Review: The Spa at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott

Our Review

  • Facilities 80
  • Treatments 87
  • Therapist(s) 85
  • Service 69
  • Products 100
85 Cali Tranquility
The spa is set in a beautiful and tranquil location, and the treatments are expertly given. Overall cleanliness and style however barely makes the 4-diamond AAA standard.

The Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa is a AAA Four Diamond Hotel perched on top of the cliffs overlooking the historic city of Dana Point. We all love to indulge in a little California dreaming once in a while, and the Laguna Cliffs is one place in Orange County where you can do this. There are amazing views over the Pacific Ocean, and several quirky décor features that embrace key elements of the California lifestyle. A classic Woody with surfboards on top, right at the hotel entrance, is just one example of this.

The 14,000-square-foot hotel spa also ties itself in with the whole California theme by offering treatments designed to embody natural, healthy Californian living. It offers everything from manicures to massages, using high-quality products that are aimed at delivering results-oriented treatments.


These were kind of a mixed bag – some great, other not so much. The area I thought needed the most attention was the women’s bathroom. When I was there, the drain was stinky, and there were only two toilets and three showers – which were dark. The locker room was small, yet there was wasted space in the sauna. Which, by the way, didn’t get hot enough. The steam room was large and bright, but the eucalyptus mist wasn’t working.

Some of the other facilities, though, were really nice. There’s an outdoor lounge with a fireplace, a deluxe spa suite with a private outdoor whirlpool tub and a couples’ treatment room. But I think more attention needs to be focused on getting the basics right.

Massage and Body Treatments

I had the Numerology Massage, which is the Laguna Cliffs’ signature massage. It is inspired by Southern California’s reputation as a trendsetter in the area of new age healing. I’ve since learned that this treatment uses Body Bliss Intentional Aromatherapy app, essential oils and recipes. Your therapist decodes your numerology using the Body Bliss app (that is available exclusively to spas) and then blends a specific set of essential oils per the Body Bliss recipe for use during your massage, which is customized to suit your unique needs.

At first I thought it all sounded a bit hippy and hokey, but it turned out to be right up my alley.

The oils used in the aromatherapy were some of my favorite scents, and they were used judiciously with the massage oil, so it was lovely and relaxing. My massage therapist was very skilled, and worked on my problem areas with great focus and attention. I thought the pressure could’ve been a little harder and deeper, but as the treatment wasn’t designed for deep tissue, I can’t complain.

The scalp massage definitely rated as one of the better ones I’ve had.

I felt my therapist, although excellent, could’ve known a little more about the essential oils she was using. I’m familiar with aromatherapy and the different applications and benefits of essential oils, so expecting a massage therapist to know them all is maybe asking a bit too much. But I did think she should have known more about the oils she was putting on my body, not just simply applying them because some app said so. It was, after all, their signature treatment. In the end, I got to take home the bottle of the Body Bliss essential oil blend she created for me based on my numerology number, which was really nice.

In the months after I received this treatment, I had a chance to actually see and use the Body Bliss Intentional Aromatherapy app and chat about the Aroma Design Bar (that contains all these great oils) with some very lovely folks at Body Bliss. It’s a wonderful little app, especially if you are into aromatherapy. It’s full of useful information on essential oils. It would have been more fun and engaging if the therapist and I had used this together before my treatment. That way, I could have been an active participant in the process and could have seen why the oils were chosen for use.


I didn’t think the service I received over the phone, or at the front desk, was all that great. The first rep at the desk gave me the impression that she didn’t even like working at the spa. I was much happier with the service from my massage therapist, who has apparently been at the spa for ages. The second person I dealt with at the front desk was much nicer.

There was a slightly weird moment during which I overheard a telephone conversation that the spa manager was having in her office. The door was open and I could hear her talking about an unhappy spa client, which was awkward and a little uncomfortable. It also didn’t seem very professional, in my opinion.

Bottom Line

The spa is set in a beautiful and tranquil location, and the massage I had was expertly given. I loved the oils and scents that were chosen for me, and generally found my whole experience very relaxing. My opinion of the spa’s overall cleanliness and style however, was that it barely made the 4-Diamond AAA standard.

  • Outdoor lounge and patio with fireplace
  • Vichy shower
  • Fitness center
  • Salon with nail bar
  • Deluxe spa suite with private outdoor whirlpool tub
  • Steam showers
  • Couples’ treatment room

$$$$ = Pricey


Laguna Cliffs Marriott Hotel & Spa
25135 Park Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629


Monday – Thursday: 8:30am – 6:30pm
Friday – Sunday: 8:30am – 7:30pm


You can book by calling the spa at (949) 487-7576 or by sending them an email at


About the Author

Spa Pro
This spa-loving mystery woman has been going to the spa for 10+ years, and has had therapeutic treatments like massages for over 20 years. Her ideal spa day would include stretchy time in the sauna, a sugar scrub, followed by 2-hour massage and ending with some meditative time by the ocean.

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