The Best Hotels in Laguna Beach and Dana Point

Shaped by artists’ enclaves, surf culture, LGBTQ heritage, and Hollywood glitterati, Laguna Beach and Dana Point have a laid-back but sophisticated vibe. The hotels here capture the atmosphere perfectly, offering amenities like vintage vinyl and loaner boogie boards alongside Mediterranean, Mission Revival, and mid-century-modern style. Whether you come for the picture-perfect beaches, rooftop cocktails, canyon hikes, or ocean kayaking, you can find a chill but chic stay to suit your needs.

510 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Why we love it: A historic property teeming with rich, Moorish style

The Highlights:
- Iconic architecture and bold interior design
- A serene pool area surrounded by lush greenery
- A focus on sustainability, with low-energy lighting and water-efficient landscaping

The Review:
Built by Frank Miller and Arthur Benton in the early 1900s, this regal stone building presides over Laguna Beach, echoing the area’s Spanish Mission roots with white stucco, red terra-cotta roof tiles, secret turrets, and spacious patios. Inside, renowned interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard enhanced the castle-like structure with hand-painted furniture, Moorish tiles and lanterns, and wainscoting worthy of a Marrakech palace, giving the hotel a bohemian vibe. He also added softer notes like oxblood-leather armchairs and cerulean velvet couches that echo the blue of the Pacific below. Despite being a registered historic structure, Casa Laguna became the area’s first hotel to receive the Green Eco-Leaf rating from iStayGreen.org. Its sustainable initiatives range from bulk amenities and soaps to low-energy lighting and water-efficient landscaping.

The 23 suites all feature custom marble vanities, handcrafted natural fiber mattresses, and Martyn Lawrence Bullard fabrics and wallpapers. Expect beautiful attention to detail at every turn, from Dean & DeLuca snacks to Cowshed amenities made famous by the spa in Somerset, England. If you’re visiting for a special occasion, book the Bungalow, a freestanding, 600-square-foot sanctuary that offers ocean views from the living room and jetted clawfoot tub. It also has a large private balcony with a hammock for two. When not relaxing in their rooms, guests can enjoy a complimentary European-style breakfast as well as Mediterranean small plates throughout the day, all of which are available in the lobby, by the pool, or packed up for a picnic on the beach. There’s also an intimate spa with an outdoor area, where you can enjoy ocean views from the soaking tub before indulging in a hot stone massage.

985 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Why we love it: A seaside sanctuary that marries high design with local adventure

The Highlights:
- The mix of Mediterranean and mid-century California style
- Working record players and vintage vinyl libraries in place of TVs in guest rooms
- Complimentary morning yoga, plus an “Adventure Collection” full of bikes, kayaks, surfboards, and hiking and snorkeling gear

The Review:
Opened in 2018, Hotel Joaquin pairs downtown cool with coastal elegance. The property comes courtesy of Paul Makarechian, who grew up in Orange County and now owns Auric Road, a collection of “petite resorts” that also includes Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs and Sonoma Coast Villa Resort & Spa in Bodega, California. Once a roadside motel, Joaquin now blends elements of St. Bart’s, the Mediterranean, and mid-century SoCal beach culture for an exclusive yet relaxed feel, with curated artwork and vintage finds around every corner. Light floods the guest rooms, some of which have balconies and private patios (book La Vue for the hotel’s only picture window, framing views of the ocean and Catalina Island). Each room also includes a working record player and vinyl library, as well as Anichini linens, Le Labo bath products, and artisanal snacks curated by Farm to People. The bathrooms pull out all the design stops with imported marble, hand-painted tiles, and brass fixtures.

At on-site restaurant Saline, guests can enjoy smoothies and other light fare for breakfast, wholesome salads and sandwiches for lunch, and Mediterranean-inspired share plates for dinner, along with house spritzes and creative cocktails all day long. When not lounging at the pool, take advantage of the hotel’s Adventure Collection, which includes complimentary surfboards, diving gear, bicycles, and more for exploring Laguna Beach. Should you prefer to hang on the beach, hotel staff will even set up your chairs, pack you a picnic, and deliver water sport equipment to Shaw’s Cove, just a two-minute walk from the property’s garden gate.

Note: You must be over 21 to reserve a room and at least 18 to stay at Hotel Joaquin. Service animals only.
211 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Why we love it: A centrally located stay near Laguna’s best beaches, parks, and restaurants

The Highlights:
- A dreamy setting right above Main Beach
- Delicious breakfasts and daily wine receptions
- A location within walking distance of Laguna’s best restaurants

The Review:
Galleries, restaurants, and nightlife lie just steps from the Inn at Laguna Beach, while Heisler Park sprawls along the nearby bluffs, offering a place to stroll, see art, or simply lounge in the sun on a grassy lawn. Still, guests don’t even have to leave the hotel to enjoy sand, surf, and epic Pacific sunsets. Here, the 70 guest rooms mix modern comforts (European-style duvets, pillowtop mattresses) with coastal style (louvered shutters, rattan furniture). Some even include private patios or balconies, but all feature extras like newspaper delivery, iHome docking stations, and loaner umbrellas and beach chairs.

Following a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2012, the Inn now boasts a more sustainable design, complete with low-VOC paint, renewable bamboo furniture, low-flow faucets and showers, tile made from recycled stone, and birchwood key cards. Not everything is paired back, however, especially the hotel’s signature breakfast, which includes artisan pastries, bacon brioche sandwiches, and bowls of fresh sliced fruit. Guests can also look forward to a daily wine reception, chilled milk and cookies in the lobby every evening, and cocktails at the Pacific Terrace Bar, which sits high above Main Beach. Best of all, the Inn is dog-friendly, so you can bring along your four-legged friend for a couple of days on the beach.
1289 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Why we love it: A Mission Revival property that blends Hollywood history with hang-ten culture

The Highlights:
- A location just minutes from the secluded Cress Street Beach
- A rooftop lounge with sweeping ocean views
- Guest rooms designed by iconic surf brands

The Review:
Once the haunt of writers, filmmakers, and Hollywood celebrities, this historic hotel on the Pacific Coast Highway famously hosted a lobby backgammon game between J. Paul Getty and Howard Hughes in the 1930s. Today, the pet-friendly property maintains its original grace with Spanish-style stucco and domed arches, but 10 of its 41 suites have moved on to a decidedly different sort of California cool. Created in collaboration with iconic skate and surf brands like Etnies, Roxy, and Billabong, the Casa Surf rooms feature hand-painted surfboards, underwater photo murals, and George Nelson furniture, fully immersing guests in Laguna surf culture. For something more traditional, book one of the Spanish rooms, which include wrought-iron accents and ornately carved dark-wood furnishings.

La Casa sits just a stone’s throw from Cress Street Beach, where hotel guests enjoy access to chairs, umbrellas, and beach towels as part of their resort fee. Also included in the fee is daily breakfast, access to the nearby Art of Fitness gym and its juice bar, and reservations at the on-site Rooftop Lounge, where you can sip mojitos while watching the sun set over the Pacific. When you’re in the mood for something more substantial, head downstairs to K’ya Bistro, with offers small plates full of Mediterranean flavor.
30801 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
This five-star beachfront hotel toes the line between being a hub of activity and a luxurious, only-in-Southern-California hideaway. For restoration, head to the sprawling spa for a customized wellness-oriented treatment or a meditation class. Mind cleared, make your way to the on-site outfitter Compass Sports—where staff will coordinate local mountain biking, paddleboarding, hiking, and surfing expeditions—or to the palm tree–lined, mosaic-tiled pool. Big ocean views and a light, airy design define the 250 rooms; for guests seeking extra solitude and space, there are bungalow suites, which are essentially private beach houses. At the hotel’s three eateries, it’s all seasonal all the time, from the fresh morning juices to evening cocktails. That ethos peaks at the fine-dining restaurant Studio, where executive chef Craig Strong creates elegantly plated French-meets-California dishes using locally sourced fish and meat, along with vegetables picked from the hotel’s 1,000-square-foot garden. Pro tip: In a setting this transporting, you almost want to break into song. Good news—the hotel will rent out mini guitars to guests for the duration of their stay.
One Ritz Carlton Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629, USA
Total immersion is the draw of the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, which sits on a bluff 150 feet above the Pacific’s craggy coastline. The hotel delivers Ritz-Carlton’s trademark luxury—two pools with bucolic garden views, beach butlers on the sand—but also an authentic sense of place. Naturalists lead whale-watching and snorkeling excursions, as well as an ocean-inspired art program that was developed by marine-life artist Wyland. Spa treatments include seaweed wraps, marine collagen facials, and a foot massage inspired by the rhythm of the ocean. Even the resort’s marble-bedecked interiors integrate the environment, including a sculpture in the lobby by artist James Aarons made of 225 ceramic and gold pieces inspired by American cliff swallows, which migrate through the area. Shuttles take guests to and from the swimmable, surfable Salt Creek public beach below. Meals at the six restaurants are indulgent but never fussy, whether it’s pasture-raised beef and artisanal cheese at enoSTEAK, or pan-seared scallops with morita-glazed pork belly at the pan-Latin restaurant Raya. Pro tip: Before the sun dips below the horizon, grab a spot by a fire pit at the lounge 180blu, order a tamarind-togarashi margarita, and enjoy the views of the Pacific.
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