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LaCosta Resort and Spa

Ratings:

Baby/Child Friendliness:

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Romance:

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More about the ratings...

Contact Information

Costa Del Mar Road
Carlsbad, California 92009
Phone: (800) 854-5000 or (760) 438-9111
www.lacosta.com

To top off all the pampering, a full service beauty salon is located on the premises of the La Costa Resort and Spa.

LaCosta, located on 400 rolling acres in the coastal San Diego foothills, and situated at the foot of a Pacific Lagoon, is known for being "the total resort." As such, it boasts an excellent golf course, wondrous spas, top-notch restaurants and entertainment, as well as leading tennis instruction and facilities and a technologically advanced conference center. The warm days and gentle ocean breezes at night from the Pacific Ocean--just minutes away--are enhanced by the beautiful lawns, flower beds, and waterfalls.

The property is beautiful and well-maintained and the buildings and decór are in calm shades of terra cotta, peach and salmon. Furnishings include hand-carved mahogany tables and dressers, along with signed pieces of art. The service throughout the resort is friendly and non-intrusive from check-in to check-out.

Although well known for its tennis and golf amenities, the LaCosta Resort and Spa also offers a variety of features for families.

Dining experiences at LaCosta are many and varied. LaCosta is noted for exceptional room service along with four restaurants from which to choose.

Room Service:

  • Without leaving their rooms, guest can order room service "spa cuisine." This is light fare in which the calories and fat grams are listed and includes seafood, chicken, filet mignon, salmon and vegetables. They also offer richer fare such as Maine lobster (which I ordered in my room), sautéed scampi, filet mignon and seared Mahi Mahi.
  • A room-service children's menu is available until 10 p.m. with such selections as chicken fingers, spaghetti with meat sauce, pizza, macaroni and cheese and cheeseburgers.

The menu includes children's desserts including ice cream, fresh strawberries with whipped cream, and cookies.

Four main restaurants:

  • Ristorante Figaro is a classically European dining room offering fine northern Italian cuisine with an antipasto table, pastas, chicken, and veal.

  • Pisces is a formal dining room with an intimate, romantic decór serving fine gourmet seafood. Many items, including the caviar plate, are prepared at tableside. The excellent food including Maine lobster and warm spinach bacon salad, prepared at my table, was particularly savory.

I had a positive experience with my baby when I dined here. When Mandalin began crying mid-meal, the staff handled the situation very well, with good humor and concern. This is especially impressive considering the upscale, formal nature of the restaurant. Mandalin was the only baby in the restaurant but the staff never made us feel out-of-place, as we took turns carrying crying Mandalin out into the hallway. Instead, they offered us a high chair, pretended to ignore her toys or bottle spread across the table, and even followed us into the hallway to inquire if she was okay. Their attitude was superb.

The decór of Pisces was soothing, dimly lit, romantic and calming for both babies and parents. The plush, cushioned, seats made the setting comfortable for relaxing over dinner. The tables were wide enough for discretely spreading baby paraphernalia; I would not make a show of such items here, but, if necessary, it is nice to have the table room.

  • Brassiere is an informal restaurant with outdoor-patio dining overlooking the golf course. For me, this relaxing location is the restaurant's main appeal. Considered one of the more casual dining experiences in the resort (as compared to the more upscale Pisces and Ristorante Figaro), Brassiere serves hamburgers and the acclaimed LaCosta Spa Cuisine for people watching their weight or looking to shed some pounds. The Brassiere is open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late snacks. Friday nights, they offer an expansive seafood buffet and on Sundays, a Champagne brunch.

My family enjoyed the Champagne brunch, which consisted of quite an impressive array of seafood including mussels, shrimp, sushi, and salmon. Also, a carving station offered lamb and turkey. A separate area was comprised of all things sweet including Belgian waffles, bread pudding, and an elaborate display of cakes and pies such as pecan, chocolate and raspberry.

One notable feature of this brunch was that the servers were highly attentive to checking the temperatures of the warm meat, chicken, and fish dishes, an especially important feature for pregnant women visiting the resort. I do not always see servers with this level of concern at brunches and the last thing one wants to do on vacation (especially when pregnant) is to get sick.

The service was otherwise not the most attentive, but the food and relaxing view of the golf course compensated, for the most part. A Classical guitar player inside the restaurant created a soothing atmosphere and the casual outdoor dining on the patio allowed for convenient stroller access for guests with babies. Other babies were taking in the fresh air in their strollers as well. Fresh air was enjoyed while dining overlooking the lake and the famous golf course.

  • The Poolside Terrace is a casual, outdoor restaurant at the Aquatic Center, overlooking the pool. It offers light fare and beverages.

  • Two LaCosta Lounges:
  • The Tournament of Champions Lounge features live entertainment and dancing on Friday and Saturday evenings from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
  • The Lobby Lounge serves complimentary hot and cold hor d'oervres between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Entertainment for parents is available in the LaCosta clubhouse.

A fruit and cheese plate found in my room upon arrival are among the nice touches experienced at this resort.

These restaurants have accrued a variety of awards.

Pisces has won the Gold Award for Seafood from the Southern California Restaurant Writers. Ristorante Figaro has been honored with the Silver Award for Italian food from the Southern California Restaurant Writers. Brassiere LaCosta was awarded the Gold Award for American cuisine from the Southern California Restaurant Writers.

The resort itself also boasts an impressive series of awards accrued over the years, notably the 4 Diamond Award by AAA and the resort has been previously listed among the Top Ten Resorts by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.

Health and Fitness:

The expansive health spa offers a variety of programs each aimed at revitalizing the traveler, producing immediate personal benefits as well as creating a foundation for a longer range health program:

  • Spa amenities available to guests include saunas, whirlpool baths, rock steam rooms, Roman pools, several swimming pools, sundecks, and a water complex featuring a beautiful koi-filled lagoon and cascading waterfall.
  • Treatments include massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and European body treatments. The spa is famous for its herbal wrap, a skin care and relaxation treatment.
  • Massages such as Swedish, reflexology, hands-and-feet, shiatsu, aromatherapy, and therapeutic, are available.
  • A great variety of skincare is offered at the spa, including the Refresher, the Hibiscus Peel, the Vitamin C Facial, an Aromatherapy Facial, a DNA Treatment, a Men's Executive Facial, a Moar Mud treatment, a Lightening Facial, and a Rosacea Facial.
  • The Spa Maternity Program is a unique and memorable feature, perfect for traveling pregnant women. Find more information on this under Baby/Child Friendliness.
  • Body Treatments offered include the popular herbal wrap designed to soothe tired muscles, improve circulation, and renew energy by wrapping the entire body in warm, herb-saturated linen sheets.
  • A variety of other treatments designed to fit specific needs include the Loofah Body Scrub, the Aromatherapy Wrap, the Healing Wrap, the Revitalizing Leg Treatment, the Beautiful Bronzing Treatment, the Chamomile Body Exfoliation, the Thermal Moar Mud Treatment, the Cellulite Treatment, and the Firming Body Treatment.
  • Water Therapies offered include the Hungarian Kur Bath; the Kranter Bath, a German herbal bath; and the Oligomer Bath among others.
  • An extensive fitness program is composed of various classes including aerobics, water aerobics, water toning, step, stretch, relaxation/visualization classes, and circuit classes.
  • Various types of fitness evaluations are available as well as customized personal trainers, nutritional analyses and counseling sessions.

To top off all this pampering, a full-service beauty salon is located on the premises.

Baby/Child Friendliness:

  • Camp LaCosta: The goal of this camp is in keeping with the resort's overall goal, which is to create a "relaxing and fulfilling vacation for all family members."

Camp LaCosta offers Mom and Dad total freedom while their children attend a fully-supervised program led by a trained recreation staff. The program is for children from five to twelve and is available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. There are extended hours for Camp LaCosta at night.

Camp LaCosta stresses safety in entertaining the children as one of their prime features. They entertain the children with various group activities, sports, arts and crafts, golf and tennis for the younger set, swimming, kite flying, and biking as well as volleyball and basketball games and an on-sight playground. The cost is $65.00 per day, per child, including lunch or $15.00 per hour without lunch.

  • Camp LaCosta at Night: The evening begins with a social hour and delicious appetizers followed by a nutritious dinner. Activities include a scavenger hunt, charades, a traditional breaking of a pinata, and a storytime.

Camp LaCosta at Night is available Friday and Saturday nights from 6:30 p.m to 9:30 p.m. and the cost is $45.00 per child per night, including dinner.

  • Baby-sitting for children under five can be arranged through the concierge. Be sure to find out if the sitters are bonded.

  • The Spa Maternity Program is very relevant to the "Making and Taking Babies" philosophy of this site, or for moms somewhere in between the two states. Designed for expectant mothers to pamper themselves and relieve some of the stresses and bodily changes associated with a healthy pregnancy, this program offers maternity massages, leg treatments, and baths designed especially for moms-to-be.

The resort also offers a post-maternity seaweed scalp treatment at the LaCosta salon designed to strengthen hair follicles and restore the natural beauty of the hair which sometimes loses luster during pregnancy.

While six months pregnant with Autumn, I had the very relaxing Maternity Massage which incorporates a pregnancy pillow that supports the stomach. It gave me the rare opportunity to feel as if I were lying on my stomach when, actually, the pillow created an enclave that held my stomach so no undue pressure was put on my baby.

This massage was very revitalizing as my therapist worked especially on my lower back pain and tension, which is a natural by-product of pregnancy from the additional weight of the baby. In my case, my back pain was accentuated by the constant lifting of my pre-toddler, Mandalin. The positive results for my back remained for a considerable length of time after leaving the resort.

  • Another Family Attraction is the famous nearby Legoland, located within a fifteen minute drive from the resort.

Romance:

Everything about the LaCosta Resort and Spa speaks of romance. The wall-to-wall comfort and beauty keeps you always in a romantic mood. The total pampering and the meeting of all of your needs enables you to feel relaxed at all times. The programs for children, which enable parents to spend time together, fosters romance.

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