he Laguna Beach Ranch opened last fall, but its golf course and grounds have been a staple in Orange County since it opened as a country club in the 1950s.
The resort sits between Aliso and Wood Canyons and gives the impression of a modern and luxurious environment, with dark wood furniture paired with an earthy palette of greens, blues, and terracotta.
Although the resort itself is less than 350m from the ocean, the natural walls of the canyons create a feeling of being back to nature – we saw a few deer roaming near the herb garden as we walked up to at Harvest Restaurant – while the single and two-story room blocks are set around a volleyball court and pool area, giving it a retro SoCal vibe.
This place is all about comfort. The rooms are enormous; the bathrooms have large walk-in showers. Entry-level Canyon Rooms line the volleyball court and other common areas in bungalow-style decks with patios for lounging in the sun. Creekside Studios are larger, with space for a sofa bed and balcony or patio, while Creekside Suites offer a separate bedroom and living room. Cottages on two levels are particularly suitable for families.
The crowning glory, however, is the treehouse: a two-story hexagonal building with floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor fireplace, gourmet kitchen, and three bathrooms. It was once occupied by the original owners of the resort, Mr. and Mrs. Brown, and many original features from the 1950s and 1960s have been retained. And the view? This allows you to contemplate the beauty of the canyon and the Ben Brown golf course, in all its verdant splendor.
The hotel is a short drive from downtown Laguna Beach, where beachfront restaurants line the sand and galleries featuring local artists line the streets.
It is, of course, a surfer’s paradise, with the number of cove beaches making it perfect for beginners as well as more experienced surfers. And for activities above sea level, head to the canyon for a guided hike and some truly awe-inspiring views.
The Ranch at Laguna Beach, 31106 S Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA (001 949 499 2271; theranchlb.com) Double rooms start at $ 425 (Â£ 343), room only.