Complete Coastal Comfort at a Hidden Gem on the Los Angeles Coast
Just last summer, my husband and I had plans for almost every weekend with the kids. We camped, hiked, went boogie boarding, crossed off a couple of states on our family’s “50 State” adventure. Another life, it seems like now. It has been one of the most wild years on record, from start until now: heading into month nine. These past few months, we limited our travels to much-needed local “staycations” for a change of scenery when possible. Gratefully, we live in a region with an abundance of spectacular destinations within an easy driving distance. So as summer stretched into fall and the specter of distance learning in the weeks ahead loomed, we discovered the ideal retreat at Terranea Resort.
Over the years, we’ve been blessed to experience a number of beautiful hotel properties that dot our coastline. But the images and descriptions available online didn’t do justice to the Mediterranean-inspired haven that debuted in June 2009 as the “only luxury destination resort on the Los Angeles coast.” Poised on the edge of a gorgeous California cliffside with its south-facing panoramic views of the Pacific, the 102-acre property welcomes each of its guests into an entirely new world of rejuvenation and adventure. The land itself used to be part of the Channel Island, and boasts a unique mix of geology and flora. Purchased in 1913 by a group of investors led by Frank A. Vanderlip, the peninsula became a completed coastal vision of a balmy Mediterranean aesthetic with a property meticulously designed to heighten and preserve the natural beauty of its oceanfront backdrop and elements sensitive to the area’s natural environment.
Each of the resort’s 582 beautifully appointed guest retreats overlook the property and the ocean below. Take your pick between a romantic suite for two, a sprawling two-bedroom, adults-only bungalow, an accommodation for the entire family like the three-bedroom ocean view casita, or one of the 32 villas (ranging from 1,850 sq. ft. to 2,800 sq. ft. with spacious kitchens and living areas. If your pleasure is dining, look no further than California coastal cuisine at Terranea’s nine distinct dining experiences from casual to full service. Fresh fare and unbelievable views partner to make it a foodie getaway. For culinary enthusiasts, Terranea Resort’s chefs showcase their gourmet offerings with a Farm-to-Table program where they harvest Meyer lemons from on-site lemon trees, herbs and vegetables grown on-site and at nearby Catalina View Garden for their celebrated cuisine. The resort has more than 120,000 honeybees (the honey is used candies, rubs, pastries and salad dressings as well as paired with house-made cheeses), presses olive oil from local olives, gathers and produces sea salt with water from the Pacific Ocean in salt beds at Terranea’s Sea Salt Conservatory. Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra received his kelp harvester license, allowing the resort to harvest and process Giant Kelp and other edible seaweeds added to salads, sea salt, rubs and other seasoning mixes and preparations.
If you’re into the outdoors, you can hit The Links at Terranea (a 9-hole par 3 course) or the beach - the spa, four heated pools (more on that in a minute), or one of many “Terranea Adventures,” including a chartered fishing boat or art classes (such as Mandalas and Margaritas, conducted on the patio at Nelsons and led by a spiritual wellness coach). There are even activities for the younger crowd at Tide Pool Kids Club and Adventure Camp (currently suspended due to government mandates), freeing up your day to lounge in one of the resort’s many cabanas or set off on an adventure of your own through the Experience Center.
While we like to explore the environs when traveling to a new region, this time we intended our visit to be a true “staycation,”remaining on property the entire time. A highlight of our experience was an dream day spent poolside (the resort features four sparkling pools with stunning ocean views) at the main resort pool where the kids (and admittedly their mom) couldn’t get enough of the family-friendly private cabana and poolside games. We dined poolside, noshing on classic favorites and light bites from The Grill, sipping craft cocktails and fun juice/soda combinations the kids concocted.
It felt like we’d frozen the best parts of summer over our stay, and knowing that it is just over 40 miles from the center of Orange County, I’ll be clear about one thing: we’ll be headed back to the peninsula whenever possible to dip our toes in the many luxuries offered at Terranea Resort.
100 Terranea Way
Rancho Palos Verdes