Ready for a little rest and relaxation on the west coast? If so, I have the perfect place for you to go – Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. I had the opportunity to visit this fabulous resort a while back and just had to introduce it to all of you, so I invited Jennifer Yang, the Director of Travel Industry & Reservations Sales at Terranea Resort to join me for a video chat and she happily agreed. This hidden gem is even hidden to many California folks making it a social distancing paradise. Let’s get our virtual tour started and you’ll see exactly why I am so excited about this property!
So Where Exactly Is Terranea Resort? Terranea Resort is located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula – right on the coast of Los Angeles County which is just 20 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). But let me tell you – when you take that drive along the coast from LAX down to the property, once you turn on to Terranea Way you totally forget that you are so close to the city. It sits on 102 acres of outdoor space – 75% of which is green meaning it’s not built on – so you are pretty much surrounded by nature.
Jennifer shared that the founding father of the Palos Verdes Peninsula actually liked the area to the Amalfi coast when he came there in the early 1900s from New York. In fact, the coastline reminded him so much of the Amalfi coast that he envisioned a beautiful Mediterranean village built on it along with a resort. While he did not build the resort – the resort wasn’t built until 2009 – they did try to stay true to his vision of a Mediterranean resort sprawled across the peninsula with wonderful facilities and all oceanfront. And boy did they succeed!
And thanks to its location it is a great property to use as a home base – meaning you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city life but not have to stay in the city center as it is accessible to numerous major Southern California cities and sites including the Staples Center, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Disneyland, Universal Studios and Hollywood – which are all within 1/2 hour to an hour’s drive. You can also use it for a short layover on your way further east to Asia or the South Pacific as Jennifer and I agreed that sometimes when you travel that far you are so busy and exhausted you need a vacation after your vacation! So why not pause here and really feel like you’ve relaxed before you head home?
i See That Discover Is One Of Your Core Pillars – Tell Me More About That. Yup – it’s truly about forgetting the real world and discovering nature again. Most of us rarely take time to really enjoy nature. Here you will find miles of walking trails all along the property that also connect to the greater peninsula trail system as well. There are well placed strategic telescopes along the paths so that you can actually watch the whale migrations from November to May as the grey and blue whales migrate from Alaska down to Mexico. Each of the telescopes are actually coin operated and all of the proceeds from the telescopes go to charities that protect marine life.
What If I Want To Do A Work-cation? This is a property you could easily spend four or five days on at a minimum and still not see all of it. Which makes it a great spot for a work-cation as you can stay for say a week and a half to two weeks and after work each day really enjoy the property and everything that it has to offer. Per Jennifer this has actually become extremely popular these days especially with their larger accommodations like the villas, the casitas and the bungalows where you have your own kitchen, washer and dryer and just more living space in general then a typical hotel room. And thanks to numerous activities like archery, paddle boarding, kayaking or even just laying out on the beach with your laptop – it’s a very appealing option. Not to mention for those of you guys who have children who are doing digital learning – while you work – they can get their schooling in then afterwards you can get them out in nature and to explore the cities that are nearby, thus breaking up the monotony of the day-to-day grind at home.
Tell Me More About The Accommodations. As I mentioned I had the pleasure of staying at Terranea a while back and while there I stayed at one of the casitas. And I can tell you that while the property itself is exceptionally large it can be very walkable. However, if need be there are golf cart shuttles available. Per Jennifer from the furthest out villa to the lobby building it’s just a ten-minute walk – in heels – because she’s usually doing tours!
The Villas offer a full chef’s kitchen, a washer and dryer and a garage as well as living room space. Situated at the top of the resort, they are the largest and most spacious of Terranea’s accommodations as well as the most residential or home-like. so theyThere are two- and three-bedroom villas available and if you’re on the ground floor there’s a private hot tub. Jennifer likened it to being in a multi-million-dollar home. Everything’s upgraded – including the beautiful stainless-steel appliances, fabulous indoor and outdoor living spaces and fireplaces and the ocean view villas overlook the golf course – making it feel like the entire golf course is your backyard. You can even get a private chef. They are really just luxurious homes away from home.
The Casitas come with one, two or three bedrooms with absolutely gorgeous views and are the most favorable in terms of the configuration for families and small groups. Should you need five, six, seven or more bedrooms everyone can have their own private casita and at the end of the day you can all congregate together at one.
Then you have the Bungalows which are very cute. They sit in front of the spa and are Jennifer’s favorite accommodations. They also happen to be adults only so they are great for those parents who need to get away from the kids or a bachelorette trip or just a girl’s spa getaway so you and your crew can get pampered all weekend long. The bungalows still offer a separate living room and a kitchen and dining area but what Jennifer said she loves is the fireplace and the fire pits because it’s the best way to unwind and enjoy a bottle of wine and charcuterie and just enjoy the views. Sounds like the perfect way to chill! Plus, when you stay in the bungalows you also have full access to the spa facilities and the spa pool during your stay.
In the lobby building you’ll find the majority of the traditional guest rooms and suites. Bonus – all of the rooms at Terranea offer views of the ocean – they just differ in terms of how much of the ocean you want to see. They vary from ocean view to ocean side – which is a coastline view – to ocean front – which offers a 180-degree panoramic view of the ocean. Guestrooms come with two double beds or one king and for larger families of five or more we can hook you up with connecting rooms. The suites offer an amazing layout as all have a door off the living room giving you a separate, private bedroom. They also feature an in-room cellar that is stocked with bottles of wine and beer and liquor. But according to Jennifer the oversized living room with what she calls the cruise ship view (because when you look out your windows all you see is water) is the best part.
What About The Cuisine? Terranea offers amazing farm to table gastronomy thanks to
Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra who is actually from right outside of San Sebastian. He grew up on a farm and was always passionate about food – in fact, his family were restaurateurs. When he was hired at Terranea about six years ago he made a case for them get a farm which resulted in them leasing land two miles south of the resort. On this working farm he produces his own produce such as heirloom tomatoes, lettuce and avocados to name a few. He also built a chicken coop which allows them to serve farm fresh eggs every day.
But perhaps the coolest thing is that he actually harvests sea salt! He goes into the ocean around the resort and gets buckets of water that he takes to a sea salt conservatory that he built where it is put through the evaporation process after which he’s left with sea salt. He then infuses it with other ingredients that are on property like meyer lemons and rosemary and creates different flavors of sea salt that is then served at all of Terranea’s restaurants. He’s actually had the sea salt tested in labs to make sure it’s good to eat and they were completely shocked that the sea salt was from right outside of LA because the water is so pure. And thanks to this they have done a great job since they opened of filtering the storm water before it reaches the oceans so that they leave very minimal footprints. It’s really made the cult beds thrive and added so many nutrients to the water right off the coast which has allowed the marine life to thrive as well.
In addition, they harvest kelp – which is a very sustainable product and is used in their dishes as well as at the spa to make kelp soap and other kelp products. They also produce their own honey – which is available for sale if you would like to take some home – as Chef Bernard has beehives as well. In fact, he jokingly likes to say he’s got 80,000 workers and their busy as bees! And of course, since sustainability travel is what Book Here, Give Here is all about I adore all of this.
Now for the dining options – there are a number of different restaurants that feature amazing cuisine and great views to go with it. In fact, all of Terranea’s restaurants offer indoor and outdoor dining right and since they are blessed with Southern California weather outdoor dining is perfect. They have an international pallet available with each restaurant offering a different menu as well as different beverage lists.
Among the dining options are the Catalina Kitchen which is the resort’s main restaurant and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then there is Nelson’s which is quite popular with the locals thanks to its location featuring fabulous sunsets and the fact that you cannot get closer to the water thank dining here. Fun Fact: Nelson’s is actually a tribute to a character in Sea Hunt which was an old tv show that was filmed at Marineland Pacific – the predecessor to SeaWorld – which is what the property used to be until 1987. There is also a fabulous pan Asian restaurant Bashi that offers great sushi, shaken beef and garlic noodles along with Jennifer’s favorite cocktails. And for upscale dining there is Mar’sel which is great for special occasions or a fancy Sunday brunch with awesome views.
I Am Into Wellness. Good because there are plenty of wellness aspects to Terranea and not just the spa and the fabulous fitness center. Just the fact that the property is surrounded by nature – you immediately feel a sense of peace and relaxation once you step on it. The property is also unique in that it faces south which is kind of different because you think when you’re on the west coast the oceans to the west. But since they do face south you can actually see the sunrise and the sunset from the property.
Now when they were developing their wellness program they really focused on the natural circadian rhythm of the body. So, for the mornings they recommend more rejuvenating, more revitalizing treatments and then in the afternoon it’s about calming down and getting ready for bed. They even have a sleep therapy spa treatment that concentrates on how to cure your jet lag and it really helps you sleep at night.
They built their 50,000 square foot spa at the very tip of the peninsula which is not commonly done at resorts because as you know a lot of hotels bury them in the basement without any views. Here they did the opposite and built it in the most prime location of the resort for amazing views. Many of the treatment rooms – as well as the yoga movement studio – opens open straight out to the water so you can hear the waves crashing during your treatment- allowing for natural sounds instead of what is getting pumped through your earphones.
Then of course there’s with all the outdoor space and activities like the kayaking – you can kayak with dolphins! – and paddle boarding just to name a few. They also offer a class they call Nature’s Gym where they take you out onto the walking trails and you use the different picnic tables and steps along the property and get a workout the old-fashioned way!
I Hear There are Quite A Few Pool Options On Property. The property has four heated swimming pools for guests to choose from. There is the adult only pool for those age 21 and over, then another that is age 18 and older and of course two family friendly pools. The Resort Pool is for all ages and features a 140-foot corkscrew water slide as well as a kid’s splash zone. But then there is also the Vista Pool where they have separated out the older children from the younger children – this one is for ages 13 and up – so that families can have some quiet time away from – as Jennifer said so cutely – “all the Marco Polo and splashing around.”
What Else Can I Find Here? You can play some golf on a super awesome golf course called the Links at Terranea which is a collection of nine championship caliber par three golf courses that in the summer sometimes gets converted to a foot golf course. If you aren’t familiar with foot golf it is played with a soccer ball and it’s so fun to get out there and run around on the golf course and kick a soccer ball. The beauty of this course is that it is great for skilled golfers who just need to sharpen their short game, or the beginner golfers or people have never golfed before as it’s a very unintimidating course. It is also family friendly and you don’t even have to wear golf shoes or have golf attire or have your own golf clubs!
And one of the things that I love about the property is that even though things are set up for adults it also caters to families with children, so nobody is going to ever feel left out here. What a fabulous opportunity for those of you looking to do a multi-generational trip or entire family reunion.
Wedding And Reunions. Speaking of reunions – this is a great place for them as well as for destination weddings – which typically turn into a family reunion of sorts! Terranea offers fabulous accommodations and amazing views plus there is no passport needed! What more could you ask for! And Jennifer confirmed they can accommodate from ten to 1500 people for weddings.
They really have something for every type of traveler. Even if you wanted to celebrate a retirement or just celebrate seeing family again. Let’s face it – we’ve all been stuck at home for so long and we want to get out and see our friends and family and Terranea is the perfect outdoor playground for that.
I Want To Travel Responsibly. The sustainability at this property is amazing. In addition to what we touched on earlier they also donate food in the fight to end hunger. Being oceanfront, you can rest assured they are definitely responsible stewards of this priceless land. Jennifer made a fabulous comment that every day is Earth Day at Terranea, and they want to make sure that they leave as little footprint as possible.
Covid Safety? Everything is sanitized and is completely disinfected, and they ask that you wear face masks in the public spaces. They are abiding by all the LA County and CDC guidelines and Jennifer assured us that their main priority right now really is to protect their associates and their guests while still ensuring that you have an extraordinary time at Terranea.
Fun Fact. There is a cave that can be found on property – on the beach actually – that they call the Batcave because in the 1950s the old Batman movie has the Batmobile drive straight into that cave! In fact – Terranea has been the site of many major Hollywood movies including Pirates of the Caribbean.
Updated COVID-19 Information: As of this writing California is open for visitors!
So, what do you think? I love this property because it has so much opportunity for social distancing. You are certainly not on top of each other plus you have that Mediterranean feel along with being surrounded by nature. What a great place to just forget the real world for a while, unwind and rejuvenate yourself or reconnect with your loved ones.
And bonus! The hotel has offered us some great opportunities to offer you guys – including getting a third night free. And since Terranea participates in the Travel Leaders select program – which I am a part of – I also have great amenities to offer you such as breakfast for two people or perhaps a one-time $100 resort credit or early check in and late check out if available – just to name a few! So, what do you say? Let’s get to planning!
For more details on the fabulous Terranea Resort, their price points and more – contact your Travel Guru! Oh, and if you need a payment plan to fund your travel adventure – we got those too!