I've always been a visitor, but never a guest .. until now.
"Welcome to Terranea, may we offer you a complimentary glass of champagne or bottle of water?"
Terranea does not need an introduction; if you live in Southern California and especially around Palos Verdes, Terranea is one of the most well-known and respected destination resorts in Los Angeles county.
However, for those that are traveling to LA, let me just say this: Terranea does not disappoint. From the endless ocean views to the variety of activities, restaurants, and relaxation options, this is a must stay - at least once in your life. Twice if you have kids, so you get can get the full couples getaway experience - after you find a babysitter.
Upon entering the property, the first thing you'll see is a beautiful fountain at the roundabout. Valet and self-parking are both offered, along with car service to and from the villas. Check-in is to the left of the lobby and to the right is the lounge and bar. Directly in front of you is a view of the terrace, patio seating, and a glimpse of the ocean. Yes, this is all within entering the property.
Jennifer and I were given a gorgeous ocean side suite that overlooked the pools and private beach. The interior was elegant, however I would've suggested a different headboard for the beds as it looked a bit out of place. Mini fridge, plenty of storage space, and a huge bathroom with shower and jacuzzi tub are included.
Also for you bloggers, wifi is free and available throughout the entire resort with no password/sign-in needed. Take all the Instagram photos you want.
3 Things to Do After Check-In:
Grab a drink at Catalina's Kitchen Happy Hour (get the sangria!)
Watch the sunset
Hit the jacuzzi and order room service for the night
The first day is always a breeze and since check-in isn't until 4PM, you don't get to do too much before the sun goes down. However, the next few days of your stay should include these 4 highly suggested activities (aka my top 4 favorite things to do at Terranea).
1. Take Advantage of The Water & Views
Walk to the beach for sunrise or sunset and take a dip in the ocean. Do a bit of climbing over the rocks and you'll discover a cove, but be careful of the tides.
If you prefer to sip and swim instead, head to the adults only pool, which gives you a great ocean view or if you're with the kids, dive into the pool through the winding slide.
Also, Terranea is a spa resort and have won numerous awards for their spa so if you're looking for the best way to rewind in silence, this is it! Just ask Chriselle Lim how she celebrated her birthday ;)
2. Get Rid of Your Diet
With over 8 dining options on the resort and 6 of them being restaurants, you really shouldn't watch what you eat - especially if you're on vacation. There are no restrictions when it comes to having fun.
We spent our first day trying the Fire & Ice Happy Hour menu over at newly renovated Catalina Kitchen, which is offered between 3PM to 5PM daily. I highly suggest the sangria and seafood platter (great for sharing). The pizza also looked delicious but as you guys know, I cannot have dairy so I skipped on it (but Jen said it was bomb dot com).
We also spent the next morning at Catalina Kitchen for breakfast and yes, this is worth waking up early for. Breakfast is served between 7AM to 11AM and being a resort, it isn't crowded at this time so you can enjoy a relaxing morning by the pool before doing nothing for the rest of the day.
My recommendation - order the bowls, the acai and the breakfast rice bowl. Both are delicious and the breakfast rice bowl includes steak and eggs, need I say more?
3. Indulge in a Chefs Table Dinner Series
The Chefs Table Dinner series actually occurs every couple of months, but if you happen to be staying in January, April, June, August, October or December - go!
This intimate setting in the villas is the perfect way to interact with locals, chefs, and other guests. It is a farm-to-table concept, beginning with a cocktail and hors d'ouevres and followed with a three-course meal with wine pairings. Needless to say, you'll be eating and drinking a lot so prepare yourself.
The best part is that each dinner benefits a specified charity and if you purchase two tickets, you receive a complimentary room for the night of the event.
Take your date to the next level with a Chefs Table Dinner, your date will definitely be impressed - I was (hah).
4. Disconnect and Reconnect
This last thing to do is actually a reminder as to why you're at Terranea to begin with.
I'm sure I'm not the one one who tries to do everything in those few days, as I want to experience it all. I'm running around trying to squeeze in an activity or get in some gym time before dinner, but the whole point of a resort is to relax.
So turn off your phone, order a drink at the adult pool, and watch the waves of the ocean. Talk to the person/people you're with, reconnect and catch up with them. After all, a vacation is about coming back refreshed - not exhausted.
Thank you Jen for being the best travel buddy and amazing photographer.