Hotel of the Week: A Picture Perfect Setting for Romance… or Rug Rats

View from Terrenea Resort

This was the ocean view from my room at Terranea resort in Ranch Palos Verdes, CA… about 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles. That’s one of the things that makes this Mediterranean style 582 room resort special – all of the rooms offer private balconies, and most have ocean views. I could have stayed there all night and watched the sun set on this gorgeous only in So Cal summer night.

The setting for this huge-but-doesn’t-feel-too-big resort is spectacular – on one of the most gorgeous parts of the California coast… and it really is secluded from major developments or traffic, as it sits right at land’s edge on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Although it is along the coast, the stretch of beach for guests is not that large, but pretty.

At certain times of year you can see the sun both rise and set thanks to it’s location…. you have views from the pools as well as the guest rooms.

My favorite place to catch the view is at one of the restaurants: Nelsons, which sits right on the cliff. It is a casual environment… with an outdoor deck that also boasts a fire pit.

We went at sunset – the best time – but you really do need to get there early as it fills up fast. We were told it was a two hour wait to eat… but it ended up only being 30 minutes.

Like most of the restaurants at Terranea, Nelson’s has a children’s menu. The upscale resort could easily have catered more to an elite, adults only crowd, but the management was smart enough to realize more adults are traveling with their young children.

They have a number of activities for kids – My kids spent all day at the family pool with a 140 foot water slide and a water play area…. they barely came up to our lounge chairs for a break.

There is also a kids camp where you can drop in,  a family-friendly Par 3, 9 hole ocean front golf course, and a s’more party at night by the pool. (By the way for you golfers – the 9 hole course is brilliant in my opinion. When traveling, golf can eat up a big chunk of your day – 9 holes allows you to have a great round, then leave some time for relaxing too. If you want a longer course, Trump National Golf Club is a public course about three miles away.)

As a critic, I often see hotels that try to do too much – Terranea gracefully can accommodate and satisfy couples as well as families – There is an adult only pool that is quiet and has ocean views, and also a spa pool near the 50,000 sq foot very-adult indulging spa.

Another nice touch for adults and couples: You are welcomed at check in with a glass of champagne. They won me over right there – a really nice touch.

Another nice touch was a bottle of Paraiso Pinot noir and incredible chocolate covered strawberries in our room!! (Note: sorry – but that was a personal touch from the manager.) But you can order the Pinot in the restaurants and although I’m not a huge Pinot fan, it was darn good.

If you rent one of Terranea’s two, three, or four bedroom villas, you can keep the wine in your kitchen. These rooms are great options for families, or groups traveling together.

There were a lot of locals at Terranea – especially for dinner- and with good reason.

If you are visiting Los Angeles, and want to take in all the sights of Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Universal Studios, Santa Monica and Malibu beaches, Getty museums – Terranea is not the most convenient location, especially since  – shocker – Los Angeles has a little traffic problem.

But what I always do when booking a trip to a big city is find a relaxing resort or waterfront hotel that provides a balance in your trip. If your budget allows, I would add a few days here to stay planted, unwind, and enjoy the golden sunshine on our stunning coastline.

Why can’t summer last forever?

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