Best Hotel Orange County 2012 - Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
1 Ritz-Carlton Dr.
Dana Point, CA 92629
Since Orange County has yet to see any hipster hotels open, we've got to go with the dowager of the scene. No, we can't afford a room at the Ritz-Carlton, and you probably can't, either. But despite the brand, none of the mega-resorts on the coast is as welcoming as the granddaddy, which underwent a renovation a couple of years ago that kept its grandeur but modernized it to keep up with the new kids. And while most of the guests here come from the obnoxious classes, more than a few celebrities make it their home away from home—Magic Johnson is known to not only frequent the Ritz-Carlton, but also mug for pictures with awestruck workers and guests.