Montage Laguna Beach, cALIFORNIA
Credit: Courtesy of Montage Laguna Beach

In spite of its name, Laguna Beach is much more than destination for surf bums and sunbathers. This popular Orange County beach town is, in fact, best-known for its impressive art scene and cutting edge California cuisine. And the area's top hotels, unsurprisingly, know how to deliver both design as well as reservation-worthy restaurants.

The best hotels for travelers visiting Laguna Beach are prepared to impress travelers by being both unique as well as inviting. We looked at properties with upscale amenities, impressive architecture and design, glowing reviews, and prime locations to highlight some of the best hotels in this destination.

With endless coastal bluffs and hidden coves, Laguna Beach strikes an impressive balance between culture and natural beauty. And the hotels in this favorite California destination are also as aesthetically pleasing as they are prepared to delight and entertain guests.

La Casa Del Camino

With its distinctive Spanish-style architecture (stucco, domed arches) and hand-carved furnishings guests feel as if they've been transported to somewhere in the Mediterranean. Offering travelers access to nearly eight miles of coastline, La Casa Del Camino is just a minute’s walk from Cress Street Beach — an ultra-secluded spot. In 2010, the hotel launched the Casa Surf Project, a collection of 10 individually designed suites inspired by the state's famous surf culture. After you’ve earned your tan lines on a board, head up to The Rooftop bar for a glass of frozé with grapefruit rum, peach, and cranberry juice.

The Inn at Laguna Beach

Located just steps from Main Beach — one of Southern California’s most iconic stretches of sand — and across the street from Heisler Park, The Inn at Laguna Beach has an unbeatable location. The rooms imitate classic beach bungalows, with plantation-style shutters and balconies, but with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs with HBO, in-room Starbucks coffee, and high-speed Wi-Fi. Come nightfall, join other guests for a complimentary wine reception on the terrace, or grab dinner at Las Brisas, which has been a landmark for decades.

Casa Laguna

Leading the new wave of small, style-driven properties appearing in Laguna Beach is this 23-suite property overlooking the Pacific Coast Highway. From the front steps to the fireplace mantle, colorful ceramic tiles are found in brilliant mosaics across the property. Even the bathrooms, with their claw-foot tubs and intricate tilework, reinforce Casa Laguna's bold Moorish influences.

Montage Resort and Spa

Situated high up on a coastal bluff, this 30-acre property has uninterrupted Pacific Ocean views. Inside, guests will find an impressive collection of 20th-century art and 240 elegant rooms. A world-class pool and your choice of three different on-site restaurants means you won’t run out of things to do during your stay (or envy-inducing Instagram opportunities). If you realize that long days spent sunbathing at the beach have given you too much glow, stop at the resort’s Spa Montage, a 20,000-square-foot oasis, for some much-needed pampering.

Pacific Edge Hotel

Affordable but polished, travelers can stay right on the beach at the Pacific Edge Hotel. Request a front room with a balcony for the best views, but know that you'll still be closed to the area's famous galleries and small boutiques. Guests should expect a playful, mid-century design aesthetic, bold art and color choices, and — in many cases — en suite kitchenettes and full kitchens.