Oyster knows what travelers look for in their hotels. When we visit properties around the world, we evaluate how every feature stacks up against the competition, from the rooms to the pools to the restaurants. So if you're planning a romantic trip and need a place to start, you've come to the right place. Take a look at our top romantic hotel picks in Orange County, and get inspired!
The ultra-luxe Pelican Hill is a sprawling, immaculately kept resort (500 acres!) with two golf courses, a 23,000-square-foot spa, two pools, five restaurants, and 332 bungalows and villas. The rooms are large, with top-notch technology (although the absence of iPod docks is surprising) and beige decor (of the upscale variety, not the bland kind). All rooms feature large marble bathrooms, fireplaces, and terraces, many with ocean views, but the villas are where things get uber-fancy. All villas have fully equipped kitchens, huge living spaces, and are attended to by a private staff. Guests staying in villas also get access to a separate clubhouse with a pool and fitness center. One downside to the size of the property is that guests have to take the resort's shuttle to get around, but it's hard to find many other faults with this luxury hotel.
The sprawling St. Regis Monarch Beach is situated on a beautiful golf course overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With elegant, comfortable rooms, large, beautiful bathrooms, and stunning grounds, it's easily one of the nicest hotels in Orange County. The award-winning Spa Gaucin is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and 8 a.m.to 7 p.m. for treatments. It features 24 treatment rooms and four couples’ suites, as well as a eucalyptus steam room; a sauna; a three-lane lap pool; a tranquility lounge and an organic cafe.
The 160-room Balboa Bay Resort is one of Newport Beach's most upscale properties, and has excellent restaurants, a spa, plenty of meeting facilities, and an Olympic-size swimming pool. Rooms have elegant Mediterranean style, and all come with private balconies. The hotel is under a 10-minute drive to the sand, and has a waterfront location on a marina (part of the exclusive Balboa Bay Club). Just be aware that the resort fees, breakfast fees, and parking fees can add up, and some guests may start to feel nickel and dimed. Still, in Newport, only the Resort at Pelican Hill is more luxurious.