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St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort
Location: Orange County, Calif.
Stars: 5
Labor Day Weekend rate: $478

If you want to feel like an upper management type on a corporate junket after the company has accepted a multimillion-dollar government bailout, try this ultra-luxury resort. After all, it's where AIG spent $440,000 on a corporate retreat a week after the Federal Reserve gave the company an emergency $85 billion loan.

The magnificent Tuscan-designed main building overlooks pools, palm-lined gardens and fountains, and views of the Pacific. The property hugs a bluff-lined seashore fringed by the resort's golf course. Nearly every service imaginable is available here, including 25 spa treatment rooms featuring such indulgences as wraps of Chardonnay grape seed oil and mint foot relief balms.

The rooms feature lofty goose-down comforters, private balconies, custom-designed furniture and upscale touches like fresh flowers and high-end finishes. The baths have separate soaking tubs and showers and dual vanities.

Default: The owners defaulted on their $70 million loan to CitiGroup and voluntarily transferred their interests to the bank this week, according to a spokeswoman for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which runs the hotel. The spokeswoman said the default has not affected operations and it continues to be business as usual there.

NEXT: The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua

Last updated July 27 2009: 10:19 AM ET
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Star rating is from Mobil Travel Guide; Room rate is from Travelocity.com.
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