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at the The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
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Worse than no vacation at all?
Sep 28th, 2020
My husband and I checked in here for two nights for our wedding anniversary, and within the hour had decided that it would be better to check out after only one night. Our level of disappointment at the quality of the hotel cannot be overstated. We started in a garden view room (ocean rooms were fully booked), and came to a tiny, dated, and underfurnished room overlooking a small concrete pool area. When the bellman saw our faces drop, he said "I'm seeing what you're seeing here, but all the rooms are like this." We called to upgrade to a suite (which we paid to do) but found only minimal improvements. The furniture in the room is worn, with visible holes in the upholstery of the chair and a giant crack through the coffee table. Both rooms were weirdly underfurnished, with nothing underneath the TVs. The bathroom in the suite had no accessible plugs into which you could plug a hairdryer. The only plug was behind a giant mirror-covered table that was too heavy to move. The pipes under the sink were all exposed. There was discoloration in the tiles of the shower that appeared to be rust or mold. There were no outlets in the bedroom to plug in a cell phone charger or anything else. There were, however, giant air conditioning vents that were covered in frosted glass. There was a discarded baby stroller somehow located on the roof across from our room. It was mind boggling. Beyond that, the "services" available at this hotel are minimal. You can't reserve tables at any of the restaurants on the property and there are lines no matter when you go, and no one is observing social distancing in those lines. The beach services is just a truck where you can pick up your own towel and chair and lug them down a steep hill to the beach (and back up!). The two pool areas are for some reason located in internal courtyards with no ocean views (the ocean views are the only good thing about this place!). Even the lobby is not a nice place to sit as all the windows with an ocean view are obscured by weird silver structures that I think are supposed to be art. We had a very nice checkout experience with a receptionist who did her best to help, but there was no saving this experience. Our experience would have been disappointing for a cheap conference hotel, and was unbelievable for a luxury resort with the Ritz Carlton brand. Fundamentally these are champagne problems, but if you're paying champagne prices, the hotel needs to be at least passable. I'm writing not out of anger but out of hope to save anyone else who is looking for a nice, romantic getaway from the same experience we had. Save yourself! Go to the Monarch Bay resort, 5 minutes away, which is exceptional in every way and where we should have booked again for this trip. So much for trying something new! TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
I expected a lot more from a Ritz property
Sep 16th, 2020
When one thinks of a Ritz hotel, they think of beautiful rooms and top-notch service. At this particular property, a lot is lacking. I stayed in an ocean view room (which had a beautiful view), but the room was very outdated. It appeared as though furniture had been taken out of the room, which was odd and made the room feel empty. What made it even worse was the level of noise. It was a connecting room, and we could hear everything next door. We heard little kids screaming and a mother cursing till the late hours of the night and early morning the next day. There was no sound barrier between the two rooms; we could see right under the door. We had room service delivered every day, and the food was always good. We also ate at the outdoor restaurant overlooking the ocean a few times, and we had no complaints about the food. It was a little aggravating though how difficult it was to be seated. It was the only restaurant in the hotel that was open, and it took about 45 min to get a table. I think the hotel needs to consider what is open and what isn't when booking guests. Especially since guests are paying top dollar for amenities that are not even open. At a hotel like the Ritz, it should not be difficult for guests to eat at the hotel restaurant. The staff working at the restaurant/bar were always very kind though. Definitely a bright spot of our experience. In regards to crowds, we left just in time. The wedding crowds started the day before we left, and thank god we did not have the experience that for the entirety of our stay. The wedding crowds made it even more impossible to eat at the restaurant, and there were swarms of people everywhere. The Ritz is supposed to be a luxury hotel, but this particular property just felt tacky and cheap. There were loads of families walking through the hotel in just swimsuits and tracking sand everywhere. Our experience was not entirely unpleasant, but I don't think I would stay here again. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Breathtaking location and view - Hotel overrun by weddings
Sep 16th, 2020
The hotel was packed. I think our biggest problem was with the amount of wedding events. They had wedding events taking place all weekend. This is a wonderful property for a wedding, but they don't have a lot of outdoor space. So when they are having events, setting up an event (started very early), cleaning up after an events they are really inconveniencing other guests. For example.. an outside area that had a wedding reception the night before still hadn't been cleaned up the next day at 1pm with garbage all over the lawn. Another area had workers at 7am setting up making lots of noise right outside of guests rooms for another wedding. We couldn't take the golf cart up the steep hill to the hotel because of a wedding. We couldn't use another area because of wedding pictures. If they had the space it would be one thing but they have limited green space on the property and when they use it for so many big events it negatively impacts the other guests' stay. Also, the hotel was packed and there was limited capacity at restaurants and pool so there were long lines. The pool reached capacity by 9:30AM. We were put on a waiting list at 11am and didn't get called until 5pm. I think the hotel needs to evaluate if it can sell out the rooms and still provide the expected "Ritz" service with limited service offerings and capacity. And on top of that hold several wedding events. They seemed a bit overwhelmed and unable to provide the quality service people expect. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Melissa and Ana saves my visit!
Sep 13th, 2020
We were so looking forward to bring back at the Ritz after 20 years for our girlfriend getaway. I booked us into an ocean view with patio fireplace room for two nights over Labor Day weekend. It was crowded! Boatload of people crowded the pools. Beach was covered with people. All OK until our ocean view was taken over by these weddings on the (fake) grass between our little patio and the ocean with dozens of guests! The first night was ok as they moved the party to an adjacent yard for the dinner and after party... at 11:30 pm the grounds crew came by with loud blowers to clean up the million rose petals on the ground... Sigh. OK. Then at 10 am the next morning the crew came back to set up chairs for a second wedding! OMG I couldn’t believe it. We came to have peace, quiet and girlfriends time! I called to alert the management that we didn’t sign up to be uninvited guests at two weddings as our patio was less than 7 yards from the nearest rows of guests! We could hear every word of the wedding vows and we had to stay inside for the whole time. Needless to say I was peeved... Ana who I spoke with first was very understanding and helpful. She de-escalated my frustration with the utmost care and felt like she really got it. Then I spoke with her supervisor Melissa who handled it just as calmly and pleasantly as Ana. In the end, we were moved to an executive suite on the other side of the property. A very large, spacious quiet room three times the size of our room. We were greeted with a bottle of wine, a small selection of cordials and a handwritten card from Melissa. We enjoyed our second and final night in the suite and had very delicious room service dinner- salmon, halibut, Brussels and wild mushrooms. For room service, this was fantastic! So all in all, a disappointing beginning that ended well, thanks to Ana and Melissa’s outstanding service. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Sep 11th, 2020
We came here to relax. When we got there, there were 2 weddings going on, so there were a ton of people with minimal social distancing. We were able to get our room then stood in a line for 45 minutes to get our keys to check in , while the lady at the front desk got keys for a lady who just walked to the front of the line ( which was why we were standing in line for 45 minutes) ..we got to our room and the wedding was right outside our balcony . The wedding was so loud until 10 pm. It was a beautiful location ; however not so relaxing. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
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