6610 Palos Verdes Drive South
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
By Ludmilla Alexander
What's the difference between a good hotel and a great hotel? Good
hotels provide clean comfortable rooms, which are satisfying at the
moment but quickly fade from memory. Great hotels offer unique features
that make you want to repeat your visit. The Terranea Resort, located on
the Palos Verdes peninsula, twenty miles south of Los Angeles
International Airport, falls into the great category. Opened in June
2009, the 102-acre resort, standing on bluffs above the Pacific Ocean,
is designed in a Mediterranean style with beautiful views of Catalina
Island, landscaped gardens, 360 plush guest rooms with balconies plus
many unique features.
What are its memorable features? Seagulls and other birds never annoy diners at outdoor restaurants because a falconer comes several times a week to fly his hawk and owl to keep unwanted birds at bay. (You can watch the falconer fly his birds at scheduled times.) Naturalists conduct guided tours along the bluffs, pointing out coastal flora and fauna, as well as frolicking dolphins and gray whales migrating to and from Alaskan waters. (Check them out on the telescopes.) Local plein air artists from the Portuguese Bend Artist Colony create paintings on the property with their best works of art adorning hotel walls. And during winter months, you can actually see the sun rise and set over the ocean from a single vantage point due to the resort's south-facing location.
Food - Choose between eight different dining establishments on the property. The signature restaurant is elegant Mar'sel, offering a California-inspired menu. Nelson's restaurant and bar overlooks the coves that were featured on the television series Sea Hunt and in many movies, including the Pirates of the Caribbean. Catalina Kitchen serves incredible breakfasts.
Activities – Swim in one of three pools and watch the kids careen down a 140-foot waterslide. Roast marshmallows at night under a starry sky at an outdoor fire pit. Tee off at the Links at Terranea, a 9-hole, par-3 golf course. (Children are allowed to play.) Kayak along the coastline for a close-up look at Point Vicente Lighthouse. Ride bicycles into town. Or indulge yourself with a relaxing treatment at the 50,000 square foot spa.
Temperatures – Gentle westerly breezes in the afternoon keep temperatures barely above 80 degrees in the summer. Winter temperature averages 67 degrees.