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Northern California is a national treasure of the United States. Home to vibrant cities like San Francisco and San Jose, the vineyards of Napa Valley and Sonoma, the endless blue of Lake Tahoe, the breathtaking mountain peaks of the Sierra Nevada, the unlimited outdoor adventures in Big Sur and Yosemite, and the hundreds of miles of Pacific coastline, this region is among the world’s most exciting places to visit and explore. Accommodation-wise you’ve got a wide range of choices that reflect the region’s diversity. We’ve selected the cream of the crop for you. Here are the top resorts in Northern California to make your visit unforgettable.
One of the most spectacularly positioned resorts in Northern California, Alila Napa Valley was created with epicureans in mind. Here, the French chateau aesthetics go hand in hand with contemporary details that provide a taste of Napa Valley’s delights. There is an on-site vineyard that creates a pleasant rural backdrop, an Instargrammable outdoor pool, and a classy on-site restaurant where you can pair organic California cuisine with local wine under the guidance of a sommelier. Rooms and suites are private, artfully decorated, and come with valley vistas. Overall, Alila Napa Valley is a top accommodation in the Napa Valley for treating yourself to some luxury.
You don’t have to leave San Francisco for a first-class resort experience. Claremont Club & Spa is there to satisfy your luxury cravings. Historic, grand, and five-star, this Berkeley resort was founded in 1915, occupies a hill in Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve, and boasts fantastic views over the San Francisco Bay. Expect exquisite interior design, top-notch in-suite amenities, and the feeling of luxury in the air. This lodging is ideal as a California wellness retreat. The spa is rich and includes a plethora of luxurious treatments. The pool area, set among the redwoods, is enormous, picture-perfect, and unapologetically relaxing. There’s also a farm-to-table on-site restaurant with a magnificent panoramic terrace for scenic dining.
An upmarket accommodation in the Carmel Valley, Quail Lodge & Golf Club is a top-rated resort along the Big Sur coast that offers plenty of fresh air. The 18-hole championship golf course is sure to be a delight for any lovers of the game, the picturesque landscaped gardens provide a relaxing backdrop for your leisure, and the outdoor heated swimming pool is a year-round favorite. The tasteful guestrooms and suites boast vistas of the surrounding greenery, there’s no resort fee, the WiFi is free, and parking is complimentary.
At The Inn on Pine, the intimacy of a boutique resort meets the outstanding vistas of Napa Valley. You will love taking a dip in the heated outdoor swimming pool with the magnificent landscape of the gentle Mayacamas Mountains towering over you. Rooms are all about countryside chic with a wine country-inspired ambiance. They come with fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, and vineyard views. Also, The Inn on Pine is among the best-reviewed small resorts in Northern California, with guests noting the convenient Napa Valley location, quaint atmosphere, and peaceful surroundings. A complimentary breakfast is a nice touch, there are seasonal wine tastings, and you can always count on free coffee and tea in the courtyard.
Offering some of the best luxury accommodations in Lake Tahoe’s ski complex Northstar, East West Hospitality is a top pick for a resort-quality experience. You can choose between their many properties, including suites and separate luxurious villas. All units boast plenty of space, fully equipped kitchens, mountain-themed decor, and gas fireplaces. Access to resort amenities such as a hot tub, seasonal pool, and fitness center is included in your stay. The northwestern shore of Lake Tahoe is packed with things to do, whether it’s hitting the slopes of Northstar during winter or enjoying the water activities such as kayaking, fishing, swimming, or hiking during the warmer months.
Combining the wilderness of the Big Sur redwoods with the finest amenities, Alila Ventana Big Sur is among the best glamping spots in the entire U.S. It’s all unfiltered nature and total relaxation here. Wake up to the soothing sounds of the forest and profit from the five-star treatment. Alila Ventana is a renovated and elevated reincarnation of a 70s resort that existed in this place before. The vibey and freedom-loving feel of this era can still be sensed on the lush premises, albeit with a flair of first-class luxury. You’ve got a rich spa offering, a spectacular outdoor pool, and upscale dining options. It is surrounded by the grandeur of Big Sur and features the ocean and mountain vistas.
Stay at the base of a volcano and have a storybook Northern California escape at Mount Shasta Resort at one of America’s most magnificent lake retreat escapes. Set at the shore of Lake Siskiyou, surrounded by forest, and offering an 18-hole golf course, this accommodation would work very well if the outdoors is something you’re up for. The rooms here are chalet-like units, the windows feature lake vistas, and you’ve got fully equipped kitchens inside. The one with a private jetted tub is a real hit for a couple’s retreat. Lots of space and a peaceful forest setting were the advantages most mentioned by guests in their reviews. Lake Siskiyou would be perfect for relaxed hiking, canoeing, swimming, and fishing. But it’s Mount Shasta nearby, with its gigantic silhouette, that is sure to take your breath away.
Are you looking for an ideal Napa Valley retreat surrounded by vineyards? RiverPointe Napa Valley is a great Northern California resort that provides this kind of atmosphere. The property operates cute, fully-furnished cottages. There are units for two and four people, so romantic escapes and family Napa Valley holidays are covered. Each cottage comes with well-equipped kitchenettes, free WiFi, and AC. It’s an affordable choice when it comes to the Napa Valley resort experience that allows you to save money on the one hand and be in the epicenter of wine-filled explorations on the other. Take some time to tour the surrounding vineyards, board the Napa Valley Wine Train for an original way to discover the region, and explore the easygoing Napa downtown.
It’s just you and Lake Tahoe at this superb Northern California resort. Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort is among the best properties on the California side of the lake, with graceful, well-illuminated rooms and lots of space. You will also have a semi-private, water-facing patio, a fully equipped kitchen, high-speed WiFi, and flat-screen TVs. The private beach is a wonderful addition during the swim season. If you’re coming in winter, the slopes of Northstar are a short drive away. Mourelatos would be a prime choice for couples with kids looking for a hassle-free and comfortable Lake Tahoe resort.
Carmel Valley is a treat for your senses, famous for its wine, rolling hills, and remote location. It’s also home to Bernadus Lodge & Spa, which serves as a teleport into California serenity. Stylish to the core, this Carmel Valley resort boasts a selection of rooms, suites, and villas where elegant designs accentuate the stunning surrounding panoramas. The stay is elevated by fireplaces in the rooms, Carrara marble double vanities, two-person soaking tubs, and attentively curated furniture. The 28 acres of landscaped outdoors provide a fantastic natural backdrop to your vacation. Relaxation is guaranteed by an excellent spa that includes a warming pool, dry sauna, eucalyptus steam room, and a wide range of body treatments. If your heart wants the ocean, magnificent Carmel-By-The-Sea – a California coastal town everyone should visit – is close by.
The view of Twin Lakes surrounded by the mountains is jaw-dropping. How about placing yourself right in the epicenter of this beauty? Tamarack Lodge & Resort does the job of providing scenic, rustic-chic accommodation perfectly. With a lakeside location, proximity to California’s largest ski resort Mammoth Mountain, and a home-away-from-home attitude, it is one of the best resorts in Northern California and one of the coziest lodge escapes in the U.S. Whether you’re coming to turn off the city noise or ready for activities-filled days in the Sierra Nevada, Tamarack Lodge is there for you. Choose among lodge rooms and private cabins, each sporting all-wooden decor, great amenities, and the coziness of a charming countryside escape.