When Marineland in Ranchos Palos Verdes, best known for its famed resident, Shamu the whale, closed after nearly three decades, the land was eventually converted into a 102-acre oceanfront luxury resort. Terranea Resort, a Destination Hotel, offers 582 plushly-appointed rooms, each with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Every room has a terrace or outdoor space, a bathroom with a separate stone tub, private shower and loo.
If it’s privacy and pampering that you crave, you can opt for a spacious Bungalow Suite located on the water’s edge for honeymoons and romantic getaways, or a residential-style Casita. Families who want extended stays can purchase a furnished ocean-view golf front Villa with up to 2,800 square feet of living space. Whatever you choose, all Terranea guests are greeted with a free glass of sparkling wine and can indulge in a myriad of amenities. Treat yourself to an afternoon at the lavish spa (I had the Honey Body Bliss massage, made from the resort-owned bee hives.) for an après treatment, swim in the spa pool, soak in the hot tub, or take a cold plunge with a steamy cup of turmeric tea in the open-air, seaside lounge.
Terranea’s on-site recreation includes four salt water pools (one for adults only), a seaside fitness center, kayaking, paddleboarding, scuba diving, and a 9-hole, par-3 golf course. There are eight restaurants, including Nelson’s, named for a character from the fifties TV show Sea Hunt, filmed at the nearby coves; Bashi, a pan-Asian bistro that serves family-style portions; or the elegant Mar’sel, where you can dine under the stars on garden-to-table California cuisine.
The resort prides itself on its nature-inspired sustainability. This includes a farm housing six chickens, 13 acres of restored kelp (a natural water purifier), and a Sea Salt Conservatory (a greenhouse for harvesting sea salt from the ocean). Guests can take coastal hikes where naturalists enthusiastically identify local marine life, flora and fauna.
Below, Terranea’s Experiential Marketing Manager, Andrea DeKoning, tells us about the elegant property and what makes this SoCal resort so special.
What’s the most requested room?
The Shearwater Suite is the most requested room and my favorite due to its private, oceanfront wraparound balcony! The suite is 1,800 square feet, with a living room, library, a kitchenette with a full-size refrigerator, a master bedroom with a dual-vanity bathroom, and a dining room that seats eight.
What makes it so special?
The Shearwater’s private oceanfront balcony is located on a cliff! From this viewpoint, you have the perfect location for dolphin and whale watching and a panoramic 270-degree view of the Pacific Ocean, making this one of the rare places where you can see the sun both rise and set over the ocean from a single vantage point. The Shearwater Suite also comes with unlimited use of a Lexus.
What is the rate?
Shearwater starts at $2,445 a night.
Any fun facts about the hotel or rooms?
Terranea is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. All guests have complimentary use of a Lexus for up to three hours. There are special events and activities all year. Buy a culinary immersion package with Mar’Sel’s Chef Bernard; make your own olive oil during the Olive festival, get your feet wet tide pooling with a naturalist, or take artisan crafting and archery lessons. Another popular event is yoga under the moonlight!