Tuesday, December 4, 2012

St. Regis Monarch Beach

Nestled within verdant acres of land along the Pacific Ocean shoreline the St. Regis Monarch Beach offers some of the most visually striking vistas in the area, if not the country. I arrived in the early evening and after a flight from chilly New York, the balmy breezes coming off the ocean, the grandeur of the Italianate fountains and the sheer beauty of the luxuriant flora and fauna was quite dazzling.

As soon as you come up the driveway and are greeted by a battalion of polite, white-unform clad gentlemen amidst the splashing of massive water fountains you know you have arrived somewhere special...you start to feel pampered like a royal and there's a new spring in your step as you contemplate the paradaisical surroundings.

It's quite a large resort complex with a private beach club, three swimming pools, oceanside golf course, spa and six ocean-view restaurants on-site so if you're looking for intimate, this isn't it. Au contraire, this place has grandeur written all over it. There is a definitive sense of "You have arrived".

The Butler Service, a signature feature of all St. Regis Suites worldwide, includes packing and unpacking luggage, garment pressing, shoe shine and any other requests you may have. My personal favorite was  the beverage service and wake-up call. I requested a 7am wake-up call which translated into a white-gloved butler ringing the doorbell as the sun was rising over the ocean and bringing me coffee and tea. I opted to be served on the ocean view balcony and it made the "good" in "Good Morning" a lot more sincere.

I took the resort tram to the private beach after lunch. I could have sat under my private umbrella on a plush lounge chair and ordered drinks from the Monarch Bay Club but I decided a stroll along the shore was what was called for. There were under a dozen people on the beach so the feeling of exclusivity was perfect for drinking in the exquisite beauty of the surroundings. But there were other ways I could have spent the afternoon: at the award-winning Spa Gaucin, playing golf or surfing. But the ultimate way to soak up the Orange County relaxation and all the beauty the St. Regis Monarch Beach has to offer is lounging by the pool. The infinity pool replete with large gurgling fountain is a wonder to watch, by day or night. It hands down wins the prize for most beautiful pool in the country...time stood still as I lay in my plush lounger and had to pinch myself to find out if such natural beauty was indeed for real or if I was dreaming.

The St. Regis Monarch Beach resort is a mecca for golfers, a paradise for beach goers, a dream for surfers and the realization of a perfect dream for pool loungers like myself! The only problem will be finding the courage to leave the comforts of this earthly paradise. After a visit here I am starting to think St. Regis may very well be the Patron Saint of the rich and famous.