A day spent at the Spa Montage in Laguna Beach is one of life’s great luxuries. Spa time here is definitely a pricey outing, but it is worth it to visit at least once per year, or however often you can afford it. The amazing ocean view and the ability to use the spa’s outdoor pool facilities alone make the a trip to the Spa Montage a massage for the soul as well as therapy for the body.
Montage Hotels & Resorts are known for their luxury and quality. The Laguna Beach resort, located right on the bluffs in Laguna’s oceanfront, has been consistently named as one of the top hotels in the world, and the Spa Montage frequently makes it to the top 10 on Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Resort Spas list.
Facilities & Amenities
The spa is a bit hidden away on the lower level of the resort, which nicely adds to its serenity. You can find the discrete entrance behind the sprawling main pool and Mosaic, the outdoor restaurant/bar. In addition to the large, elegant indoor facilities, the spa includes an outdoor pool area reserved solely for spa guests, a salon run by celebrity hairstylist Kim Vo, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a studio used for yoga, Pilates, meditation and wellness programs.
One of the main reasons we love visiting the Spa Montage is the spa’s outdoor adults-only pool area. Booking any 60-minute body or facial treatment or personal training session entitles you to the use of all spa facilities, including this breathtaking outdoor relaxation space reserved for spa guests only. You can literally spend a day overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the bluffs, while sitting in a chaise and being waited on by Montage staff. Spa cuisine and beverages are provided by Mosaic Bar & Grill, and charges can be added on to your final spa invoice. When you make a day of it, this spa outing is like a mini-vacay.
The indoor facilities are just as stellar and are an oasis of tranquility and serenity. The separate men’s and women’s separate rest lounges are equipped with a fireplace, a nice selection of hot teas, healthy snacks and cold citrus-infused water. Elsewhere in the lounge, there’s a marble steam room, a dry sauna, a whirlpool (hot tub) and cold plunge pool, large marble/tiled showers and high-end bath amenities by Kerstin Florian. The spacious “togetherness” couples treatment room is also very nice — it’s equipped with two side-by-side massage beds, a large soaking tub, hand-held shower heads for wet treatments and french doors that lead to a small outdoor patio.
One of our favorite indoor facilities at the Montage is also the nail salon, located inside the Kim Vo Salon. The nail salon area is small but that makes for a quiet and relaxing treatment since only a very small number of people can be in there at one time. What you’re really paying for is the spectacular view — you’ll be hard-pressed to find another place in Southern California where you can get your nails done in a luxurious spa environment with this kind of amazing ocean view.
The main thing this spa lacks is a quiet room — right now there is no place with absolutely no talking at the Montage. It would be great to have one area where you can decompress and get centered in silence before a treatment.
In terms of amenities, the Montage provides some really nice basics like shampoo, conditioner and body wash by Kerstin Florian, mouthwash,“signature” body moisturizer, hairspray, deodorant, razors and feminine hygiene products. It doesn’t provide as many of the basics as a day spa like Burke Williams, probably because they assume most guests have their own products back in their hotel rooms. So, if you’re planning on spending time at the Spa Montage and then heading out afterwards, make sure to bring all your own face products (especially cleansers to wash your face after a massage, because the Montage doesn’t provide any) and hair styling products. They don’t offer any moisturizers with sunscreen either, so if you are planning on spending the day outdoors at the pool, bring your sunscreen as well.
One last tiny thing: it would be great if the spa had digital key codes on their lockers instead of the physical keys. Some, but not all, of the lockers have these digital keypads. The locker key is just one thing that we need to worry about when we’re in a place where we shouldn’t be worrying about anything.
Services at the Spa Montage are known as their “Palette of Therapies” because the Montage believes that spa services are less about pampering, and more about balancing and body therapy. Their therapists are all highly trained, having received what is the equivalent of a master’s level program in the spa industry through ASTECC.
In addition to traditional massages, facials and body treatments, Spa Montage also offers wellness and fitness programs, workshops and classes which often take place outside on the lawns, in the sand or beside the water on the beach.
We’ve had massages, wraps, scrubs, manicures and pedicures from the Spa Montage. The massage-based treatments are always stellar and help relieve stiffness, soreness and anxiety. I particularly love the aromatherapy offered during a massage — the Montage lets you choose from a nice selection of beautiful, soft scents that are calming.
The wraps and scrubs leave us polished and glowing, although the salt scrubs are too abrasive for our skin. Both wraps and scrubs are done in the wet room with a Vichy shower, and the Montage’s wet room is outstanding. The table/bed is very comfortable — often times in wet rooms the beds get uncomfortable once they get wet, but this isn’t the case here. The lighting in the wet room also mimics the tranquil low-lighting of the massage rooms, so you don’t feel like you’re in a bathroom or shower area. The Montage scrubs use citrus fruits, local herbs and salt while the wraps use dry brushing for exfoliation followed by a clay masque.
Claustrophobic folks may avoid getting wraps for fear that they may be trapped in a tight space but there is no need for anxiety with the Montage’s wrap treatment. The wrap doesn’t technically wrap you up in anything. You are simply covered in a towel and a blanket for warmth after the clay masque has been applied to your body. The therapist we had was aware that one of us had a little claustrophobia, and she did a great job easing fears and concerns by staying in the room and talking us through the process.
The manicures and pedicures done by the sweet and very meticulous nail ladies always turn out beautifully. These are not your run-of-the-mill mani-pedis. When you get your nails done at the Montage, the service is luxurious and thorough — even for the “basic” Spa Journey nail treatment. And as always, the products they use on your hands and feet are highly-effective while also smelling quite lovely. You also get to take your nail and foot files home with you!
Some of the best massage therapists I’ve ever had were from this spa. In addition to being highly trained and experienced, they are also extremely intuitive, which gives them the ability to sense exactly the kind of touch therapy your body needs.
Earlier this year, after a traumatic and stressful life event, I went to the Spa Montage for body and soul therapy — meditating by the ocean and a great massage help me heal. My massage therapist Rochelle instinctively knew that I was processing some psychological scars as I lay on the table. I thought I was relaxed but at one point she gently asked if I was thinking stressful thoughts and trying to let go of something. I was shocked — how could she tell when I was laying face down on the table? She gently pointed out that muscles in my back and shoulders were tensing and releasing, when all they were supposed to be doing was relaxing. She asked if I was open to visualization (which I was, since I regularly meditate) and then softly guided me through a process of forgiveness and letting go, all while she was working on the tension in my muscles. It was a massage for the soul and truly a transformative experience.
That experience was unique to Spa Montage. Some therapists at other high-end wellness spas have come close, but I hadn’t had a therapist like Rochelle before and haven’t seen once since.
While not all the therapists at Spa Montage are quite like Rochelle, they do seem to have one thing in common: they are all extremely good at what they do, and they deliver each service with quiet, gentle assuredness. They are all truly the epitome of the best in spa service.
The only point I would deduct for service would be outside at the pool area, and I would take it from the female service staff. I have never had much luck with the female staff outside — in my experience, they are generally not as friendly or as efficient as the men are. They will make you wait forever for a chair or a menu, or even to get them to come over to your seat in the first place. And then when they do get to you, sometimes they just aren’t that nice. The boys however, are stellar. They are always on-point.
Other than this small handful of people outside at the pool, everyone at the Spa Montage is well-trained and an expert at service in a luxury establishment. At the Montage, some guests are really splurging, and others are simply regulars but generally everyone gets treated the same way — with a kindness, friendliness and efficiency that is the hallmark of a luxury resort on every gold and diamond list in the travel industry.
If you can afford it, go to the Spa Montage and treat yourself to a massage. You deserve it. If you can’t afford it, let your friends know that a Spa Montage gift certificate makes a great birthday present! Then take a day, hang out and relax at the spa’s beautiful facilities. Body and soul will appreciate the mini Laguna Beach vacay.
- Adults and spa guests-only outdoor lap pool, hot tub and relaxation area
- Dry sauna
- Steam room
- Indoor waterfall whirlpool jacuzzi
- Indoor Cold plunge pool
- Studio with panoramic views of the ocean
- Fitness center
- Vanity areas with limited hair and beauty products
- Private showers
$$$$$ – Luxury
SPA MONTAGE LOCATION
Montage Laguna Beach
30801 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
In addition to their Laguna Beach location, Montage Hotels & Resorts has a resort and spa in:
- Beverly Hills, California
- Deer Valley, Utah
- Kapalua Bay, Hawaii
- Los Cabos, Mexico (currently in development)
- Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina
SPA HOURS OF OPERATION
6:00 am – 9:00 pm
First treatment at 9:00 am unless requested earlier
Salon hours are 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
HOW TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
You can request an appointment online but it’s better to call (949) 715-6010 and speak with one of the spa concierges who will help you decide which treatments in their menu are best for you.