The Terranea Resort and Spa in Palos Verdes, Los Angeles has been getting a very good rap of late, and I’m not surprised. Just a twenty-minute drive from LAX or a a half ride ride from where I live in Hollywood, you find yourself on a secluded Peninsula. This new resort was built on the original site of Marine Land. In reverence to this unmarred setting, Terranea Resort was created with the utmost sensitivity to its native environment and a guiding philosophy of ecological sustainability. The existing contours of the land and varied microclimates create diverse natural habitats and every effort has been made to blend the ecological and aesthetic characteristics of the surrounding landscape into the Resort. The setting is absolutely idyllic as overlooks the stunning Californian Coastline. An ocean view room will afford you a spectacular panoramic view of the glittering Pacific, and you’ll see Catalina Island in the distance. If you spend more than a couple of minutes staring into the crashing waves, you’re likely to see dolphins, sea lions, and even whales (at the right time of year.) It’s no wonder that after dinner my husband and I were walking up on the bluff in front of the resort and spotted a candlelit gazebo. On further inspection, we found out that it had been prepared for a Valentine’s night proposal.
Despite it being a pretty large resort with close to four hundred rooms, even at almost full capacity, it didn’t seem at all crowded. If you have kids, you can lounge by the pretty family pool, which boasts the kind of water slide that will keep them going for hours. If, on the other hand, you are either off for a romantic weekend or you’re solo, you have a lot of really great choices: There’s an adult-only pool area with its own private bar, and my favorite pool, which is by the spa.
The spa at The Terranea is superb. All the treatments are holistic and only the best organic products are used. The spa itself is beautiful and if you ever want to plan a seriously romantic weekend, I recommend the fireside massage for two, which is heavenly. I enjoyed a delicious smoothie at the Spa cafe before working out in the spacious gym. Never have I had such an incredible workout because the walls of the gym are glass and overlook the glittering Pacific – as does the yoga studio.
I was really stoked to try chef Michael Fiorelli’s food at Mar’sel restaurant. I had heard that he’s obsessed with using organic, local and sustainable ingredients. I wasn’t disappointed. His dishes are simple but absolutely delicious. For my entree, I enjoyed king trumpet mushrooms with caramelized fennel over soft polenta – divine. He uses vegetables and herbs from his carefully tended garden right outside the restaurant.
At Terranea you get to experience the Southern California coastline at it’s best. A highlight of our weekend was taking a hike along the cliffs, where we stood watching the crashing waves and the dolphins.
I applaud Terranea for all their environmental initiatives. Everywhere we looked was evidence of the care that is being taken with water, land and energy conservation.
If you’re visiting Los Angeles, either for a family vacation or a romantic getaway for two, check out The Terranea for a little slice of Paradise, which is very easy to get to.