A new resort, Terranea Resort recently opened in Rancho Palos Verdes. Living in Venice I thought it would be a great quick getaway with a girlfriend for the weekend (we all need our "me" time) so my girlfriend and I headed out on a beautiful Friday morning. Driving down Palos Verdes was incredible. To be so close to home and to see such beauty while driving was incredible. We arrived at the resort and the moment we walked in we were captivated by the beauty. The furniture and art deco is incredible. They purchased the art from local artisians so there is a wide variety throughout the hotel. The lobby leads to the beautiful ocean view.
We first checked into our room which was very nice. We had a balcony overlooking the water. The property sits on the former site of Marineland so the views are spectacular. The room is incredibly quiet except for hearing the ocean in the morning. Beds are super comfy with awesome comforter and pillows (I even checked to see the brand of the mattress and comforter because they were so comfortable). They think of all of the little extras to make the room perfect. The robes were super soft and thick. They provide you a refrigerator that is empty so you can fill it with your own munchies. I brought cheese and crackers and fruit so I was really looking forward to my own little "happy hour" on our balcony. They even have a decorative cloth holder for the extra roll of toilet paper. There is wireless internet in the room so I was never far away from Peachhead.
The hotel has 3 pools to choose from. The adult only pool which is very quiet and plays cool music. It sits overlooking the water. The family pool has a water slide (140 feet), water play area, volleyball court, and they have a birds of prey demonstration (where they bring out either a falcon, an owl or a hawk). They also had a BBQ set up for lunch. The family pool has two hot tubs and a fire pit. And finally, the spa pool which is available if you are getting a spa treatment or if you are a guest of the resort you can pay a $40 day pass if you don't want to get a spa treatment but want to hang out at the spa pool and use the facilities.
We immediately headed to the adult pool. We got chairs overlooking the water... very nice. The salt water pool was set at an incredibly refreshing temperature... perfect. The pool also has a beautiful rock fireplace... loved sitting there staring at the fire feeling the warmth on my face. Loved it so much we didn't leave the pool until 7:00. We headed back to our room for our own little "happy hour" and then decided to go to Nelson's for drinks. Nelson's is a casual restaurant on the property overlooking the cove. Great place to view the sunset. I had a few peachheaders meeting me there so we hung out around the fire pit and had drinks... beautiful night.
In the morning I decided I had better work out if I want to enjoy my food this evening so I visited the fitness center (included with your resort fee). It is very nice gym with all new equipment. In fact the cardio machines have individual tv monitors but you can also plug your ipod into it and watch your TV shows or movies from your ipod on the TV monitor... never seen that before... pretty cool. They have complimentary yoga classes outside overlooking the water and complimentary fruit.
After my workout I went to breakfast at Catalina Kitchen. You can order off of the regular menu or have the breakfast buffet. We opted for the buffet and it was a great choice. The omelet bar had a wide selection including salmon, cream cheese, scallions, tomatoes, sour cream, bacon, cheese, onions. and more. They have a waffle bar with toppings that included chocolate syrup, colored sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, whip cream, strawberries, raspberries, caramel sauce... basically every kids dream (and mine). My friend and I enjoyed a glass of champagne... we decided to split another glass of champagne and they gave it to us in two smaller champagne glasses... I liked that. They also give you warm cream for your coffee. It's the little things that make a big difference and show they care They even have my favorite... chocolate croissants... needless to say I will be at the gym again the next morning.
After breakfast we headed to the spa pool since I was getting a treatment today. The spa pool is incredible... so beautiful and serene. The chairs have extra thick cushions on them so really comfortable and the music is very calming and relaxing. I had an amazing treatment... a volcanic wrap treatment... it was wonderful. And for those of you wondering what a volcanic wrap treatment is, here is the description: this 60 min treatment begins by applying a combination of dead sea salts and crystal quartz salts. These salts are applied to the body in brisk circular movements, helping improve circulation, increase metabolism, and prepares the body for the absorption of volcanic clay and bentonite. Once salt scrub is applied and rinsed off we apply the volcanic clay wrap with bentonite to the body. The volcanic clay supplies essential and trace minerals bringing balance to the body. The bentonite draws impurities, detoxifies the body and hydrates the skin. This wrap is left on for 20 minutes (where she continued to work on me and gave me a scalp massage) and is then rinsed off under the warm Vichy shower (using warm and cold water) and treatment is completed with an application of laminaria lotion.
After my treatment I joined my friend at the pool and she surprised me with a bottle of champagne... the perfect complement to our day. Due to the champagne being in a glass bottle they couldn't keep it at the pool but Gina, the server, was very nice and kept refilling our glasses when she saw them empty. She was very on top of things. If you don't get a spa treatment and you are a guest of the hotel you can pay a $40 day pass fee to use the spa facilities and the pool. They also have cabanas that you can rent. There was a bachelorette party going on at the spa pool and they had someone giving them massages and manicures in the cabanas... they really seemed to be enjoying themselves so if you have a group of girls it is a great way to spend the day at the spa pool and be pampered at the same time.
We had dinner at Catalina Kitchen. We sat outside and it was a lovely evening. I really enjoyed my dinner. We had the tuna appetizer and the burrata with hierloom tomatoes appetizer. The double Colorado Lamb Chops were delicious and the peppercorn sauce went with it perfectly. The macaroni and cheese in the truffle oil was incredible. My friend had the pasta special which was very good as well... the pasta was very light and almost velvety tasting. I was pretty full and was not going to order dessert until I saw the semi chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis on the menu... anytime I see chocolate and raspberry together I can resist. It was wonderful. After dinner we went to Nelson's to sit by the fire and have a nightcap. What a perfect day.
There are a lot of great activities for the kids. The hotel has a kids camp for ages 4 – 12 where you can sign up for ½ day programs or by the hour ($15/hr). They have special events for kids such as the birds of prey demonstration where they bring in an owl, a falcon, or a hawk. There is a BBQ set up at the family pool and they have a smore's night at the firepit at the family pool as well. There are activities set up throughout the day such as bingo, croquet, poolside lawn games, nature walks.. They even have a summer family package that includes 50% off a second room, complimentary use of a private cabana at the Resort Pool, complimentary admission for one child to the Tide Pool Adventure Kids camp with the purchase of a spa treatment, and a complimentary kids breakfast with purchase of an adult entrée. The packages start at $355 per night for the first room and $177.50 for the second room.
Here is a list of complimentary activities for families:
The following activities are complimentary, all ages welcome. No reservations required.
Bocce Court - Our competition bocce court allows guests of all ages to enjoy this timeless sport. For hours of after-dark fun our glowing neon bocce ball play begins after sundown. Available all day and in the evening. Afternoon Bocce Tournament Set up tournament style, guests will be able to test their skills against each other or our activities leaders. Open play will be available after the tournament.
Croquet Challenge - Set up tournament style, guests will be able to test their skills against each other or our activities leaders. Open play will be available after the tournament.
Friday Family Fun Night - As the sun goes down family fun is just getting started. Kids and adults can challenge each other at glow-in-the-dark games, bubble creating contests, or even hermit crab races. Activities change weekly.
Nature Walk - Terranea Resort is committed to an educational campaign that focuses the attention of our guests on environmental issues. As part of that campaign, daily guided Nature Walks along the scenic Discovery Trail will highlight the coastline and introduce guests to indigenous plant and wildlife. Stops at six interpretive areas allow opportunities for "teachable moments."
Poolside S'mores Night - Families can savor this tasty, gooey treat poolside while enjoying the sunset.
Stargazing Fireside - Whether you're an amateur astronomer or just taking in the beautiful night sky, stargazing at Terranea is a unique experience. With the sounds of the ocean as your sound track and a crackling fire to keep you warm, guests of all ages can enjoy the hunt for stars, moons and constellations.
Sunset Ritual - Take time at the end of each day at Terranea to bring your body and spirit back into harmony. Each evening at sunset, on the terrace of the Lobby Lounge, the end of the day is signified by the ringing of the crystal singing bowls, an ancient ritual known for healing and relaxation through sound and vibration. Combining the powers of sound and quartz crystal (similar to the crystals found in the caves here at Terranea), the pure tones of the crystal bowls produce a magnificent vibrating sound which resonates within the energy centers - or chakras - in the body. The pure sounds of the crystal resonate to bring harmony and well-being to all who hear its beautiful sound.
The hotel has a 9-hole par 3 course for all of you golfers out there.
My last morning I decided to take a walk along the scenic bluff top trails. The views are breathtaking. I walked to the secluded beach cove where the tide pools are and climbed some rocks. There is a cave there... but I wasn't prepared to make that journey so I headed back to the hotel for breakfast. The buffet was just as good this morning as yesterday. We enjoyed hanging out at the spa pool so much yesterday that we decided to get the day pass and spend the day there again. It was the perfect decision. The pool is so relaxing and the chairs with their extra thick cushions are so comfortable. Gina was there once again and kept checking on us and bringing us ice water... a very nice touch. We finally departed the hotel at 5:10 and made it home before 6:00... amazing to be 40 minutes away from home and feel so far away. This hotel is a great place to go with your family for a family vacation, your partner for a relaxing and romantic getaway, or your friends for a much needed moms get away. You can even take a day trip and get a spa treatment and spend the day at the spa pool. It is definitely a place I will be returning to very soon.