Riviera Beach & Spa Resort
Capistrano Beach, California
Reviews of Riviera Beach & Spa Resort
Capistrano Beach, California
Trip was Summer 2013
Staying at the Riviera was so convenient for us. We spent three days at the beach and two days out playing at amusement parks/centers. We also stayed at the resort some of the time, swimming or BBQing or just hanging out. It was fantastic to wake up to a gorgeous ocean view every morning.
UNIT: We stayed in a two bedroom ocean-view unit on the second floor in "Phase II." Owners would call this unit "Sunset." The master bedroom has a queen bed, dresser, night stand, closet, and a flatscreen TV along with a sitting chair. The window faces the ocean. The other bedroom has two twin beds, a dresser, closet, nightstand and the window faces the hill (where we saw some cute bunnies). The living room area has a large flatscreen TV and an L shaped sofa that contains a sofa bed. The dining area seats 6 at the table. There are two bathrooms, each has a tub and shower. The master tub is enormous! The kitchen contains a dishwasher, fridge, microwave/convection oven combo, granite counter tops, new cabinets, tile floor... there's a toaster, coffee maker, blender and tableware for 8. It also has a few grilling tools for the gas BBQ on the balcony. We grilled twice and both times it was easy, fun, and totally yummy.
AMMENITIES: two pools, two hot tubs, two fitness rooms, two game rooms, ping pong and pool tables, etc. The activity center has some candy and toiletries for sale along with a small selection of books, DVDs and board games you can borrow. You can also rent bikes (I think it's $3 per day or something). There are two laundry rooms with coin-operated machines. They also have beach supplies available to borrow although we did not investigate that as we have our own stuff we prefer to use.
WIFI: The Riviera charges for wifi and it's $30 per week per device, not per week per room. Moreover, it won't work for all devices (we could not get our roku or paperwhite kindles to connect). We decided to use it as an opportunity to unplug a little but I will admit it was VERY frustrating. I hope that soon they will offer free wifi.
ADA: There is an elevator and automatic doors. I am sure there are some ADA rooms, although our room did not have a walkin shower and the beds were exceptionally high off the ground. I did not see a chair lift to help get people in and out of the pools. Also, someone with mobility issues (wheelchair-bound, etc) might have trouble getting to the beach. The pedestrian bridge does not have a ramp and the sidewalk near the Riviera doesn't go anywhere in either direction, it just ends without getting to a crosswalk. This obviously affects strollers and small children as well as older adults and people who are wheelchair bound.
BUILDING: The building is older and needs some updating but it's obvious they are working on it. The paint is fresh, for example, and the kitchens were recently renovated. I look forward to seeing the other improvements next year when we return. Note: The Riviera has two "phases" and they are different. They often are confused with one another in reviews because the amenities are shared. From what I understand from talking to others at the pool, Phase II was recently renovated whereas Phase I is still outdated. Also, the room layouts are different. When/if you reserve a room ask details about the view and when it was renovated, etc.
STAFF & FEES: The staff was friendly-enough but that's an area where they can improve. They just need to smile more often and pretend they enjoy their jobs. They did help me out a few times when I needed it. But my phone conversations were often frustrating - they are not very knowledgeable, they give excuses for everything, and they have long hold times. There were no additional fees at checkout.
WHO STAYS HERE: We are a family and felt this was great for us. When we were at the resort there were quite a few other families with children. I think it would also work well for couples or singles provided the room layout worked for them. The room we had would probably not work well for two couples, for example, because of how one room had twin beds. But a 1 bedroom or studio would probably be fine. When I visited off-season there were lots of older people whereas this time there were lots of families so I'd say it is suitable for a wide variety of people.
BEACH: The beach the Riviera faces is Doheny State Beach, which is divided by a river. The Riviera is on the south side of the river, across from the part of the beach that is mostly used for picnics and BBQs, although it's got plenty of tidepools to check out during low tide too. The north side of the beach has lots of grass, much more sand, and gentle waves filled with surfers. There is also a snack bar and silly bike rental place along with the "Whale Walk", a section of paved walkway that has lifesized whales painted onto it. I highly suggest that if you visit the beach across from the Riviera that you don't just limit yourself to the section directly across from the Riviera... visit the whole of Doheny State Beach and the nearby marina as well as The Ocean Institute. It's really quite nice!
PARKING: Each unit only gets one parking space. There are no exceptions (trust me, I tried to buy another space.) There is additional free parking on the street in front of the Riviera but it's obviously limited to availability and also once a week is street cleaning when you have to park elsewhere. Across the street you can park along the PCH but only during the day. Also, you can park in Doheny State Beach for $15/ day but not overnight unless you're camping. And there's another nearby lot that's $1/per hour (pretty sure overnight parking is not permitted). Thus, parking is a problem!
Overall, we had a good time and the view was fantastic. That made up for any other problems.
4/2010... Wow. A lot of upgrades now at Riviera Beach and Spa. New furniture, upgraded flat screen TVs, new kitchen appliances! Huge pool with two jaccuzis with ocean view! There is even a second more private swimming pool ! Free bike rentals, activity center, spa treatments available too! Walk across the pedestrian bridge to the sandy beach! Rent it from an owner and don't pay any hotel tax !! Riviera Beach and Spa doesn't have name recognition, but that is what keeps it a great value for people who stay there!
Location Location Location
Phase II units have completely new kitchens and updates throughout.
Phase I Units have new beds, bedding, carpet, paint, dressers, lamps.
There are 3 "Riviera" Resort locations easily confused with one another, Riviera Shores, Riviera Spa & Resort Phase I, and Riviera Spa & Resort Phase II, so I am clarifying which this review is about. This is about a 2B/2B unit in Riviera Spa & Resort Phase I that I paid for as a gift to my brother and his family. What a BIG disappointment! GOOD: Location! Great view of the ocean. Unit was a front to back, 1 side faced the ocean while the other faced the ugly cliff, which was fine, as you cannot move the cliff. BBQ grill on each deck - they really loved this. BAD: Furniture is old, carpet is old and gross, room overall is dirty and outdated. This is not a Resort deserving of any rating above a 2 or 2 1/2 out of 5. If not for the view, it would be a 1 to 1 1/2. SUMMARY: If you plan on ALWAYS being out, and never relaxing in the room at all, you may be perfectly happy. If you like to come back after a long day of play to a nice, clean, comfortable home away from home (or even just a decent clean place to rest), you will be VERY un-happy. ABOUT US: We are not picky, we have never stayed at high end places. We are happy as pie to make our own beds and clean our own dishes. If it is clean and comfy we are happy. But this place was close to disgusting.
Stayed here in March 2005, in a 2 bedroom unit with an ocean view. This was a wonderful resort, with very friendly and helpful staff. I was surprised that the beach cruiser bikes were free to use (and there are plenty of them). Was also happy that the staff wasn't trying to sell me things but just wanted to be helpful. The pools were great - we spent our time at the bigger pool, and the kids loved it! Close to Dana Point, Laguna Beach, shopping malls, and all kinds of fun. The beach is across the street, but there is a handy pedestrian walkway over the busy road. It was a nice beach, but if you know California, you know the water is always too cold!
The kitchen worked well, the beds and furniture were comfortable, and it was just a great place to stay! Nice sunsets.
One caution: If you rent or buy one of these, be careful to ask if it has an ocean view. The ones on the other side of the building look straight into a dirt embankment.
I give this resort 5 stars for the excellent service we recieved. The staff in the activity center was awesome. We stayed in a 2 bedroom that did not have an ocean view and it felt a little closed in, but the resort's ammenities made up for it all. We took our 2 boys (college students) and they loved it. A little disappointed with the beach area across the street, so we went to Laguna. Overall a very nice vacation resort. Loved the tanning beds and hot tub.
Lovely resort right across from the beach. At the edge of Capistrano Beach and Dana Point. Comfortable and roomy. Bikes available. Do need to walk down the sidewalk to the pedestrian bridge to get to the beach, but it's not much of a bother. A car is helpful to go to Laguna, Dana Point, Disneyland; an hour south to San Diego Zoo/Sea World. Fine location. Highly recommended. Looking forward to returning--as a matter of fact, I enjoy it so much, I just bought an additional week!
Just returned from a lovely January week at the Riviera Beach and Spa across from Doheny Beach. Uncrowded. We practically has the beach to ourselves. Overcast along the coast but no fog. Perfect temperatures.
Wow, what a location! Great white water view from the living room/balcony area. Beach was a short walk up and over the highway and railroad tracks via pedestrian bridge. Bedroom is on rear of unit away from roadway and beach noise but nights were very quiet anyway along this stretch of Pacific Coast Highway. Suites 315 or 432 are best views.
Part of the resort was closed for renovations, including the restaurant, until the last couple of days of our stay. But the place was very clean and we really enjoyed the little restaurant once it opened. Reasonable prices, sweet staff, acceptable food for breakfast or lunch. Pick one of the many good seafood places along the coast for dinner.
Would not expect much privacy with kids or second couple in the one bedroom unit. The bedroom walls don't go to the ceiling and everyone has to go through the bedroom to the bath. Terrific for a couple. Kitchen is very adequate with two burner stove, countertop convection/microwave, full size fridge, small dishwasher and compactor. Gas grill on balcony is great for a couple of steaks.
One small consideration, walls between units are a little on the thin side. 10 p.m. restrictions for "quiet time" are not veryadequately enforced.