Love may be timeless, as countless poets have written, but a reality is that romance is not. Our grandparents would have had a hard time understanding why anyone would feel a need to unplug. The idea that a bike ride followed by a yoga session would be a perfect afternoon for a couple in love might strike our great-grandparents as preposterous. While indulgence and luxury are unlikely to ever go out of fashion, today romance often involves getting out and exploring the world together.
Few resorts better grasp our changing definitions of romance than the Monarch Beach Resort near Dana Point in Southern California. Here’s a look at the reasons why, from its location to its restaurants, we think it is the most romantic property in America.
Escape to the Sea
The maxim that it’s all about location applies not only to real estate deals, but romance as well. Long at the top of romantic destinations has been the seaside. Perhaps it’s the associations with tales of captains longing for distant brides. Maybe it’s the abundance of negative ions which scientists believe raise our serotonin levels and improve our mood—for all things, including romance. Or perhaps it’s being in proximity to the awesome power of the sea, which creates a backdrop suited to love.
When it comes to oceanside settings, few places compete with the Monarch Beach Resort which sits on one of the most picturesque stretches of California coastline, with the mighty Pacific Ocean always nearby. Here the crisp salt air mingles with the scent of the blossoms of citrus trees and when the California sun shines, it’s hard to deny that a feeling of romance is in the air.
Your Private Retreat
Just as romance evolves, our taste in design evolves even faster. All of the guest rooms at the Monarch Beach Resort have been recently redesigned creating inviting retreats for two. A cool, soothing palette of blues, greens, and whites brings the ambiance of a sunny, seaside resort into the rooms. They have all the amenities one would expect of a luxury hotel, though hopefully you won’t be spending too much time watching the 55-inch flat-screen TV. Instead enjoy time together on your private patio or terrace or spending leisurely mornings in bed (300-thread-count sheets and goose-down comforters encourage sleeping in). WiFi is complimentary, though consider using your romantic weekend as a chance for a digital detox.
All suites feature soaking tubs, while the largest of the premium suites measure up to 3,100 square feet, if you are looking for a truly palatial home away from home.
Activities for Two
Monarch Beach Resort embraces the attitude that romance is often best nurtured by doing activities together. Whether both partners are trying something new for the first time, or one is introducing the other to a favorite sport, these can be the memories that last after the holiday is over.
Monarch Beach Resort’s par-70 course includes two oceanfront holes, and ocean views from the other 16 holes. Few courses get more romantic than that. Mindful golf instruction offers an opportunity for both partners to learn a new approach to the sport, and improve their skills in the process.
If golf isn’t your thing, you can choose from playing a game on the tennis club courts, borrowing a bike to explore the area around the property, or hiking nearby trails. The fitness center has a varied choice of classes: spin, yoga, and even mindful meditation—surely every relationship could benefit from some reminders to be more mindful.
Relax and Let Go
A number of psychological studies in recent years have indicated something that many of us intuitively know. One of the greatest challenges for couples can be the stress of work, finances, and just daily life generally intruding on their relationships, making it difficult to spend quality time together. The Miraval Life in Balance Spa is ready to help you leave the worries of the world behind, so you can focus instead on being present in the moment on your romantic weekend. The Couples Relaxation Retreat, which consists of a bath ritual followed by a full body massage, is just one treatment that will make your full inbox feel like a distant memory.
It can be hard to find time for a quiet meal in our busy daily lives, but there’s a reason why we associate a table for two with romance. Whether it’s a casual poolside meal of fish tacos or a candlelit dinner by the sea, it is an opportunity to experience new flavors together and talk about life, or simply your day, while leaving the work of cooking to the professionals in the kitchen. At the Monarch Beach Resort, the dining options include AVEO Table + Bar, a new Mediterranean restaurant showcasing California’s bounty of produce, and the elegantly contemporary Bourbon Steak Orange County from acclaimed chef Michael Mina.
Among the resort’s more casual options are the Part & Parcel Market where you can buy picnic provisions for your own al fresco, and very private, meal. Or you can opt for In-Room Dining, available 24 hours a day—no one will judge you. In fact, if you decide to order some items from the late-night Savory, Sweet, and Satisfying menu for a midnight snack together, it likely means the Monarch Beach Resort has succeeded at bringing some romance to your California escape.