Beaches, outdoors, theme parks, relaxation and luxury all meet in Carlsbad, Calif., a small city just north of San Diego where the sunsets spill gently into the Pacific Ocean in a shimmering display of perfection. About two miles east of the Pacific Ocean sits the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, a sprawling property with more than 600 rooms, eight swimming pools, restaurants, two golf courses, a spa and so much more. A weekend was enough to sample everything the Omni la Costa has to offer, but it doesn’t mean you’d ever want to leave.
The Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is a family friendly property that mixes plenty of activities for the whole family with a big touch of romance for those couples looking for special time to reconnect. The Omni La Costa provides countless options for guests to enjoy their time, from golf and tennis, to lounging in a hammock on the manicured lawns, to playing in a pool with its own sand beach, to shopping, enjoying a spa treatment or just sit in a beautiful Spanish Colonial-style room.
I’ve grown to appreciate Omni Hotels. We’ve stayed in Omni properties in Atlanta, Indianapolis, Nashville and New Orleans and have had really solid experiences in all of them. The Omni La Costa is no different, although this property takes those city hotels up several notches on every level.
The resort is about a 30-minute car ride north along Interstate 5 from the San Diego International Airport. Cars enter the property along a long drive from the main entrance, and guests are dropped off at a main valet stand where you’re welcomed and escorted into the main lobby.
Well, it shouldn’t be called a lobby. The resort is made up of many buildings, and the main area where several shops, restaurants and swimming pools are located is in the style of an old Spanish plaza of sorts. The main building where the check-in center is located is also home to restaurants, main bar and sports bar, and an outdoor tiered patio/pool area that overlooks the golf course and valley below.
At night, with the steam rising from the heated pools, it’s a beautiful sight, as the picture below hints.
The property is massive, and is broken down into a mix of regular hotel rooms, 77 suites and 137 villa suites. Everything on the property is within walking distance, but some rooms have locations on the far end of the property and can be about a 10-minute walk to the main plaza.
Staff members are often driving golf carts across the property and are happy to provide a lift.
It’s easy to fall in love with a hotel when the room is a beautiful suite with a massive bathroom that has a bathtub that spies the bedroom through shutters.
It really sets a romantic mood.
Of course the views outside the room where the lawn has hammocks and life-size chess boards scattered among the trees on the gently sloping hills down to the golf course; yes, it’s very inviting.
The Room Details:
The resort’s plaza rooms are near the plaza and offer views of the courtyard, plaza or garden and offer 425 square feet of space. The Signature rooms are a bit larger at 480 square feet, and are near the property’s golf courses. The rooms feature marble bathrooms with an oversized soaking tub, separate shower and dual vanities.
The La Costa rooms feature a large sitting area, marble bathroom with deep soaking tub and separate shower and 690 square feet of space.
The one-bedroom Plaza suites provide a living and dining room, bedroom, lounging chair, desk and oversized marble spa shower. With 850 square feet, these suites are close to the lobby.
La Costa suites have 650 square feet with a separate bedroom and marble bathroom with oversized soaking tub, separate shower and dual vanities. The suites are on the first floor and offer French doors that open to a patio.
The Family suites are 1,150 square feet and have French doors that open up to the outdoors. The rooms feature a sofa sleeper, lounging chair and desk. Bedrooms have a choice of king or two queen beds, and the marble bathrooms have oversized soaking tubs, separate shower and dual vanities.
And the Presidential suite is 3,011 square feet with a large living room that has floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto the golf course, a sitting area with fireplace, dining area with seating for six, a complete wet bar with kitchen and four balconies. Each of the two bedrooms has its own sitting area and private bathroom and an option third bedroom.
I was at the hotel as part of a conference and didn’t have a lot of time to check out all of the amenities. But the list of activities to keep busy at the Omni Resorts La Costa is extensive. The Plaza Shops is a grouping of boutiqes fronting the open Plaza, with several restaurants on the other side.
I did get a chance to enjoy the Diversions Sport Lounge at night, and of course the adult pool and deck area below it.
There are two golf courses, tennis courts, several swimming pools, water slides and the hotel spa and salon. I tried none of these things but wish I would have had the time to enjoy one of the pools, at least.
I didn’t check out the spa, but it is worth a few words. According to the Omni La Costa, the spa is the first ever resort spa in the U.S. and has been recognized as a top wellness spa in the nation. The spa has 42 treatment rooms where massages, couple’s massages, facials, body wraps and clinical treatments are available.
The property has a nearly 9,000-square-foot athletic club that features all the usual fitness machines, as well as 52 group fitness classes held weekly.
The Omni La Costa has a children’s program that includes a Kidtopia for children 6 months to 12 years and a teen lounge Vibz for teens up to 16.
Kidtopia is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with night sessions on the weekends. Vibz is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
I already mentioned the Diversions Sport Lounge. This serves as hotel bar/sports bar/late-night restaurant/lunch spot. Before heading home I had a delicious pumpkin soup for lunch with a couple of local beers. The bar stays open late.
The other restaurants are Bistro 65, BlueFire Grill, Edge Adult Pool Bar, Spa Cafe and the Splash Pool Bar & Grill, which is open seasonal. Other than an event at the Edge Adult Pool Bar, I was unable to sample any of these spots.
The restaurants provide options ranging from light fare to California casual. The restaurants take advantage of local seafood and seasonal produce.
This visit was my first time to Southern California. I had hoped that the property would have been closer to the ocean, but I discovered there is only one hotel in Carlsbad that is actually on the beach. The property is a short drive from downtown Carlsbad and the Pacific Ocean, so the location isn’t a detriment in the least.
The resort is the type of place where a visitor can just check in and not leave the property for days, especially if relaxation, spa treatments, golf and a relaxing property with lush greenery everywhere you look is top of mind.
My favorite part of staying at the property was enjoying long walks from my room to the main Coastal Events Center. Everyone says the weather in San Diego is perfect. Yes, we were about 30 minutes north of San Diego, but I’d say the same can be said for the Carlsbad area. Sunny mornings with no wind and just a perfect temperature that doesn’t require a jacket in late November.
This sounds like an ad for the property, and I don’t really apologize for that. This isn’t the type of property I typically search out, mainly because when my family travels we look for nice properties that gets us close to all the action. But for anyone wanting a property where they can truly unwind, I’m not really sure how one could say no to the Omni La Costa.