Orange County, or “The O.C.,” has some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. From the bustling community of Huntington Beach to the artsy and vibrant Laguna Beach, the O.C. makes an amazing vacation destination… especially if you can fall asleep right by the ocean.
These are some of the greatest (and most highly rated) Orange County beach hotels.
Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point
Source: Monarch Beach Resort
The Monarch Beach Resort, completed a $40 million renovation in 2016, which included a refresh of it’s 400 guest rooms, a spa, five new dining options and new pool that includes private cabanas (pictured above). This is one of 17 AAA “Five-Diamond” rated resorts in all of California. The resort offers an array of activities and experiences, including fitness center, tennis, and its own 18 hole championship golf course, the Monarch Beach Golf Links, which wraps around the resort, giving it a park like feel and unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean. Speaking of the ocean, make sure to check out the incredible Monarch Bay Beach and the Monarch Bay Club, which are just across PCH and accessed via the resort tram which runs every 15 minutes from sunrise to sunset.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dana Point
Source: The Ritz-Carlton
Sitting on top of a 150 foot bluff just north of Dana Point, and west of Laguna Niguel, The Ritz-Carlton is one of the marque resorts in all of California. In fact, you’ll also find it on our best beach resorts of Southern California list. The location is smack dab in the middle of Orange County, making it a great home base to explore from. But with Monarch Beach Golf Links and the beautiful Salt Creek Beach nearby, you’ll have plenty of things to do right at the resort itself.
Capri Laguna on the Beach, Laguna Beach
Source: Capri Laguna
Capri Laguna is a boutique hotel located mere steps from the ocean. In fact, the hotel sits right next to the Mountain Road Beach, so beach access doesn’t get any easier than this. The rooms have all the amenities that keep guests comfortable, and nearly every one has an ocean or beach view. To top it off, this hotel is known for having very friendly service with a knowledgeable staff who will help you have your best vacation yet. Best of all, despite their amazing oceanfront location, the rooms are a good value – if you can stay during the week, it won’t break the bank.
Pasea Hotel & Spa, Huntington Beach
Source: Meritage Collection
The Pasea Hotel & Spa is one of the newest luxury hotels in Orange County, and the team has spared no expense in making the accommodations amazing. Best described as modern style meets coastal comfort, this is an amazing place to come for a romantic getaway or a weekend with friends. Between the onsite spa, dedicated Surf Butler, restaurant, bar and luxurious pool, you’ll never want to leave. And if you do leave, Huntington Beach’s Main Street is a short walk away, and the newly constructed Pacific City shopping area is right next door. Just across the street is the world famous Huntington City Beach. Also consider the nearby Hyatt Regency, Hilton’s Waterfront Beach Resort, or the Shorebreak Hotel.
Casa Tropicana, San Clemente
108 steps (yes, they’ve counted) are all that separates you from the Santa Clemente Pier Beach when you stay at the tropical-themed Casa Tropicana hotel. Each guest room is equipped with a jacuzzi tub for two, and your room rate includes beach chairs with umbrellas, a beach bag with towels, snacks, a deck with an amazing view and a morning goodie basket.
Balboa Bay Resort, Newport Beach
Newport Beach’s only waterfront resort, Balboa Bay Resort, embodies the kind of coastal elegance you might expect to find on the Mediterranean. The hotel features an Olympic-sized pool, a private beach (nearby public beaches include Newport Pier Beach and Balboa Pier Beach), and views of the harbor and the many the million dollar yachts parked here. For dining options, check out their signature restaurant, Waterline, as well as a casual waterfront gastropub. While not cheap, the newly enhanced guest rooms and suites are worth every penny.
Surf & Sand Resort, Laguna Beach
When it’s time to treat yourself to a VIP experience, the Surf & Sand Resort is the place to call. The property sits right on the shoreline, on top of Bluebird Beach, making it a popular place for Laguna Beach weddings and other special occasions. Amenities include a spa, restaurants and bars, a beachfront pool and spacious, beautiful guest rooms and suites. While this is one of our favorite hotels in Laguna Beach, there are plenty of other hotel options to consider.
The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Beach
Sometimes nothing but unparalleled luxury will do. This entire property is elegant, pristine and welcoming, offering gorgeous views from nearly every vantage point. Golfers will love the two 18-hole courses, while the Coliseum Pool is the perfect place to relax on a summer day. For more adventure, check out the amazing beaches of Crystal Cove State Park. There’s really no place like the Resort at Pelican Hill.
Montage Resort & Spa, Laguna Beach
While Montage Resort & Spa certainly doesn’t offer bargain accommodations, this is a “bucket list” kind of place that’s definitely worth the splurge. The resort sits across 30 acres atop a coastal bluff, so it has the most breathtaking views in town. Between the sunset views, spa, onsite dining options, Mosaic Pool and family-friendly activities, you won’t have to leave the property to enjoy your vacation. Nearby beaches include Middle Man Cove, Treasure Island Beach, Goff Cove Beach and Christmas Cove Beach, all of which are within walking distance. For more information, see our review of the Montage Resort.
Ayres Hotel, Seal Beach
Seal Beach is the northernmost beach town in Orange County. Unfortunately, there aren’t many hotel options here, and none that are on the beach. But there are a few options that are within a short drive of the beach (beach options include Seal Beach and Peninsula Bayside Beach). But if you are intent on staying here, we recommend the Ayres Hotel, which offers comfortable studio suites equipped with signature Celestial Sleeper beds, coffee makers and complimentary WiFi. Your room rate includes a complimentary hot breakfast, which you can enjoy on the picturesque patio.
For even more hotel options, check out our complete Orange County Beach Hotels page.