An Exercise in Millennium Excess at the Ritz

E. Scott Reckard covers tourism for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7407 and at

Still undecided about what to do on New Year’s Eve 1999? Maybe you were going to the gala at the Marine Corps mega-hangar in Tustin--the one canceled when they called off that Orange County Business Council millennium program to promote the county as a tourist destination?

Never fear.

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is offering Millennium Experience packages, three-night deals at prices starting at $4,500. All include three brunches, nightly dining, a New Year’s Eve bash with Dom Perignon, and keepsakes of Bulgari fragrances, Taittinger champagne and Baccarat flutes to drink it from.

At $100,000, the priciest package is so indulgent that listing the caviar-coated details seems excessive. Let’s just say that a chauffeured Jaguar, the 1,800-square-foot Presidential Suite and a personal chef for a dinner for 12 are part of the deal at the hotel on the Dana Point bluffs.


If the deluxe package is of interest, act now. There’s only one available, “and we’ve had a big nibble on the $100,000 package,” Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman Suzanne Willis said. The prospect approached the hotel through a travel agency, she said. “But they haven’t put down that deposit yet. So you still have a chance.”