• Wed. Nov 16th, 2022

Luxury Vacations in Southern California – Monarch Beach Resort

ByJean A. Francis

Sep 8, 2022

A luxury vacation three-day experience Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach illuminate the best of Southern California Waldorf-style.

A a long, winding driveway revealed a grand entrance to a destination as luxurious as it is laid-back –Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & clubs. The blue colors inside and the distant view of the ocean set the tone for a moment of relaxation Southern California weekendwhere we didn’t have to dress up, but the sophisticated service would amaze us.

At the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beacha luxury vacation is in the details whether you are staying, gaming, golfing, spa or dining. Additionally, Waldorf Astoria announced a $30 million refresh of its 400 guest rooms and suites set to debut in September! Every experience on the property is carefully curated to indulge the senses in a true escape, and we experienced it all.

Perched on 175 acres atop an oceanfront cliff, this elegant AAA Five-Diamond hideaway offers pleasures ranging from fine dining to a day at the beach. Part of our “businesses” at ICONIC LIFE Magazine include luxury experiences like this where we can test luxury vacation destinations for our readers and report. We love to marvel at these “yes, we work” experiences.

Monarch Beach Resort

We checked in our neighbor Waldorf Astoria newly renovated suites with light coastal colors and a private terrace. Champagne and charcuterie arrived moments later. This trip would be a celebration for all the good things to come.

The first night we dined at Table + Bar AVEO, a lively kitchen and bar serving a Latin-inspired menu in an elegant and relaxed setting. As the hotel’s main restaurant, it was located in the main area at the back of the lobby, with a large, expansive patio that overlooked the hotel grounds, pool, and Pacific Ocean beyond.

Our reservation fell just as the sun set, and the pastel-hued sky was the most beautiful backdrop for the meal. The ICONIC ladies, being from Arizona, began to feel a chill as the sun set, and the wonderfully attentive staff was quick to bring in outdoor heaters and blankets to make our meal more comfortable.

AVEO terrace

Our reservation fell just as the sun set, and the pastel-hued sky was the most beautiful backdrop for the meal.

We started our meal with the Dungeness Crab Croquetas, which tasted like the most delicious crab cakes with a Latin flavor. As the waiter mentioned, AVEO is known for their amazing ceviche, so of course we had to try one as well. Starters were refreshing and full of flavor. This would be the perfect place to have happy hour at sunset with a glass of white wine and some nibbles!

Then it was time for starters, we decided to stick with seafood and order three dishes for everyone to try. We ordered the Chilean sea bass with black rice and coconut sauce; salmon with eggplant, cucumber and dill yogurt sauce; and casuela de mariscos, a seafood stew with vegetables, potatoes, and a little spicy kick.

For dessert, three more dishes were ordered to share. We had the creme brulee with palm sugar, the white coffee chocolate mousse cake and the torta de monzana, a warm apple and cinnamon cake. Every bite was savory – light, fresh and balanced between sweetness and flavor.


In the morning we took the Waldorf Astoria’s cart down a long, winding path through the beautiful golf course to the beach club which gave us access to the beach. We walked, talked and savored the sea air. Again, we were working. During our walk we passed many families enjoying the beach and are sure we had a sighting of David Letterman. We didn’t get close of course, but our long gazes in his direction confirmed that he was the king of the late night.

We spent the afternoon in town enjoying the quaint shops and returned for an evening of wine and dinner at the members-only beach club, which is also accessible to resort guests. Here we bathed in an ocean front dinner literally on/above the beach. The Adirondack chairs next to the clear glass were the perfect vantage point to watch the waves roll in.

Packed with impeccable design, a touch of the beach, remarkable views of the Southern California coastline and delicious cuisine, the Monarch Beach Club restaurant did not disappoint.

Bourbon dining room

We started with a bottle of Schramsberg Mirabelle Sparkling Rose to kick things up a notch. The fizzy glass tasted dry but fruity – a complex mixture of Chardonnay and crisp blend of Pinot Noir.

Appetizers were a fun way to indulge. A variety of a bit of everything was a great way to get a full and tasty experience. Our server’s recommendation was the Fritto Misto, freshly fried calamari, shrimp, shishito peppers, lemon rings and spicy aioli. We also enjoyed the Seafood Artichoke Dip, made with chunk crab, bay scallops, fontina, parmesan cheese and a panko herb crust. And finally, the wild mushroom and barley risotto is made with pearl barley, braised kale, black garlic cream and asiago cheese. YUM. Three ladies surrendered to flavors rather than discipline that night.


For starters, we ordered the slow braised prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted winter vegetables. And King Salmon with celeriac purée, red quinoa and sautéed rainbow chard with grated goat cheese. We shared the two starters and spent the evening chatting about our beautiful day.

Monarch Beach Resort

The next day, it was time to take a break and visit the Waldorf Spa, which has a modern, moody-lit entrance with super friendly attendants ready to serve. We enjoyed the massages in the private rooms which themselves are decadent. Hot tables and scented oils immediately induce relaxation.

Later we spent some time using the facilities – steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and shower in a stylish, newly refurbished spa. Within the property, guests can enjoy a curated boutique, fitness classes, salon, and a very nice, quiet spa pool. We highly recommend this spa, and if you’re local, you can purchase a membership as well.

We can’t forget to share that our last morning’s breakfast was robust and creative. Dining again at AVEO Table + Bar, we enjoyed a Latin take on eggs Benedict, cazuela de huevos and avocado toast, starting with a super fresh squeezed green juice.

Monarch Beach Resort

As we left Waldorf Astoria, we were so impressed with the spectacular service; we couldn’t help but be grateful. The Luxury Experiences were a memorable adventure that we knew we wanted to share. If you are local there are so many reasons to go. If you are traveling, this is the perfect place to start your So Cal adventure. Either way, let them know ICONIC sent you.