Location: Dana Point, California
Size: 400 rooms
Meeting Space: More than 110,000 square feet
Access: Located 21 miles from John Wayne-Orange County Airport, 41 miles from Long Beach Airport, 60 miles from Los Angeles Airport and 68 miles from San Diego International Airport
There is an approachable air of luxury at the Monarch Beach Resort, where the soft breeze lazily passes by Tuscan-inspired buildings. It’s that signature air that sets this Southern California resort apart from others and has established its reputation for “barefoot elegance.”
The Monarch Beach Resort occupies one of the most coveted perches along the Pacific Ocean, where the Dana Point coastline stretches dramatically between San Diego and Los Angeles. The resort opened in 2001, but its signature sea-inspired color palette that consists of dreamy blues, vibrant greens and crisp whites is the result of the resort’s extensive $40 million renovation in 2015. Today, this Californian gem is home to 400 spacious guest rooms, the first Miraval Life in Balance Spa in California, an award-winning, championship Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed 18-hole golf course and more than 110,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space.
The resort’s Tuscan-style architecture gives the place a European luster, while the lush botanical gardens and verdant lawns show off the perks of being on California soil. Chef Donald Lockhart selects from California’s best for his menu at Aveo Table + Bar, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant; guests can also indulge on recipes by chef Michael Mina at Bourbon Steak Orange County. In addition to luxurious offerings like a well-groomed beach, rainfall showers in the newly refreshed guest rooms and an award-winning spa, it’s the exceptional customer service that keeps guests feeling pampered at the Monarch Beach Resort.
From a warm welcome at check-in to attentive service throughout the stay, the resort’s extraordinary ability to make each guest feel special extends to the events and meetings that take place on the property. More than 30,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and more than 80,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space give groups myriad options for gathering at the 172-acre resort, where the events team works individually with groups to create custom experiences before, during and after the event. From group building exercises on the beach to events held beneath the stars, your travelers can experience barefoot elegance for themselves with a meeting or event at the Monarch Beach Resort.
The meeting spaces at the Monarch Beach Resort are purposefully clustered to ensure a natural flow between general sessions and breakouts while offering multiple options for room layouts. The resort features two ballrooms — the Monarch Ballroom, for up to 600 guests, and the Pacific Ballroom, for up to 700 guests — each with its own attached promenade for additional reception space. Outdoor spaces range from the Grand Lawn, for up to 1,400 guests, and the Sunset Terrace, for up to 300 guests, to the Observation Deck, which holds 70 guests, and the Botanical Lawn South, for up to 3,500 guests. Multiple smaller meeting rooms are available for breakouts and boardroom-style meetings and can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 540 guests in a variety of seating arrangements. Full-resort buyouts are available as well.
Aside from the award-winning restaurants on the property, many of which are equipped to offer private dining experiences for groups, the Monarch Beach Resort employs a team of highly skilled caterers that excel at wowing guests with culinary masterpieces during events and meetings. From elegant plated breakfasts with starters like mixed fruit martinis marinated in mint and lemongrass to late-night snacks like Southern-fried chicken sliders with aioli and dill pickles, the menus are designed to please every palate. Ingredients are sourced locally, and local halibut and Santa Barbara shrimp have become favorites for many guests on the dinner buffet menu. Alcohol is available.
Each of the indoor meeting spaces offers easy access to the outdoor venues, making it simple for events to progress from a ballroom to the terrace or lawn. Meeting planners will have access to state-of-the-art technology, including plasma TVs, high-speed internet, videoconferencing capabilities, drop-down screens, flown projection, remote-operated curtains and lighting schemes, and integrated sound systems. The events team shines when planning teambuilding activities for groups, and past activities have included group surfing and stand-up paddleboarding lessons; whale-watching experiences, year-round at Dana Point; and group classes at the Miraval Life in Balance Spa.
Before and After
Booking a meeting or event at the Monarch Beach Resort ensures that your guests will be well cared for, even after the chairs have been stacked. Guests are free to explore the more-than 172-acres of coastal property at their leisure; whether they choose to spend that leisure time on the golf course, at the spa or on the beach is up to them. The resort recently expanded its pool complex, which now includes the luxe Monarch Pool, two infinity-edge whirlpool spas and a kid-friendly family pool. Guests will also enjoy easy access for day trips to nearby attractions such as Disneyland, SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo.