The Montage in Laguna Beach is always beautiful whatever time of the year. But during the holidays, it’s especially lovely–from the dining and decor to the warm, cozy, comfortable ambiance of the resort. We visited for Thanksgiving and it was delightful. With us just having a new baby, it was so wonderful to skip the cooking and just enjoy the day with our new family of five. (I’m sure many moms can relate new baby or not.)
We dined in the Masterpiece Grand Ballroom for a buffet that was abundantly delicious for all of us (half of our family is Vegetarian). Executive Chef Rob Wilson (below) kindly walked us through the offerings and made a point to call out the Children’s Buffet area, which was so thoughtful at a child’s height with quaint PB& J sandwiches, macaroni and cheese and much more. The kids adored all their choices and fancy sparkling cider. It’s adorable when resorts go out of their way to make the younger ones feel special.
The Montage offered family portraits upon arrival and had picture-perfect holiday decorations throughout the buffet. The space was inviting, open, airy and truly had all one could wish and want for.
The vast menu started with Butternut Squash Bisque for a soup selection, an endless, vibrant Salad Station (I enjoyed the Baby Spinach with Warm Pancetta Cider Vinaigrette with seasonal berries and Heirloom Tomatoes), and the Artisan Cheese and Wine area was divine with rare and exotic farm cheeses, nuts and red and white pairings. Other stations included the Sushi Roll Selection, Smoked Salmon Display, an On Ice variety of shrimp, crab and more and, of course, a Carving station with organic turkey and prime rib. Accompaniments included all from leeks and apricot stuffing to crisp, fresh green beans. And a bread display satisfied every carb craving you could have. Finally, everyone’s favorite, the Dessert Bar was irresistible; I’m embarrassed to say how often my husband and the kids revisited the artistic sweet selections that overflowed from red velvet varieties and warm pumpkin crepes to apple cinnamon crisp and on and on and on.
The Montage will be putting on an equally exquisite buffet for Christmas with a unique menu in the Master Ballroom, or you may dine at The Loft or The Studio on the resort property. Those dining included many locals, so if you go, know you’ll be among friends as always at The Montage. The resort is very local-friendly and it’s a wonderful place close by to escape to with a laid-back essence that’s welcoming and friendly. We spent time in the hotel playing checkers by the fireplace after our buffet and thoroughly enjoyed the moments to relax and spend quality time with our family.
Kudos to Chef Wilson and the Director of Banquets Javad Mirtavoosi on an elegantly exquisite holiday. And here’s to the other holidays ahead from New Year’s to Easter and the ever-popular Mother’s Day dining.