This year marks Terranea Resort’s 10-year anniversary. For a resort of Terranea’s caliber, however, a decade is just a single milestone on the timeline. Terranea—with its timeless architecture, mature landscape and welcoming culture—feels timeless.
There’s an ageless quality to what Terranea values … an ode to the simple pleasures mastered with the highest level of excellence. There is the food, the service, the incredible surroundings, of course, but also a deep appreciation for the natural habitat that surrounds them, a sense of duty and respect for their team and community that’s embraced them, and a genuine confidence that Terranea is achieving something truly exceptional. These are just a few things that make the resort feel beyond its years.
If you’ve driven along the curve of the coast leading up to Terranea, felt your stress melt away and your senses elevate, it might be hard to imagine the Palos Verdes Peninsula without the 102-acre oceanside resort. But there was a time when this stunning piece of land had a different set of occupants—even a period of vacancy—before the vision of Terranea became a reality.
From the indigenous Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe and the 1542 Spanish occupation of the Peninsula by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo to the 16,000-acre private land purchase by Frank A. Vanderlip in 1913, the land has been home to seafarers, fishermen, Japanese farmers and Hollywood’s elite.
In 1954 it was Marineland of the Pacific’s turn. The oceanarium—once the largest in the world—remained an attraction until closing its doors in 1987. With Marineland out of operation, the Peninsula was essentially abandoned until Lowe Enterprises took interest in 1998, breaking ground on the project in June 2007.
Putting together the pieces to bring Terranea to life was a tremendous undertaking. It was a true collaboration working with the California Coastal Commission as well as the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.
Every effort was made to ensure the design of the resort was compatible with the land and that everything was sustainable. It was important that the natural habitat on the peninsula not only be preserved, but flourish.
Of the resort’s 102 acres, 75% of the property is green space with 12 acres of restored native habitat. “It’s not just a part of the habitat,” Terranea’s President Terri A. Haack says. “It’s part of our story.” All of the mature trees were boxed during construction and replanted, giving the illusion that the buildings were built around the trees.
During construction, Terranea had an on-site quarry providing 90,000 tons of material to build the resort. Plus 750,000 yards of earth were moved within the property; thus no land was removed. And 75% of materials from the former structures were recycled and used throughout the resort. These three measures alone saved thousands of truck trips and corresponding carbon emissions.
“In the last two months there were as many as 800 workers finishing the project,” Terri notes. “We went from one employee, me, to now almost 1,300. And we have about 160 associates from that first day who are still here.” The longevity of so many initial team members speaks volumes to the internal culture of the resort.
“Terranea enables people to have a life and a career,” Terri says. This translates into an environment that values life outside work and promotes internal growth. In other words, associates don’t have to choose between having a family and having a career. “My personal goal is to help further women in our industry,” Terri says, “to make sure women can have harmony in their personal lives and and a fulfilling career.”
Pairing an immensely talented and passionate team with an empowering work environment is a winning combination—and one the guests can feel. “Our culture has always been one of compassion and benevolence,” explains Terranea’s chief strategy officer and executive vice president Agnelo A. Fernandes. “It’s about people—understanding who our guests are, why they’ve chosen to experience Terranea to enhance their life’s journey.”
Through the introduction of Terranea Proud, an internal philosophy that ties every action back to a deeply held sense of pride, the objective is clear: “Our mission is to seek to deliver extraordinary moments.”
At this 10-year milestone, the team at Terranea finds themselves filled with gratitude—toward their fellow team members, their valued guests and the community that’s embraced them. So what’s next?
“I want to make sure we continue to add value to our community,” Terri says. “Through programs like Chefs to End Hunger and the resort’s continued conservation efforts, Terranea’s value to Southern California is evident.”
“I also believe that we will take our place as an iconic resort; that’s what we want to be,” says Terri. “We always knew and felt strongly about this resort being the next big thing in our industry,” Agnelo adds.
Resting on a stunning piece of land with breathtaking views of the Pacific, there’s no questioning the destination’s allure. But Terranea is more than just a location to its visitors. It’s become a state of mind … a feeling. Heading to Terranea evokes a sense of soulful indulgence—that’s what makes a legendary destination. It’s not so much where you go, but how you feel when you get there.
For more information and to experience all that Terranea has to offer, please visit terranea.com
100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes | 855-416-3928
Paulius “Paul” Zemaitis and business partner Virginijus Vytartas serve organic popsicles from a cart in The Village at Topanga.
Danny Trejo, Ash Shah, and Jeff Giorgino opened Trejo’s Cantina in Woodland Hills, combining donut shop, fast-casual taqueria, and full-service restaurant.
Chef-owner Aaron Robins and GM-partner Rory Snipes have built on the success of beer, bourbon and barbecue-fueled Boneyard Bistro by opening SOCA, a second Sherman Oaks, CAlifornia restaurant that captures more global influences and replaces Café Cordiale. “I opened SOCA for many reasons,” says Aaron. “I was ready to grow, and we had been looking […]