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O ne vis­its Terranea, a self-con­tained, lux­ury des­ti­na­tion re­sort with its lux­ury ac­com­mo­da­tions and su­perb ameni­ties. And when you ar­rive, your soul and mind will thank you for the chance to re­gen­er­ate. Opened in 2009 by de­vel­oper Rob Lowe (not the ac­tor), this gor­geous re­sort on 102 pris­tine acres, poised above the Pa­cific, of­fers an un­par­al­leled set­ting with 270-de­gree ocean views and a lux­ury va­ca­tion and ad­ven­ture ex­pe­ri­ence. The 100-acre, 582-room Terranea in Ran­cho Pa­los Verdes of­fers a range of fea­tures that’s un­ri­valed among up­scale hos­pi­tal­ity prop­er­ties in Cal­i­for­nia. It is safe to say that Terranea pro­vides more “breath­ing room” than any other lux­ury, ocean front ho­tel in Cal­i­for­nia and is just an hour away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the Los An­ge­les me­trop­o­lis. The town’s lovely coast has been a fre­quent back­drop for Hol­ly­wood films, in­clud­ing Con Air, Pearl Har­bor, and the Pi­rates of the Caribbean movies. What is truly re­mark­able and takes a lit­tle time to re­al­ize, is the tran­quil­ity of Ran­cho Pa­los Verdes, a town on the south­west­ern out­skirts of Los An­ge­les. This cushy coastal en­clave has fresh air and lots of space and is quiet and peace­ful – a to­tally re­lax­ing vibe. Ran­cho Pa­los Verdes is a pic­ture of nat­u­ral beauty, with tall ocean side cliffs and rel­a­tively lit­tle de­vel­op­ment. To the west of Terranea is Point Vin­cente Light­house (which is closed to the pub­lic) and Point Vin­cente Park, which of­fers whale-watch­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, play­grounds, and na­ture walks. Guests must drive to any­thing that isn’t on the re­sort grounds. In­side the re­sort, at­ten­tion to ev­ery minute de­tail is ev­i­dent. Talk­ing el­e­va­tors an­nounce the floor as they ar­rive, and the en­tire prop­erty has been painted dif­fer­ent shades in an ef­fort to make it look like a col­lec­tion of old Cal­i­for­nia man­sions, rather than a brand-new re­sort. What re­ally caught my eye through­out my stay and vis­its to all pub­lic ar­eas, is just how spot­less Terranea is on a daily ba­sis. Ku­dos to the staff and man­age­ment! Terranea Re­sort is an easy drive, es­pe­cially from LA as well as from San Diego and Palm Springs. And a world unto it­self. With breath­tak­ing views, a su­perb spa, nine-hole golf course, six res­tau­rants, and pris­tine man­i­cured grounds - a week’s stay is not long enough! Ex­cep­tional din­ing, out­stand­ing ser­vice, great rooms with well-ap­pointed bath­rooms, more than two miles of pub­lic trails, kids club, shop­ping, an out­door ad­ven­ture concierge ser­vice, pointe dis­cover, and four swim­ming pools, along with a 140’ wa­ter­slide and splash pad, makes Terranea a pos­i­tive and fun des­ti­na­tion. Even though Terranea is both kid and pet friendly, soli­tude is pos­si­ble. A sep­a­rate adult-only pool (with bev­er­age ser­vice) has some of the re­sort’s best views. One of Los An­ge­les’ only ho­tel Kids’ Club gives par­ents the time to ac­tu­ally use it. There is also the Spa pool which of­fers drink ser­vice and pri­vate out­door hot tubs, ac­ces­si­ble with a day pass to spa fa­cil­i­ties.

Ac­com­mo­da­tions range from vil­las, ca­sitas, bun­ga­lows, suites and guest

rooms, while of­fer­ing a ca­sual el­e­gance that blends ef­fort­lessly with the nat­u­ral set­ting. Specif­i­cally, stan­dard rooms are 450 square feet, which are larger than the av­er­age Los An­ge­les ho­tel room, and suites are 900 square feet and have a sep­a­rate liv­ing room area; master and guest bath­rooms and two 42-inch flat-screen TVs. All the rooms have bal­conies and most have ocean views, Turk­ish robes, Serta pil­low-top mat­tresses, 37- inch flat-screen TVs with HBO and in-room movies, plus iPod docks are stan­dard fare. In­ter­net ac­cess is in­cluded in the re­sort fee. Two-, three-, and four-bed­room “vil­las” are also avail­able, with their own garages, full kitchens, hot tubs, and out­door fire­places. Re­sort ca­sitas, with their own en­trances, full kitchen, liv­ing rooms, and laun­dry fa­cil­i­ties round out the ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions. Terranea caters ex­ten­sively to guests of all ages. Many of the re­sort’s kid-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties are ex­pen­sive, but the long hik­ing trails, ex­cep­tional pools, and large rooms of­fer fam­i­lies many perks at no ad­di­tional cost. • The “Tide Pool Kid’s Club” has com­put­ers, arts and crafts, board games, video games, pho­tog­ra­phy and na­ture ac­tiv­i­ties. Costs vary. • The main pool has a wa­ter­slide and a foun­tain. • Both res­tau­rants, Bashi’s and Nel­son’s, have room ser­vice that of­fer kids’ menus, and a kids’ buf­fet at the Catalina Kitchen is avail­able dur­ing Sun­day brunch. • Babysit­ting ar­range­ments can be made through concierge, but ser­vices are not af­fil­i­ated with the ho­tel. • “Teen Scene” night­time ac­tiv­i­ties by reser­va­tion for guests ages 13 to 17; daily Rock Band video game ac­tiv­ity for a fee. • Suites can be ex­panded into lock off two-bedrooa­part­ments for fam­i­lies.

For golfers, an award-win­ning nine-hole, par 3 golf course of 1,239 yards and a par 27, The Links is re­ally en­joy­able. You need just 3 clubs - a 5 or 7 iron, a wedge and a put­ter to get around the course. Club rentals and pull carts are avail­able. No mo­tor carts are al­lowed, but this did not dampen the ex­pe­ri­ence, rather it en­hanced the round. $55 is rea­son­able for a course with out­stand­ing greens, ex­cel­lent con­di­tion­ing and awe­some views. Pull carts are avail­able. Want to play a full round of ocean front golf? Go­ing south and less than 8 min­utes away, is Trump Na­tional, 7311 yards, par 71. A free re­sort shut­tle is avail­able at no charge to carry you to the course and pick you up when called. There is an­other pub­lic course, about three miles north, the Los Verdes Golf Course, which is 18 holes, 6,617 yards and a par 71. Here the green fee does not in­clude golf carts or equip­ment rental, and the free re­sort shut­tle takes guests to the course. Ad­di­tion­ally, the award-win­ning Spa at Terranea also boasts 25 treat­ment rooms, great ocean views, a salon, and a Well­ness & Fit­ness cen­ter with bou­tique and cafe. Terranea’s mul­ti­ple hik­ing paths are well signed, en­cour­ag­ing vis­i­tors to watch for lo­cal species like the en­dan­gered El Se­gundo Blue But­ter­fly and the Cal­i­for­nia Gray Whale. What I loved about Terranea, de­spite its size, is the highly per­sonal ser­vice – from the concierge, to the front desk clerks, bell­men, and restau­rant staff. They are ex­cel­lent at re­mem­ber guests’ names and ex­tremely help­ful. My wife was ac­tu­ally taken out­side the build­ing to point out the re­sort’s best jog­ging paths and I was driven to The Links and to the fur­thest point of the prop­erty - in­sights abound­ing from the bell­man. Though the re­sort does not of­fer a “sandy beach”, if you do need to be on a beach or surf, eight miles and 20 min­utes

away, is Re­dondo Beach. The “beach” at Terranea is too rocky to re­ally be con­sid­ered a beach. The small patch of sand is at least a five-minute walk from the ho­tel, and the ac­tual wa­ter­line is over­run by rocks. You can­not swim here. It should be pointed out, that the “nor­mal” at­trac­tions of LA such as Rodeo Drive/Bev­er­ley Hills, Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard, Grau­man’s Chi­nese Theatre and Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios theme park are all at least an hour away. You are about 45 min­utes to LAX. There are plenty of din­ing op­tions on-site at Terranea; all the food is good and of­fered at typ­i­cal LA prices. All the res­tau­rants have out­door seat­ing with spec­tac­u­lar views of the ocean. • Ca­sual din­ing all day at Catalina Kitchen, which also has an ex­cel­lent break­fast buf­fet; en­trees range from chitarra spaghetti to dou­ble Colorado lamb chops. • Haute Cui­sine din­ing at Mar’sel open for din­ner Tues­day through Satur­day; en­trees range from Cal­i­for­nia Chanterelles to Wagyu rib­eye steak. • Pub fare and mi­cro brews with great views and pa­tio din­ing is at Nel­son’s which is open for lunch and din­ner ev­ery day; kids’ menu avail­able; en­trees range from turkey BLT to fish and chips. Ham­burg­ers were ex­cel­lent, sun­set views are incredible. • The new­est ad­di­tion to the ho­tel is Bashi, a pool­side restau­rant serv­ing Asian fu­sion cui­sine. • For a quick bite, break­fast lunch or din­ner, Sea Beans Café of­fers pressed sand­wiches, gelato, and cof­fee, as well as snacks like en­ergy bars, smooth­ies and chips. • The Lobby Bar is pop­u­lar with guests, who tote mar­ti­nis around the lobby and cigars are for sale which can be en­joyed on its back pa­tio. • The adult pool bar, Cielo Point, of­fers snacks and drink as does the Spa Cafe, in the spa. • 24-hour room ser­vice with a de­liv­ery charge and a 20 per­cent gra­tu­ity au­to­mat­i­cally added. The clos­est off-site din­ing is a set of af­ford­able res­tau­rants, in­clud­ing a Star­bucks and a Subway, at Golden Cove, a mile drive down the road. You will also en­joy, which is fairly stan­dard for this up­scale cat­e­gory of ho­tel, and as men­tioned pre­vi­ously, highly at­ten­tive check-in staff who re­mem­ber your name, pool­side drink ser­vice, daily turn­down with a choco­late and wa­ter, and the free daily guided hikes and free cro­quet. Shut­tle ser­vice takes guests any­where within a five mile ra­dius -- first-come-first-served ba­sis. Other daily ser­vices pro­vided are the Los An­ge­les Times or USA To­day, same-day laun­dry/dry clean­ing, free boc­cie ball, kids’ s’mores, Kayak tours and group bike tours charged per per­son. There is a 24-hour Busi­ness Cen­ter with four com­put­ers, two prin­ters; In­ter­net and print­ing which is cov­ered by re­sort fee. The Terranea Re­sort is ex­pen­sive, but well worth the splurge, and you should bud­get a min­i­mum of $500.00 per day for room, taxes, meals, park­ing and re­sort fees. The re­sort has many pack­ages avail­able for wed­dings, busi­ness meet­ings golf and so­cial func­tions. Rates vary dras­ti­cally de­pend­ing on type of room, size and view, from $390.00 to $2300.00, be­fore taxes.

Park­ing is $35 per night. Daily re­sort fee is $25.

The Links Golf Course is $55.00 per round.

I can hardly wait to re­visit Terranea! For more in­for­ma­tion, please have a glass of wine, re­lax and visit

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