The Laguna Cliffs Marriott was probably one of the nicest Marriott hotels that I have ever stayed in. It felt more like a Ritz Carlton than a Marriott. Although I've never stayed at a Ritz, so I don't really know. :p But it was a really nice Marriott. The hotel had a Cape Cod style, and even though the buildings were a bit older, the whole hotel just completed renovations not too long ago, so everything still felt pretty new.
The one thing we didn't like about the hotel was the forced $29.00 daily valet parking. We tried to look for street parking but couldn't find one, so we ended up doing the mandatory valet parking. The valet attendants all looked very young--made me think that they were on their spring/summer break or something. :p
The lobby area was very nice and there's this glass wall with water trickling down. The property was not quite beach front but it was close to a pier. Around the area there were other really nice properties such as the Ritz Carlton and the St Regis, and I think those resorts were beach front.
Since we booked via Priceline, we got the lowest level room which was a resort view room. The receptionist asked if we wanted to upgrade to a partial ocean view room for a fee, but we decided to stick with our resort view room.
The resort was actually pretty big. We had to walk a LONG way to get to our room. I really liked the color scheme of the room, beige/soft blue/white, which was somewhat similar to the color scheme at our house. :)
The King bed was HUGE and there's a flat screen TV, desk area, and a small balcony. The bathroom looked a bit dated (maybe they skipped the renovation on the bathroom?) - but it still looked fine overall.
Our balcony overlooked some parking area and the city of Dana Point. We didn't spend too much time outside, but it was nice to have a balcony.
We actually didn't try any of the on-site restaurants, but there was an outdoors tapas/bar area that would be nice for an afternoon snack and drink.
Overall we really enjoyed our stay at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott. We actually didn't get to enjoy the pool. We ended up venturing out a lot and didn't get to experience the hotel much. The Marriott appeared to be one of the more reasonably priced hotels compared to the other high end hotels in the area, although the downside was that the hotel was not a true beachfront hotel. It's still a really nice hotel and we would recommend it if you are around the area.
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