The development of luxury family resorts is a growing trend in family travel. Just because you’re traveling with the kids, doesn’t mean parents can’t pamper themselves a little too. Take Carlsbad, California’s Omni La Costa Resort and Spa as a prime example. With its expansive, manicured grounds, jaw-dropping pool and waterslides, Kidtopia Kids’ Club, spacious family suites, and a world class spa, it’s no wonder Condé Nast Traveler named the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa as one of the Top 20 resorts in Southern California. Continue reading for photos, details, and full hotel review of the luxurious Omni La Costa Resort and Spa.
The Omni La Costa Resort and Spa is an idyllic property located about 30 miles north of San Diego near the “Village by the Sea” of Carlsbad, California. Boasting perfect 70°F Southern California weather nearly year-round, the Omni La Costa Resort makes a great family vacation destination or a home base to explore the region.
Where most hotels dazzle you with their spectacular lobby, the Omni La Costa lets the natural environment do the talking and immerses you in an upscale village filled with shops and Spanish colonial style architecture. The open-air setting is their way of surrounding guests with the outdoors. After driving through the gate, your first impression is not the hotel lobby, but this remarkable open-air plaza.
Marble, wood, candle chandeliers, and orchids greet you upon entering the sophisticated check-in building.
The friendly staff quickly share an overview of the resort, its offerings and activities, and direct you to your room.
My accommodations were in one of the resort’s recently redesigned suites overlooking one of Omni La Costa’s two golf courses. The suite was spacious at over 600 sq ft, and could easily accommodate a family of four. In keeping with the resort’s theme of bringing the outdoors in, all the “hallways” leading to these suites were open-air with lush gardens and secluded sitting areas inviting you to stop and reflect.
The entry door opened onto a foyer leading to a sitting area with sleeper sofa, desk, and entertainment system.
A separate bedroom contained an ultra-plush king sized bed, and connected to a marble bathroom with dressing area, dual sinks, shower, and oversized soaking tub. Privacy could be maintained in the bathroom with sliding shutters, or open up to the airy space.
The ground floor suite contained French doors that opened onto a patio with sweeping garden views – a panorama more reminiscent of the Italian countryside than Southern California.
Omni La Costa boasts over 100+ activities each week to keep your family entertained during their stay – everything from aquatics to zumba to aqua-zumba. There’s enough things-to-do that an entire concierge desk next to the check-in is devoted to helping guests plan their recreational activities.
Of course, golf is a key activity of the resort, and the Omni La Costa offers two, 18 hole championship golf courses.
There are also eight different swimming pools across the property, and you’re sure to find the perfect spot to splash with your family or steal some quiet adult time while the kids are off doing their own thing.
The Splash Landing family pool has three different water slides and a splash-ground play area. Adjacent to the Splash Landing water slide pool is a second family pool complete with sandy beach for building castles, and a cafe offering light sandwiches and snacks for lunch.
The Edge adult pool is for guests ages 21 and over with cabanas, hot tubs, and infinity edge pools in addition to the main swimming pool. In the evening, the space becomes an adult mingling spot to enjoy drinks and cocktails around firepits and fountains.
You can also find smaller pools closer to the villas, gardens, and spa – offering a number of spots to take a dip, cool off, and relax.
If the grown-ups are looking to play a round of golf or enjoy a spa treatment and can’t (or don’t want to) take the kids, the children can make use of the Kidtopia Kids’ Club. For a separate charge, you can drop the kids (ages 3-12) off for a full day, half day, or even a night camp with dinner on Friday & Saturday where they can play games, climb, watch movies, and more. There are also Kidtopia activities the whole family can enjoy together such as making s’mores, watching “dive-in” movies, or surf camp.
Finally, tennis, a video arcade, shopping, and the spa are some of the other 100+ activities you can find at the resort.
Health and well-being is an integral part of the Omni La Costa’s identity. It’s spa was rated by Spa Magazine as the #1 Wellness Spa in the nation, and famed holistic physician Dr. Deepak Chopra established the Chopra Center for Wellbeing within the confines of the resort.
All guests have access to a state of the art fitness center with plenty of treadmills, exercise bikes, and cardio machines. The view from exercise machines is fantastic – although I’d rather run outside. The athletic club also offers fitness classes ranging from walks along the beach (transportation to beach included) to extreme body sculpting (extra charge applies to some classes).
As mentioned previously, the award-winning spa was ranked #1 in the country, and offers a full range of massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and treatments. Omni La Costa offers spa packages as well as full-fledged spa vacations too.
The Chopra Center for Wellbeing offers a wide range of workshops and retreats embracing Deepak Chopra’s blend of Eastern philosophy and Western medicine. There are also a number of Chopra yoga and meditation sessions available for the entire family.
During my stay at Omni La Costa for the TMS Family Travel Conference, I was not able to sit down and try a restaurant although the chef prepared a sampling of the menu of the various restaurants that we enjoyed outdoors at The Edge adult pool.
I sampled California lamb and suckling pig available at BlueFire Bar and Grill, Omni La Costa’s fine dining establishment with a menu comprised of dishes made from ingredients of the local Carlsbad area.
I also enjoyed delicious pulled pork sliders on pretzel buns from Cafe 65, and fish tacos with a local craft beer available at Diversions Sports Bar.
In addition to the sit down restaurants, you can find a number of cafes on property as well as a gelato stand and Starbucks.
And if all the activities and dining at the Omni La Costa Resort aren’t enough to keep your family entertained, Carlsbad, California is a great family destination unto itself.
For families, you can never go wrong with a visit to the beach, and Carlsbad has a number of family friendly spots including: Tamarack Beach with a paved walking path along the seawall.
Another family favorite is LEGOLAND California, a resort that includes an amusement park and water park aimed at families with kids ages 3-12, as well as the SeaLife Aquarium.
You can also find interesting places to eat such as the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum that mixes dining with American Revolutionary history (the original tavern was where our founding fathers planned the Boston Tea Party) to a full farm-to-table culinary experience at Bistro West (the first meal I’ve ever had where I not only met the chef but the farmer too).
If you’re looking for a luxurious family vacation experience that combines tranquility with the outdoors and have the budget to splurge a bit, the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa near Carlsbad has all the makings for an ideal Southern California trip the whole family can enjoy together.
DISCLOSURE: Adventures by Daddy was hosted by the Omni La Costa Resort and the Carlsbad Convention and Visitors Bureau for the purposes of attending the TMS Family Travel Conference and sharing this review. However, all opinions expressed are those of the author. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.