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The Short Version: Terranea Resort offers a luxury getaway on the Southern California coast. Couples celebrating their relationships can book a casita, bungalow, or villa that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Terranea Resort is situated on 102 acres on the Palos Verdes Peninsula just outside of Los Angeles. It features four swimming pools, nine restaurants and bars, three wedding venues, and a golf course. What’s more, Terranea Resort has employed sustainability ambassadors to ensure its hospitality does not impinge on the environmental ecosystem, so guests can relax with a clear conscience.
Terranea Resort is a luxury resort in L.A. County that welcomes visitors who are celebrating birthdays, relationship milestones, and other special events. The resort opened in 2009 and made Palos Verdes Peninsula a vacation destination in its own right.
Since it opened, Terranea Resort has aimed to preserve the beauty of Southern California and promote sustainable practices from the hotel suites to the restaurant’s kitchen.
“Our owners wanted to be good stewards of the oceanfront property. They wanted to be environmentally-friendly and leave a small footprint,” said Jennifer Yang, the Director of Travel Industry & Reservations at the resort.
Terranea Resort rests on land that used to be occupied by MarineLand, a precursor to SeaWorld, and sat abandoned and deteriorating for nearly 20 years. The founders saved the mature trees from the property and had them replanted around the newly constructed resort. The team also banned balloons from its events and installed a biofiltration system that filters storm water before it reaches the ocean.
“The water is so clean that we’ve been able to harvest sea salt and kelp that our chef incorporates into the cuisine,” said Jennifer.
In addition to sustainability, the leadership team makes an effort to give back to the community. Terranea Resort donates money to a different charity every month. The team also gives its extra toiletries and leftover food to a local homeless shelter.
Couples visiting Terranea Resort can relax at the beach and strengthen their relationships while on vacation or on a day trip to the beach. It’s a premier destination for anyone looking to get away.
The couples staying at Terranea Resort are often seasoned travelers who appreciate high-end lodging that isn’t pretentious. These guests are looking for a home away from home.
“They have an adventure-seeking, culinary mindset,” Jennifer said.
Couples can choose from four types of accommodations. The hotel has guest rooms with a private patio, and it has suites with a living room, bar, and pantry. Bungalows and casitas are separate from the main hotel building and have private patios and kitchens.
Terranea Resort’s bungalows offer private access to the spa and an adults-only pool. These spaces can be perfect for couples celebrating an anniversary or another relationship milestone. The resort also accommodates families and has a kid-friendly pool.
Guests have lots to do on the Terranea Resort grounds, which includes a nine-hole, par-three golf course.
“It’s not intimidating for new golfers, but experienced players can sharpen their short game,” said Jennifer.
Couples can also explore the beautiful beach, cove, and even an Instagram-worthy cave. Guests can also get onto the water by kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding.
“We just started guiding fishing on a kayak. People can kayak out from the protected marine area and go fishing. We’re always trying to improve what we offer. Every year, we have our traditions, but also try to add on new things as well,” Jennifer told us.
Terranea Resort organizes many fun outdoor activities, including falconry and painting lessons. An event called Margaritas and Mandalas gets the creative and meditative juices flowing by inviting guests to paint colorful dots on rocks while sipping cocktails.
Couples who are looking for a place to celebrate their relationships can eat at one of Terranea’s four restaurants. Some local Angelenos even stop by just for the food and the view at the on-site dining locations. Staff members welcome all visitors, even those who are just there for the day.
If a couple wants an upscale meal, they should choose mar’sel (a play on the Spanish word for sea and the French word for salt), which offers fine dining for dinner dates and Sunday brunches.
“It’s romantic, and you can see the moon rise and sparkle over the ocean in the evening. Sunday brunch is lovely because of the views,” Jennifer told us.
Couples wanting to experience local seafood at mar’sel can try the Raw Bar Seafood Selection. The cold appetizer includes two oysters, two mussels, two prawns, two snow crab claws, one clam, one sea urchin, one king crab leg, and ceviche. It’s a filling meal that’s meant to share.
For dessert, the Vegan Meyer Lemon Cheesecake is a popular item. It is made with a dried fruit and walnut crust, cashews, meyer lemon, cocoa butter, seasonal berries, and a citrus passion reduction.
Nelson’s is a casual eatery that active couples often appreciate after a day hiking or walking along the beach. The restaurant is styled as a modern surf shack. Its name comes from the character Mike Nelson on the 1950s TV series “Sea Hunt,” which starred Lloyd Bridges, father to actors Beau and Jeff Bridges. The menu includes burgers, chicken sandwiches, and portobello mushroom sandwiches. Beer and cocktails are also available.
“It’s a great option to end up at Nelson’s for sunset. It overlooks the sunset, and it’s set on the cliffs,” Jennifer explained. “You can’t get closer to the water in L.A. You can often spot a whale or dolphins, and there’s a bell you can ring if you spot a spout or a whale tail.”
Terranea Resort transformed an abandoned area into a beautiful vacation destination. Now guests and residents can make memories on the coastal property and build relationships in the vibrant area.
Jennifer said she is excited to show locals the panoramic views and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem they’ve been missing for years at the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
“I’m a local girl, and I love having Angelenos discover what’s in their backyard. It’s a great day trip to walk on our trails, do some archery and tidepooling, and then eat dinner at Nelson’s,” she said.
Many couples have chosen Terranea Resort to be the backdrop for their date nights, anniversary celebrations, honeymoons, and weddings. It has even seen a few marriage proposals. Jennifer actually got engaged on property at the nearby beach cove.
Jennifer told us she and her husband frequently visit Terranea Resort for tandem kayaking. The couple enjoy reminiscing while exploring kelp beds and keeping an eye out for dolphins swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
As the tourism industry comes back to life after COVID-19, more guests are booking stays and making dinner reservations at Terranea Resort to get out of lockdown in style.
“It’s a special place,” Jennifer said. “We’re a short drive from the city, but you feel like you’ve gone to a different country. We’re proud to be responsible for this land.”