The Lakehouse Hotel & Resort in Lake San Marcos, CA is a perfect place to take the family for a chill-out, relaxation vacation. It’s a quiet, comfortable place to spend time reading, watching birds, lounging by the pool, or watching the sunset.
Or, if you’re the adventurous types, you can rent kayaks or electric motor boats and motor around Lake San Marcos, which the hotel adjoins, or play golf at the nearby Country Club, or swim laps in the aforementioned pool.
It’s also a great place to call home base when visiting the family attractions close by, since Legoland and Carlsbad are only a few miles away to the West, and the San Diego Safari Park is just a few miles in the other direction. In fact, San Diego itself is only about 30 miles south, with all the attractions it has to offer a family just a short ride away.
The Grill restaurant, located within the Country Club, which is a short drive or walk down the road from the hotel itself, also provides the In-Room Dining. The resort is currently building a restaurant right on the Lake, so look for that to be completed sometime in Summer 2015.
The food at the Grill is terrific, with fancy touches and very good basics. The basics, like burgers and fries and some amazing buttermilk fried chicken, are just delicious. My son ate his bacon burger plus half of my husband’s cheeseburger. He’s 15 and hungry all the time, but he is also a bit of a food snob, and he was impressed as well.
The Grill serves appetizers called “snack jars” which are very clever and quite delicious. We tried the sampler, which had a great price of 3 for $22. We had the chicken liver pate, served with cornichons and carmelized onions, the salmon mousse served with pickled onions and lemons, and the burrata served with fresh fig. Really terrific.
We also tried a few of the entrees, like the Friday night Prime Rib special, which my husband loved, the short ribs that I loved, and the bacon-wrapped meatloaf, which was amazing. I’m only sorry I have no good photos of the food. I blame the fact that we were eating it too quickly.
Another nice surprise about the restaurant was the wine list and full bar, complete with artisan cocktails. The wine list is not extensive, but it is filled with very well-respected wines, most at a pretty reasonable price. And although I am not recommending having a Moscow Mule with one’s breakfast, they do offer it on the menu. The breakfast menu. So no judgment here.
This is probably my favorite part of the Hotel. I just love the look. They’ve gone with a sort of Hunting-Lodge-On-A-Lake-Meets-Hipsters aesthetic and I dig it. There are inspired touches everywhere, and the color scheme is muted but not drab, with greens, yellows and grays. My only negative comment about the hotel design is in the showers: it’s a small complaint, but there are no soap dishes built in, so you’re left juggling the soap. Tiny bit annoying.
We were on a relaxation vacation, as I said, but we did want to try a few things the resort had to offer. We hit the driving range one morning for one of our family’s favorite things to do: hit balls. It was very affordable, too: 110 balls cost only $12, which is a great price for occupying active boys (and their parents) for about 30 minutes.
Kayaking is something we tried for the first time at Sunriver resort in Oregon last June, and my son wanted to try it again here, so we went for it. We got two two-person kayaks and spent about an hour paddling around the lake, getting close-up views of white pelicans, black & white swans, seagulls, egrets, hawks, and at least two kinds of ducks.
The marina has peddle-boats and electric motor boats for rent as well, and it is located literally at the foot of the hotel and right out our door. However, be aware that the boat marina is not actually part of the hotel, so you’ll need to pay separately for any rentals; they cannot be charged to your room.
We had a lovely, relaxing stay at the Lakehouse Hotel and Resort and my family can highly recommend it.
Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder of MomsLA. Accommodations were provided for the purposes of this review. All opinions are the author’s.