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- Best Overall: Inn at Laguna Beach – See Rates at TripAdvisor "With a prime location on a bluff overlooking Main Beach Park, the Inn at Laguna Beach is our favorite hotel in town."
- Best Budget: Laguna Beach Lodge – See Rates at TripAdvisor "There is a free continental breakfast served every morning, as well as a heated pool area with loungers."
- Best Boutique: Hotel Joaquin – See Rates at TripAdvisor "While there are other intimate hotels in town that have their own allure, you can’t beat Joaquin in terms of utterly chic decor."
- Best for Luxury: Surf & Sand Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Each room has its own balcony, not to mention separate tubs and showers and modern beach-chic decor."
- Best for Families: Montage Laguna Beach – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The most luxurious resort in Laguna Beach is also extraordinarily kid-friendly."
- Best for Romance: Casa Laguna Inn and Spa – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The hotel is set on lushly landscaped grounds with fountains and a belltower offering views of the ocean."
- Best for Nightlife: La Casa Del Camino – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The hotel itself has 37 rooms, decorated in either Spanish or contemporary style."
- Best for Business: Holiday Inn Laguna Beach – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Services include a concierge and laundry and dry cleaning."
- Best for Golf: Ranch at Laguna Beach – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Rooms here range from spacious standard rooms with private patios to the two-bedroom Treehouse suite."
Best Overall: The Inn at Laguna Beach
With a prime location on a bluff overlooking Main Beach, The Inn at Laguna Beach is our favorite hotel in town. Of course, the true oceanfront setting (it’s actually on the ocean side of the North Coast Highway) is a crowd-pleaser, but the hotel itself also impresses. Many of the 70 rooms have water views — and some even have balconies — and they’re decorated with a casual beachy theme with rattan furniture and beige hues. While there’s no on-site restaurant, the hotel does do breakfast with baked goods, hot items like breakfast wraps, and other options like cereal and yogurt. Plus, the hotel is right next door to the famous Las Brisas restaurant, and within a ten-minute walk of dozens of other options. There's an on-site rooftop bar and terrace, however, as well as a pool and hot tub, a free daily wine reception (there’s milk and cookies for the kids), and free beach chairs and umbrellas for guests.
Best Budget: Laguna Beach Lodge
Orange County might be known as one of the priciest areas in Southern California, but that doesn’t mean you need to splurge to stay. For an affordable option, consider the Laguna Beach Lodge. The motel-style accommodation is pretty bare bones, with no full-service restaurant, spa, business center, or gym. There is, however, free continental breakfast served every morning, as well as a heated pool area with loungers. Rooms are also quite simple but clean, and although the decor is tired, there are microwaves, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi. The Laguna Beach Lodge typically attracts budget-minded travelers from backpackers to families who are spending the majority of their time at Treasure Island Beach, just a five-minute walk away, or in Downtown Laguna Beach, a ten-minute drive away. Guests should note that parking is free, so it definitely makes sense to use your car to get out into town or nearby nature.
Best Boutique: Hotel Joaquin
Hotel Joaquin is the boutique hotspot Laguna Beach had been missing until it opened in fall 2018. While there are other intimate hotels in town that have their own allure, you can’t beat Joaquin in terms of utterly chic decor. The property, designed by Robert McKinley, who also did Montauk’s famous Surf Lodge, has a ’50s-era California bungalow-meets-St. Barth’s beach aesthetic that’s both cozy and luxurious. The 22 guestrooms feature exquisite marble baths, and many have Juliette balconies. While the hotel is not on the beach itself, it’s just a block and a half away. On the property, you’ll find guests lounging by the pool; dining at the all-day Mediterranean restaurant, Saline; getting a massage or wellness treatment; or simply relaxing in the lounge, which has an extensive vinyl collection for guests’ enjoyment. For off-site activities, guests can consult George, who can organize adventurous excursions from scuba diving to hiking.
Best for Luxury: Surf & Sand Resort
If you’re looking for a more luxurious resort-like feel — with all the bells and whistles, of course — check out the Surf & Sand Resort, a 167-room property that sits right on a 500-foot stretch of beach. Each room has its own balcony, not to mention separate tubs and showers and modern beach-chic decor in a blue-and-white palette. There are amenities aplenty here that cater to both adults and children, including the Aquaterra spa that offers a full range of treatments from massages to manicures; the all-day Splashes restaurant serving coastal cuisine on a patio overlooking the ocean; a heated swimming pool and hot tub; a fitness center; and beach goodies like chairs and umbrellas, plus food and beverage service while you’re sitting on the sand. You can also rent boogie boards, paddleboards, and other sporting equipment right on the beach. Another perk to Surf & Sand? The hotel has a prime location within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and galleries.
Best for Families: Montage Laguna Beach
The most luxurious resort in Laguna Beach is also extraordinarily kid-friendly, making it our top pick for the best family hotel in town. Like Surf & Sand Resort, Montage is all about the amenities. There’s the massive infinity-edge Mosaic Pool, off of which are a hot tub and a children’s pool; a full-service wellness center with a spa, salon, yoga studio, gym, a lap pool, saunas and steam rooms, a cold plunge pool, and a whirlpool; a business center; and a children’s program that entertains kids for half- or full-day sessions. The hotel also has direct beach access, and the concierge can set you up with water sports. When it comes to restaurants, there are several options from fine dining at the Loft and the Studio to casual dining at the Mosaic Bar and Grille. You can also catch live music in the Lobby Lounge daily. At the end of the day, guests retreat to one of the 250 tranquil rooms and suites.
Best for Romance: Casa Laguna Inn and Spa
Looking for a romantic getaway? Book a stay at the Casa Laguna Inn and Spa, a historic property with just 23 rooms that caters to adults to create a quiet, cozy experience. Each room is individually decorated by superstar designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who expertly restored the original 1920s Mission-style structure and infused Moroccan elements like colorful mosaic tiles into it. The hotel is set on lushly landscaped grounds with fountains and a belltower offering views of the ocean. Other amenities include an intimate spa with both indoor and outdoor space (couples’ massages are their specialty, with a two-person soaking tub available for booking as well), a heated pool with loungers, a complimentary continental breakfast, small bites served throughout the day, and a free daily wine-and-cheese hour. There’s also free Wi-Fi. The hotel is not on the beach itself, but it’s just a short walk to Victoria Beach and a five-minute drive to Downtown Laguna Beach.
Best for Nightlife: La Casa Del Camino
With a rooftop bar that’s one of the hottest spots in town, La Casa Del Camino is the place to stay if you’re looking for on-site nightlife. Appropriately named the Rooftop Lounge, the bar is a popular spot for both guests and locals, with ocean views, happy hour on weekdays, and a great food menu. A perk if you’re a hotel guest: you can make reservations for up to four people, while non-guests must purchase a package in order to secure a table. The hotel itself has 37 rooms, decorated in either Spanish or contemporary style. There’s no pool or gym here, but the beach is just a short walk away (the resort fee includes beach equipment), and the hotel has partnered with a local gym to provide complimentary access for guests.
Best for Business: Holiday Inn Laguna Beach
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill Holiday Inn — the brand’s Laguna Beach outpost feels more like a boutique than a chain. While it might not stack up against the beachfront luxury boutiques, particularly in terms of decor, it’s a great option for business travelers who want access to Downtown Laguna Beach (it’s within walking distance) and the surf and sand (just across the road). At the Holiday Inn, there are just 54 rooms that face a quiet, lush courtyard with a heated pool. The Spanish-style decor isn’t the trendiest, but the hotel was recently renovated, so everything is brand new. Guests have access to a business center and meeting rooms for work, while they can relax at the on-site restaurant or bar or work out at the fitness center. Other services include a concierge and laundry and dry cleaning. Given the Holiday Inn’s affordability, it makes for a great choice for business travelers heading to Laguna Beach.
Best for Golf: The Ranch at Laguna Beach
Set on 87 acres in the Alisa and Wood Canyons, The Ranch at Laguna Beach, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, is home to the town’s only golf course, making it an ideal stay for those looking to break out their clubs. That said, it’s much more than a golfer’s retreat. The former 19th-century homestead came off a three-year renovation in 2016 that gave the property new life as a top-tier luxury resort. Guests have access to amenities like the 3,000-square-foot Sycamore Spa, which also features a gym and fitness classes; the Harvest restaurant that serves dishes created with ingredients grown on the on-site garden; Ben’s Pantry café; a kid’s club; and a saltwater pool and hot tub with an adjacent bar. The hotel is also less than a quarter-mile walk to the beach, though complimentary shuttle service is provided. Rooms here range from spacious standard rooms with private patios to the two-bedroom Treehouse suite, each featuring a Spanish-influenced California bungalow style.