As a little girl, I remember driving by the abandoned Marineland of the Pacific with my parents. It once was an animal seaside theme park. At the time, it sat deserted and forlorn for over thirty years. Then in 1998, Lowe Enterprises became involved with the 102-acre property and built the gorgeous Terranea resort.
The views from every angle are exquisite, offering 270-degree views of the rocky coastline, secluded coves and Catalina Island to the west. There are over 400 guest rooms and suites ranging from 450 sq. ft. to 2,200 sq. ft. with resort and ocean views. Each room has a king-size or two double beds. For larger groups, or longer visits, the villas, casitas and bungalows are available with full kitchens, laundry rooms, living rooms, and lovely private patios.
Our day began with a short stroll to The Links at Terranea. A challenging 9-hole par-3 course with ocean views at every hole. Later we visited the full-service spa for a massage and short nap at the adult-only pool.
Afterwards, we walked along the Discovery Trail to watch for whales, dolphins or seals in the distance. During the winter-spring seasons, this area is the migration route of the California Gray Whale. The nutrient-rich continental shelf is occasionally the summer feeding ground of the rare Blue Whale, the largest mammal on earth. Signs along the trail are interpretative stops with a rest area to learn more about the history, folklore and marine life of this coastal area. We learned, that the nearby Point Vincente lighthouse, circa 1926 is also called Lady of the Light. Tales are told that in the evening the shape of a woman paces the light’s walkway.
Dining By The Sea
Terranea is very family friendly for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Catalina Kitchen with its children’s buffet table, filled with fruit, veggies and dip, pastas and pizza. On Friday nights they offer a seafood buffet. During Saturday and Sunday is a breakfast buffet and brunch.
For romantic dinners, the resort offers the Tide Pool Adventure Club from 6 to 10 pm for ages 4 to 12. While children are entertained, parents stroll over to the resort’s signature restaurant, mar’sel (Spanish for “sea” and French for “salt”) for oceanfront dining of modern California cuisine. The fresh herbs and produce used each evening are grown in tidy little gardens behind the restaurant.
Another ocean-view, dining experience is Nelson’s, overlooking the Point Vicente Lighthouse. It offers casual, pub-like fare with televisions playing the latest sporting events. Guests gather outside on the patio or around the cozy fire pits for dinner and a craft beer, creative cocktails or glass of wine to pair with a seasonal salad, juicy burger, lobster roll or tasty sandwich. Save room for the Key lime pie or Nutella ice cream sandwich. The hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday Nelson’s stays open until 11 p.m.
Come to Nelson’s Happy Hour on Monday through Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. There are beer specials, discounts on selected food items and on glasses of house wines.
Relax by the Pool
Families gather around the 140-foot Peninsula Plunge waterside, or grab a chaise lounge near the jumping splash pad or 5,000-square-foot pool.
Since the beach is small and not conducive to swimming, adults (18 and over) congregate around Cielo Point, the resort’s second adult pool overlooking the Pacific.
When we stayed at the resort, we were told to gather at sunset on the Lobby Terrace. To signify the end of the day a member from Concierge brings out a sacred crystal-singing bowl. As he taps the bowl and swirls the rubber tip around the inside, it creates a sound and vibration that is known for healing and relaxation. The pure sounds of the crystals resonate to bring harmony and well-being to all who hear the beautiful sound. It’s a wonderful way to end the day and enjoy an evening at Terranea.
Special Deals during the Fourth of July Weekend
During the Fourth of July weekend the resort is offering special room packages to celebrate the resort’s fifth anniversary. Book five nights or more and receive a $500 resort credit that can be used for The Spa, The Links Golf Academy, Pointe Discovery, restaurants, or retail boutiques. Be sure to mention or use Promo Code: 5YEAR.
Book two nights and receive the third free. Stay two nights and receive a $150 resort credit.
On July 4 receive discounts on bites, beer and wine during Happy Hour at Nelson’s from 2 to 4 p.m. Catalina Kitchen’s extensive seafood buffet is from 5 to 10 p.m., and live music is in the Lobby Bar from 7 to 9 p.m. On July 5 enjoy a California buffet at Catalina Kitchen from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take a hike through the Living Landscapes of Terranea before going back home.
Terranea is having a Celebration of Food and Wine on August 10 featuring four fun and informative seminars. The two morning seminars include Bubbles of the World, hosted by Master of Wine Candidate Stuart Prato, from 10 – 11:15 a.m., and A History of South Africa, hosted by award-winning Boela Gerber of Groot Constantia, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
An informative lunch, hosted by French Wine Specialist Paul Swigger, will begin at 1 p.m., and will be prepared by Terranea’s Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra and feature a cooking demonstration highlighting the theme of “Old World vs. New World” in both the food and wine presented.
The two afternoon seminar sessions will cover Italian Wines, hosted by Premier Italian Wine Importer and Italian Master Sommelier John Cressman, from 3 – 4:15 p.m., and Bordeaux vs. Burgundy, hosted by Jason Berry, representing Mark Haisma, Burgundy Négociant, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
The evening reception and dinner will start at 5:30 p.m. and feature the chefs of Terranea, along with a special selection of wines for guests to taste and explore.
Festival tickets are offered at $125 including all four seminars and lunch, $125 for the evening reception and dinner, or $225 for the full day of food and wine experiences that includes seminars, lunch, reception and dinner. A special introductory offer of buy one ticket, get the second ticket 50% off is available for the first 70 guests to purchase.
Guests will have the opportunity to purchase a special room package for the Celebration of Food and Wine event. The package includes two-nights accommodation in an ocean-view room and two VIP passes for the event, which includes all seminars, lunch, evening reception and dinner, as well as a special VIP reception and wine dinner at mar’sel the night before the event. The package starts at $900.
Tickets for Terranea’s Celebration of Food and Wine are limited, and available by advance reservation only. Reservations can be made at Terranea.com http://www.terranea.com/california-food-wine-festival. For additional information, please call (310) 265-2766.
For information and reservations, go to www.Terranea.com or 866-802-8000. 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
For driving directions, please use: 6610 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 – Phone: (310) 265-2800