This sprawling, Mediterranean-style luxury resort rose in 2009 on the peninsula once occupied by the old Marineland of the Pacific park, which closed in 1987. Its magnitude and amenities are unequaled in Los Angeles. Commanding 102 acres of hilly coastline, only one-quarter of which the resort occupies, its greatest amenities are fresh air, open space, and leisure to take advantage of them. Terranea is not a base for seeing the L.A. sights, which are an hour away; it’s a place to settle in, relax, and revel in natural beauty. The experience doesn’t come cheap, so make the most of it. Snorkeling, kayaking, golf, spa treatments, yoga classes, and hiking trails with signs that clue you in to the local ecology are all at your disposal, though the rocky beach isn’t suited for swimming. This is the kid-friendliest resort in L.A., with a Splash Zone play area and a kids club.The smallest guest room is 450 square feet; suites, casitas, bungalows, and villas go up from there. All have patios or balconies, and transcendent ocean views appear virtually anywhere you turn. Of its six restaurants, the seasonal California cuisine at mar’sel is the current foodie favorite, but the more casual Nelson’s boasts the best view, rivaled by the wrap-around balcony at the Lobby Bar & Lounge.
- Frommer's Staff