Happy Friday! This week was my first regular old five day work week in what feels like forever with our big trip in early May followed by business trips, conferences, and Memorial Day last week. We spent the long weekend at our very favorite resort, Omni La Costa, and it was wonderful and relaxing which was just what we needed.
To fully explain my love for Omni La Costa Resort we’ve got to take it back four years to 2013… the year of the wedding (not ours!). That year we were lucky enough to attend no less than ten nuptials, many of which were out of town. It was a blast to see our loved ones tie the knot and travel to cities we might not have gotten the chance to visit otherwise, but despite the fact that we were doing the whole planes, trains and automobiles thing together, it didn’t actually feel like we had taken a true vacation together… does that make sense? By the end of the year, I was craving a trip with nothing on the itinerary other than sitting by a pool in a bathing suit and eating chips and guac.
Because of his work travel and penchant for loyalty programs we had a free night at an Omni Hotel anywhere in the country. We agreed that we wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t too far so we could spend more time by the pool than in airports, and quickly honed in on La Costa. What followed was a pretty perfect weekend. We flew into John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana and drove the PCH down the coast stopping at Rose’s for breakfast burritos along the way. After getting checked in, we went for a run around the property then settled in by one of their many pools for the rest of the afternoon. That night we enjoyed dinner at Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar just minutes from the resort and when we returned home to the room I was surprised with champagne and a proposal. Needless to say, La Costa holds a very special place in my heart.When we were deciding what to do for our first anniversary last year, returning to La Costa seemed like the obvious choice. If you read our Cuba itinerary you know that our travels are typically jam-packed and often times we come home feeling less rested than when we left. Our time at La Costa definitely represents a time and place where we can relax and rejuvenate and just enjoy each other’s company without feeling the pressure of squeezing in another landmark or rushing to a reservation.
I’m a creature of habit and absolutely love a good tradition, so it’s no surprise that we headed back to the resort and recreated much of our original engagement weekend (again!). Our Omni experience began before we even left home when one of their “Vacation Ambassadors” reached out to us to offer assistance with any on-property reservations for their many restaurants, the spa, golf course, tennis courts, etc. As with all Omni properties we’ve visited, their service is consistently amazing and we’ve always found their attention to detail and staff to be top notch.
We flew into John Wayne Airport again even though it’s further because I had my heart set on some breakfast burritos from Rose’s (we considered ordering donuts from them for our wedding since they have such a special meaning to me!). It’s a quick hour drive to the resort from Newport, but the San Diego airport is even more convenient and only about 30 minutes away from the property. We had mentioned to our “Vacation Ambassador” that we were celebrating our anniversary and were thrilled to be upgraded to a suite overlooking their golf course upon check-in. When we arrived in our room we were greeted by a sweet assortment of chocolates from their pastry kitchen to celebrate our anniversary… like I said… attention to detail??. Upon seeing the pile of chocolates we knew we had to continue our annual tradition of a five mile run around the property. It’s basically our version of fitting into our wedding dress and tux year after year… we do it for time and are always dead set on making sure we can match the pace we set on our very first trip. If it’s too hot for an outdoor workout they have a spectacular fitness center overlooking the pool and golf course and that’s where we got our sweat on on our second day at the property.
Once the whole exercise bit is out of the way it’s time to get down to the serious business of pool lounging. La Costa has an astonishing eight pools… yes eight… so the options are endless. Their Splash Landing Pool area for families has not only a mini water park but two water slides and I totally would have taken the plunge if I didn’t think this big kid would bum the little kids out. They also have a Sandy Beach area for little babes to make sand castles and wade in the shallow waters. I know we’ll be coming back to La Costa for years to come so I love how many options they have for kids of all ages (and someday I’ll have a kid to conquer that water slide with!). Since we don’t have any little ones yet we stick to their adults-only Edge Pool which consists of the main pool, cabanas, a pool bar, fire pits and jacuzzis overlooking their award winning golf course.
If you’re anything like my husband, there’s only so much time you can spend sitting by the pool no matter how beautiful the view. When Roberto can’t sit still much longer we’ll head to the driving range to work on our golf game.They have two golf courses and have been ranked a Gold Medal Resort by Golf Magazine every year since 2012. I’m a definite beginner, but the driving range is a fun way to practice my swing and I think next year we’ll finally spring for lessons. Either that or Roberto will spring for lessons and you’ll be able to find me at the spa??. They also have lots of cute little boutiques (hello Lilly Pulitzer) in their main square if you’re in the mood for some shopping.
Although we enjoyed dinner in downtown Carlsbad on our first visit, on our last two trips we haven’t left the resort at all. Why? There’s really no reason to leave and not having to worry about getting to a reservation makes the trip that much more stress-free. There are five restaurants on site and from room service to poolside nachos to their formal restaurants, all their food is outstanding. The last couple years we’ve taken advantage of their amazing Memorial Day Weekend lineup. They have everything from reptile exhibits and scavenger hunts to s’mores and dive-in movies. It’s seriously a kid’s paradise and I’m still a little bitter Roberto wouldn’t let me participate in what he viewed as “kids only” activities. One thing that’s great for big and little kids alike? The Food Truck party they throw in the Main Plaza. They set up an outdoor bar and bring in a handful of trucks for the night. If you’re following along with me on Instagram you know that we sampled literally everything… a Connecticut style lobster roll from Cousins Maine Lobster, multiple tacos and churros from Taco Picasso, and lobster mac n cheese from Organic Food Truck. It’s a seriously magical vibe… families enjoying good food, drinks, and fun under string lights and stars. The last couple years the Warriors have been deep in the playoffs so we’ve ended our nights watching the games at their sports bar, Departures, where they project the game on a big screen. This year we clinched early (no bigs ?) so we stuffed our bellies and climbed in bed for one of the best nights of sleep we’ve gotten in a while.
We always feel like there’s more than enough to do on property, but if you’re itching to get out and about there are tons of things to do nearby. Number one on my list? The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. We missed their season by just a couple weeks, but I’m determined to buck tradition and celebrate our anniversary early one year so we get a chance to visit ourselves. The resort also has shuttles that will take you the quick five minutes to the beach if you want to dip those toes in the ocean. Got kiddos? The options are endless…Legoland is less than fifteen minutes from the property, the San Diego Zoo is thirty minutes, and Disneyland is just over an hour away. For a night on the town, you’re just a quick Uber from Encinitas, Del Mar, or Oceanside and each time we’ve visited we’ve met friendly locals more than happy to share their recommendations for good bars and restaurants.
If you can’t tell I can’t wait to return to the gorgeous property. We’re already recruiting friends for future family vacations and I honestly just can’t wait for my chance to attend the reptile exhibit and take on those insane waterslides!
Many thanks to Omni La Costa Resort for another incredible weekend at the property!