the firepit — and, yes, the sunset really was that spectacular.

Surf & Sand firepit

And dinner at Splashes? Well, that will require a post in itself but I’ll just tell you it included duck eggs, Patagonian icefish and peanut butter-chocolate ganache WITH CELERY. Yep. You’ll have to wait to hear about that because we are all still talking about it weeks later.

Surf & Sand Splashes

Going back to my own photos, Michael and I loved starting the day with breakfast at Splashes.

Surf & Sand breakfast

We even enjoyed our surprise guest.

Surf & Sand bird

For two nights, we slept like babies, thanks to the roar of the ocean singing us its lullabye.

As someone who is happiest by the water, let me assure you I was very very happy here.

And next time we visit Laguna Beach again — which we will definitely be doing for Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters –we will be staying overnight.

At Surf & Sand, of course.


  1. Debbie Denny says:

    I would so like that view. Wonderful time from the sounds of it.

  2. You are very close to the ocean. That is what I look for in a vacation destination.

    • Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

      I live right by the ocean, but still have to drive a little to get there. I would love to wake up to the water every day!

  3. What an incredible view! Makes me want to go to the beach!

  4. You DO travel in style! I’m going to try to slip into your suitcase next trip out. FABULOUS!

  5. I love Laguna Beach but haven’t been there is a long time. Your post is making me want to go now! What a lovely hotel and I loved the plate of treats! Hmmm I feel a weekend getaway coming on.

  6. Love that. We celebrated my mom’s 80th birthday at Splashes…and the staff there was kind enough to bring out beach chairs and umbrellas so my folks (who both are a little teetery and use canes) could sit on the beach after brunch. It was a wonderful experience.

  7. I just love it there! The view is incredible. Next time lets make sure we are able to meet for a drink. Until then, I’ll see you at the outlets sometime soon!

  8. Wow! What gorgeous pictures! I love the water too and it looks like you were right on top of it! Fun..so glad you had such a special time.

  9. I love the water nearly as much as I love my Rocky Mountains. You are now responsible for me adding “Visit Laguna Beach” to my bucket list. Beautiful place!

  10. It looks beautiful and very picturesque. Reminds me of a few other resort towns on the ocean that we’ve visited.

  11. I remember the “Laguna Beach” reality show on MTV and it always looked like a great place to live and visit. You do look like you should have a house on the Beach

  12. Oh my gosh that is like a dream. I’d love to spend the evening getting sleepy by the fire pit and watching the sun go down.

  13. I am in desperate need of a vacation. This looks like just what I need.

  14. This looks and sounds amazing! I love your reviews because you make me feel like I am right next to listening tothe waves, sipping tea, and enjoying the moments. Thank you!

  15. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    That place looks AMAZING. I am a beach person, too, and I would LOVE to stay there.

  16. Oh, seriously, another killer place? You live the life! We are overdue to come south and I am torn as to which of your fabulous reviews to use!

  17. Wow what an amazing place to stay! The views are stunning!

  18. Wow, that is quite a view! I’ve never thought of visiting Laguna Beach but I may have to consider traveling there!

  19. OOOOH that looks so relaxing. I love the ocean.

  20. I need to go here! I love the ocean and I dream of falling asleep, listening to the ocean waves. What a gorgeous looking place!!!!

  21. I am so jealous! We’re back to winter weather here in Iowa after two weeks of spring weather. It looks like you had a great trip!

  22. Wow what a wonderful place to visit. I love finding new places to hang out at.

  23. Wow, this looks gorgeous!! It’s been way too long since my toes have been in the sand.

  24. I LOVE Laguna Beach! It’s absolutely beautiful there and just so relaxing!

  25. That would be a nice home, wouldn’t it? It could happen!

  26. Such beautiful views there! I live very close to the water in Florida and love just going for a moment and seeing everything. A hotel on the water would be a very nice treat.

  27. That is a spectacular view. I could get used to it too, and it wouldn’t take an ounce of effort. 🙂

  28. Okay, I need to go there. What an amazing place! So tranquil!

  29. aimee fauci says:

    I am wishing I could magically transport myself to this destination. Oh the beauty of it all.

  30. wow what a great view and I’m jealous! This would be a great place to get away and relax

  31. I NEED a week at this place. PLEASE? i love the ocean, and it’s been far too long since I’ve been at the sea. What a fabulous place! (and I love the Philosophy bath line, too!)

  32. This looks fantastic! Looking at your fab pictures, reminded me I need a vacation. Surf and Sand looks like just the spot!

  33. That sounds like my kind of getaway. I just love the views from your room.

  34. Beautiful! You lucky duck! I would love to visit Laguna Beach someday soon and I want to stay there.

  35. Laguna Beach is a jewel in SoCals cap. We visit often and find more to love each time. We’ve never stayed here but am now putting it on THE LIST! Keep living the life…and sharing it with us!

  36. What a gorgeous place to visit! I would never want to leave. The scenery is so amazing and the room is perfect.

  37. How great. Looks like a wonderful experience. I bet it is super relaxing.

  38. I have a new name for you: Laguna Lois. This sounds fantastic and I MUST GO!!!

  39. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Oh, it looks heavenly. In every way. I love Laguna Beach, too — as you know — and I would love to go back for another visit. Maybe the four of us should meet up at the Surf and Sand!

  40. We love Laguna Beach too. It is a wonderful place to spend a Sunday or a weekend. Surf & Sand sounds like my kind of place. We will have to check it out one of these next weekends.

  41. I am always the happiest by the water and this is my kind of view. all of the photos are gorgeous. You do get around:)

  42. That room looks like a dream come true! I’d never want to leave! And yes, those little personal touches really do make all the difference!

  43. Breathtakingly beautiful! I want to be there right now.

  44. Looks so beautiful and relaxing. One day I will see blue water!

  45. Chrissy Mazzocchi says:

    Awww too bad it isn’t your home but maybe one day! I’d love to wake up to that view every morning 🙂

  46. That looks so beautiful, I would love a beach home myself!

  47. Wow, this place looks amazing! So glad you had a nice time. We all deserve a little getaway once in a while!

  48. Oh my goodness, it looks like I will have to add this place to my wishlist and bump it up in the lineup for sure. It looks like you had a fab time for sure! I love hearing about the places you travel to – I always get some great ideas!

  49. The Pictures are really fabulous. Laguna beach is full of nature’s beauty & am sure you had a great time out there. Will have to plan a family trip to enjoy the beauty of this place.

  50. wow! what an amazing view, I can just hear the ocean

  51. That view surely is spectacular and what I wouldn’t give to be there right now.

  52. I am headed out that way in July and was trying to decide where to stay. You have sold me! Then I saw my favorite products, then desserts and drinks. I will be looking into booking next week! I would so rather go with a friends recommendation over anything! Thank you!

  53. Wow that is absolutely gorgeous. I would love nothing more than to sit there right now and stare out at that water.

  54. And that is how a travel should be – total fun and relaxation!

  55. Like you, I am someone happiest by the water too. This looks like an amazing spot on the planet. The views, the accomodations, and that pool! I would have a really hard time leaving!

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