Omni La Costa Resort and Spa

A wellness resort that works for family travel? Yep, we’ve found one. Carlsbad California’s Omni La Costa is one part golf and tennis resort, one part spa retreat, yet somehow, 90% family-focused. Those familiar with the Omni brand will understand how we arrived at this conclusion, but for everyone else, let’s break it down.

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The Omni La Costa is a sprawling resort located in the hills about three miles from the Pacific. (If you want to be closer to the beach, opt for the for the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront.) With beautifully landscaped gardens and walkways and waving palms rising above artfully situated hammocks, I felt as though I was in Santa Barbara or even in the tropics. Only the mission-style architecture shouts San Diego county. It has an award-winning spa and a full fitness center, including a yoga studio, plus tennis courts and a gold metal golf course. With extensive conference facilities, the La Costa certainly has a thriving business travel clientele…until school holidays and summer hits.

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Because La Costa is an Omni, you can count on kid-friendly touches, even amid definite luxury. Like with all Omnis, kids get a welcome backpack upon reception, which will include activities to do (save these for restaurant waits), things to know about the area, and little treats. On site, the La Costa Splash Pool and Sandy Beach Family pool offer tons of kid-friendly water play features, including splash pads, zero-depth entry, and yes, a sandy beach. There are some serious waterslides for older kids (height requirements are in place), and hot tubs and cabanas to keep parents happy. If you have older kids, you can certainly escape to the adults only pool complex, which includes no fewer than four hot tubs and an outdoor pool, surrounded by fire pits, more cabanas, and a full bar.

Speaking of fire pits, they’re all over the property, along with those aforementioned hammocks. Plus kids have a full activity schedule to peruse, a game/arcade building, and Kidtopia, which offers kids’ club activities throughout the day.

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What could be more kid-friendly:

My list of downsides are short, but it has to be mentioned that you’ll pay a premium for meals at La Costa (we’ll be bringing our own breakfast items to our room next time). In the La Costa Marketplace area, a coffee bar serves Starbucks coffee and lighter fare, but sit-down meals will set you back. Along this line of thought, the mini fridges in the standard rooms are for minibar items only, which is a bummer if you’re bringing snacks and milk with you. With three growing boys, we need to bring breakfast and snack supplies to keep everyone happy, and we always appreciate the use of a mini-fridge.

Rooms:

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I stayed in both a standard room and a suite during my La Costa stay. Standard rooms are larger than most, likely due to the historic nature of the hotel (it’s been in existence, though not as an Omni, for many decades). Bathrooms are spacious as well, though my standard room only had a walk-in shower, not a tub. There’s room for a roll-away in standard rooms, and some do have balconies. Even my room without a balcony featured windows that open, letting in a nice breeze during the day.

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Omni La Costa suites are very spacious, and their two-bedroom sleeps eight, with a pull-out couch in the living room area. There are two bathrooms, both with tubs and separate vanity areas. You’ll find the same issue with the mini-fridge, but there’s certainly room for a regularly-sized cooler in the rooms. For whatever reason, my kids always love bathrooms that have open windows into the bedroom area (which can be shuttered)…if yours have the same affection for this feature, they’ll be happy.

Room rates start as low as $199 in the off-season (come during late fall through early spring for the best deals).

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Parking and getting around:

The La Costa is huge, which means you’ll want to ask for a room in the 100-200 block if you want to be close to the Marketplace and pools. The 800 block isn’t too far either. Rooms in the 900 block are far enough away from the main complex that the Omni offers complimentary golf cart rides to and from. Honestly, your kids will count this as another plus. You can self park or valet park your car, and parking costs upward of $40/day. Budget this into your room rate! Everywhere I went onsite, Omni staff was there to greet me, give me a smile, and ask if I needed help with anything; service is at a very high level here.

 

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Dining:

The Blue Fire upscale dining experience at La Costa is not stuffy; families can sit outside on the patio and enjoy live music and those great fire pits. Bistro 65 is even more casual, and situated on the lower level, near poolside. As mentioned, both are higher priced, but families wanting to save some cash for other aspects of their trip can find lots of family-friendly dining all over Carlsbad. I’d start with these dining reviews from Trekaroo.

In the area:

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No matter where you stay in Southern California, you’ll be utilizing your car and driving from attraction to attraction. Omni La Costa is a good home base, located in Carlsbad, which is between Disneyland to the north and San Diego to the south. You’re about 10 minutes from the beach, five minutes from Legoland, and 30 minutes from the many attractions in downtown San Diego.

Directions:

The Omni is located at 2100 Costa del Mar in Carlsbad.

As I disclose whenever applicable, I experienced Omni La Costa as a guest, for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

Comments

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Comments

  1. This looks like a beautiful resort. I’ve always had great experiences with Omni Resorts. I’ll definitely consider this for our San Diego vacation.

  2. This is a great, detailed review for families. I was wowed by my stay at Omni La Costa. It is truly a beautiful resort.

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