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Top 20 Southern California Resorts

The first thing that comes to mind when hearing Southern California is probably the picturesque beaches, and it’s certainly filled with some of the most spectacular stretches of sand, but in this diverse region of the country, you can also ski down powdery slopes and enjoy treks through the out-of-this-world desert landscape. These top Southern California resorts offer something for everyone, no matter what you’re idea of a fantastic vacation in the Golden State.

Terranea, Rancho Palos Verdes Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes
Credit: Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes by terranea.com

Terranea, Rancho Palos Verdes

Terranea is a high-end luxury resort located in the exclusive community of Rancho Palos Verdes along one of the area’s most scenic stretches of coastline. It boasts an especially relaxing atmosphere that makes it seem worlds away from L.A., yet it’s just 20 miles from the airport, along with panoramic ocean views in an unparalleled setting. The massive 50,000-square-foot spa also provides magnificent water vistas along with 25 treatment rooms. Activities include horseback riding, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Guests can also golf on a 9-hole course, play on a 140-foot waterslide and dine at outstanding restaurants featuring farm-to-table cuisine at Mar’sel and a great microbrew beer menu at Nelson’s.

Key Amenities:

  • Massive spa and multiple restaurants on-site

  • Activities like horseback riding, kayaking, and SUP

  • Access to a 9-hole golf course and pool with a 140-foot waterslide

Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, San Diego Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa
Credit: Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa by catamaranresort.com

Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, San Diego

One of the best resorts in San Diego, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa offers a beautifully landscaped oasis tucked on the shoreline of Mission Bay, providing a welcome respite from the noise of the boardwalk down the road, yet just footsteps from a powdery white sand beach. This luxury resort has an island-inspired motif that consumes the gardens, pathways, and koi ponds, resulting in an especially tranquil, tropical feel. Guests can enjoy taking a stroll on the property’s secluded Mission Bay beach or partaking in popular watersports like sailing, surfing, water skiing, and kayaking. After a long day in the sun, botanical body treatments and therapeutic massage await at the resort’s waterfront day spa. Of course, you’ll also have easy access to many of the city’s famous attractions, like Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo.

Key Amenities:

  • Steps from Mission Bay beach

  • Activities like sailing, water skiing, surfing, and kayaking

  • Waterfront day spa on-site

Malibu Beach Inn, Malibu Malibu Beach Inn
Credit: Malibu Beach Inn by malibubeachinn.com

Malibu Beach Inn, Malibu

Malibu Beach Inn, set along the Pacific Coast Highway with private beachfront access, is an ideal option for romance-seekers. Look forward to cuddling up with the one you love and letting the sounds of the crashing waves lull you to sleep at night. Accommodations come equipped with fireplaces, hand-picked California wines, custom robes, luxury bath products, and more. Yoga on the beach and spa treatments are offered too. Oceanfront dining is available at the Carbon Beach Club, which serves seasonal land and sea menus on an oceanfront terrace.

Key Amenities:

  • Private beachfront access

  • Accommodations come with fireplaces and hand-picked California wines

  • Activities like yoga on the beach and spa treatments

  • Oceanfront dining on-site with seasonal land and sea menus

The Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth Lakes The Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth Lakes
Credit: The Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth Lakes by marriott.com

The Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth Lakes

The Westin Monache Resort offers contemporary elegance in a majestic setting and the chance to enjoy California’s most visited ski resort, Mammoth Mountain. Technically located in what’s considered to be Eastern California, it’s located a few hours northeast of Bakersfield along the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The Westin Monache Resort offers year-round activities set within the Village at Mammoth, only steps away from the village gondola as well as fantastic shops, eateries, and nightlife. It offers the perfect convenient location to return to after a day of play as an all-suite resort with a wealth of high-end amenities, including panoramic views of the mountains, a 24-hour fitness center, a ski valet, and rental shop, and a full-service restaurant. Pets are also welcome here and are even treated to a luxury experience that includes Westin’s “Heavenly Dog Bed.”

Key Amenities:

  • Located in the Village at Mammoth near Mammoth Mountain ski resort

  • All-suite resort with panoramic mountain views from the rooms

  • Access to a 24-hour fitness center, ski valet, and rental shop

  • Full-service restaurant on-site

Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego Swimming pool at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego
Credit: Swimming pool at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego by fairmont.com

Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego

The Fairmont Grand Del Mar offers an unparalleled San Diego resort destination that blends the old-world charm of a Mediterranean estate with the modern luxuries of a sophisticated resort. Its spa is one of only 30 five-star spas in the entire nation, while Addison, the resort’s onsite dining establishment, is a five-star/five-diamond restaurant. Accommodations are equally as grand, providing a wonderful sanctuary with fabulous views of either the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve or The Grand Golf Club. The villas offer the epitome of palatial living.

Key Amenities:

  • Five-star spa on-site

  • Five-diamond restaurant on-site

  • Luxury accommodations featuring stunning views of the preserve or golf course

Miramonte Resort & Spa, Indian Wells Miramonte Resort and Spa, Indian Wells
Credit: Miramonte Resort and Spa, Indian Wells by miramonteresort.com

Miramonte Resort & Spa, Indian Wells

A popular honeymoon resort in California, Miramonte Resort & Spa offers an idyllic desert getaway with an opulent twist. This Mediterranean-inspired resort in Palm Springs Valley is infused with earthy tones of crimson, amber, and warm honey, set against a stunning backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Lush pathways and bougainvillea archways lead to more than spacious rooms and suites designed for the utmost comfort of each guest. Venetian-style terraces provide stunning mountain vistas, while the sumptuous amenities include Signature Desert Dream Beds. A few of the property features include a luxurious spa, fine dining, two inviting pools, a whirlpool, and a fitness center.

Key Amenities:

  • Spacious rooms and suites with Venetian-style terraces and mountain views

  • Access to two inviting pools, a whirlpool, and a fitness center

  • Luxury spa and fine dining on-site

The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa, Rancho Mirage
Credit: Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa, Rancho Mirage by marriott.com

The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage

The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa is an exclusive Mediterranean-inspired retreat that evokes the natural elegance and romance of the desert. With cerulean blue domes and tile insets, the pale-blush façade stands out against the Santa Rosa Mountains, while the 360 acres of waterways and picturesque landscaped grounds harmonize with the scenic surroundings. Families can enjoy all sorts of activities, from golfing on world-class golf courses, swimming, and soaking in the spa to tennis, soccer, and cycling. The lagoon-style pool with a waterslide is a highlight for kids, while the tranquil spa offers an extensive treatment menu along with a full-service beauty salon. Dining options range from the resort’s signature restaurant, Pinzimini, to a poolside bar.

Key Amenities:

  • Lagoon-style pool with a waterslide and a poolside bar

  • Access to world-class golf courses, a spa, and a beauty salon

  • Multiple dining options on-site

Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica
Credit: Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica by shuttersonthebeach.com

Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica

A top beachfront resort in Southern California, Shutters on the Beach offers historic elegance along with high-end amenities. It recalls the traditional architecture of the country’s best resorts and cottages along the coast during the 1920s and ‘30s. Located near L.A.’s city center in the heart of Santa Monica, it opens onto the beach promenade where you’ll find numerous shops, restaurants, and bars close by, in addition to excellent on-site restaurants. You’ll be just steps from the Santa Monica Pier and its legendary amusement park, while surfing and yoga classes are available right on the beach.

Key Amenities:

  • Set right along the beach promenade and Santa Monica Pier

  • Close to shops, restaurants, and bars

  • Activities like surfing and yoga classes on the beach

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club, Dana Point Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club
Credit: Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club by Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club (Dana Point, CA)

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club, Dana Point

This luxurious Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club is a Tuscan-inspired resort with a private beach club that can be accessed via a shuttle. It’s also surrounded by an outstanding golf course with gorgeous ocean views and features tennis courts, a kids club, pools, luxurious rooms, a world-class spa, and outstanding on-site restaurants, particularly Michael Mina’s upscale Stonehill Tavern with amazing cuisine and an exceptional selection of wines. Enjoy butler service as well as guided wildlife tours, catamaran whale watching cruises, and yoga classes. The chic rooms and suites feature contemporary interiors that are notably spacious, highlighted with custom-designed furniture, fresh flowers, and plants. The downside? You might find it hard to get out of bed with the luxurious goose-down comforters and Pratesi Italian linens.

Key Amenities:

  • Access to the resort’s private beach club via shuttle

  • Spacious rooms and suites featuring custom-designed furniture and fresh flowers

  • Multiple on-site restaurants with an exceptional wine selection

  • Family-friendly amenities like tennis courts, a kids club, and multiple swimming pools

The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla Lodge at Torrey Pines
Credit: Lodge at Torrey Pines by lodgetorreypines.com

The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla

This AAA Five Diamond Resort in La Jolla sits atop the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Beach and Torrey Pines Golf Course, providing spectacular, expansive views of the Pacific. Here, luxury and legendary links await, with elegant accommodations as well as the chance to tee up on one of the most renowned golf courses in the U.S. Soak up the sunshine and discover the ultimate relaxation, with the lodge reflecting the San Diego area’s stress-free lifestyle. Indulge in a heavenly massage or facial treatment at the spa, hike scenic trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve, shop to your heart’s delight in La Jolla, or take a refreshing dip in the ocean on the gorgeous beaches of Del Mar. When you return after an unforgettable day, you can head to your spacious room or suite with upscale amenities like a fireplace and a full kitchen.

Key Amenities:

  • Clifftop location next to Torrey Pines Golf Course and views of the Pacific

  • Access to a spa, hiking trails, and the shops of La Jolla

  • Spacious rooms and suites with fireplaces and full kitchens

Paradise Point Resort & Spa, San Diego Paradise Point Resort & Spa
Credit: Paradise Point Resort & Spa by paradisepoint.com

Paradise Point Resort & Spa, San Diego

Paradise Point Resort & Spa offers the chance to enjoy a private island getaway without flying overseas. This private 44-acre island resort is nestled on Mission Bay in San Diego, and while it feels like a remote, tropical escape, you’ll still be close to many of the city’s popular attractions, including downtown and SeaWorld. But with so much to do right on the island, you may not want to leave. You’ll find a full-service marina, multiple swimming pools, a variety of sports courts, a fitness center, and a wealth of fun recreational activities too. Roast marshmallows at a beach bonfire, take sailing lessons, play mini-golf, go for a thrilling jet-ski adventure, or just spend your days lazing by the pool and soaking up all that San Diego sunshine. The Spa at Paradise Point provides signature treatments based on sensory destinations like Bali, Fiji, and Thailand, using techniques and ingredients indigenous to the particular island you choose.

Key Amenities:

  • Set on a private 44-acre island on Mission Bay with a full-service marina

  • Multiple swimming pools, sports courts, a spa, and a fitness center on-site

  • Access to fun recreational activities like mini-golf, sailing lessons, and jet-skiing

Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, Coronado Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa
Credit: Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa by marriott.com

Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, Coronado

Guests at Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa can enjoy 16 acres of waterfront property at the base of the Coronado Bridge. It offers easy access to downtown San Diego while being steps away from great golf, the Silver Strand Bike Path, multiple heated pools, and tennis courts. In addition to glorious sunsets across the water, you can take in spectacular views of the San Diego skyline. The resort also provides a water taxi across the bay to Seaport Village, the convention center, or the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina. After a day of fun, return to your room to soak in an oversized bathtub and cuddle up in a plush bed with a down comforter.

Key Amenities:

  • Multiple heated pools and tennis courts on-site

  • Access to a water taxi for transport across the bay

  • Rooms feature oversized bathtubs and plush bedding

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
Credit: Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa by omnihotels.com

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa offers an oasis in Coachella Valley for those who want to get out and enjoy the desert landscape, as well as plenty of sun, golf, and lavish swimming pools. This is an ideal resort for families, with a massive water play zone, Splashtopia, featuring two 100-foot waterslides, a beach, and a lazy river. Adults can relax in the kid-free Tranquility Pool or unwind at the luxurious spa, which offers a wide array of treatments, massage, and desert-themed facials. Golf enthusiasts will find the opportunity to play 27 holes at the resort’s championship golf course. Rooms are spacious and feature French doors leading to a balcony or patio, along with a beautiful golf course or mountain views. The onsite restaurant bluEmber offers a wide range of outstanding gastronomic delights, including the much-raved-about coconut cake.

Key Amenities:

  • Adults-only features like a kid-free Tranquility Pool and luxurious spa

  • Family-friendly features like a water play zone, lazy river, and waterslides

  • Spacious rooms with balconies or patios overlooking the golf course or mountains

Hotel del Coronado, Coronado Hotel Del Coronado
Credit: Hotel Del Coronado by hoteldel.com

Hotel del Coronado, Coronado

The legendary Hotel del Coronado sits across 28 oceanfront acres on the Enchanted Isle, Coronado Island. Built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, this historic treasure with its vibrant red turrets and picturesque seaside setting has been visited by dignitaries, U.S. presidents, and a host of celebrities. It was the film location for the 1959 classic, “Some Like It Hot,” starring Marilyn Monroe. Today it offers guests a rich history with modern conveniences, including an award-winning spa, beachfront dining, upscale shopping, and an array of outdoor activities, along with luxurious villas and cottages. Enjoy surfing and paddleboarding lessons, roasting s’mores at a private beach bonfire, relaxing at the spa with signature ocean-inspired treatments, and don’t miss the famous Sunday brunch in the historic Crown Room.

Key Amenities:

  • Home to an award-winning spa, beachfront dining, and upscale shops

  • Accommodation in luxurious villas and cottages

  • Access to outdoor activities like surfing, paddleboarding, and beach bonfires

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, Huntington Beach Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa
Credit: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa by hyatt.com

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, Huntington Beach

The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa is known for its miles of pristine, uninterrupted beaches that sit at the edge of the glistening Pacific, providing the ultimate relaxing beach getaway. Luxurious amenities abound, along with Spanish-inspired architecture that set a perfect scene for an idyllic retreat, including pampering spa treatments, exceptional service, excellent restaurants, and all sorts of ocean adventures. Enjoy a heated pool, direct access to the beach, lessons with surf pros, biking, and more. Orange County’s famous attractions, including Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and a wide range of other entertainment, are all just minutes away. Oceanfront rooms feature a private balcony, heavenly for taking in that fresh, salty air and being mesmerized by the crashing waves.

Key Amenities:

  • Direct access to the beach

  • Oceanfront rooms with private balconies

  • Access to a luxury spa, multiple on-site restaurants, and a heated pool

  • Minutes from Orange County’s famous attractions like Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm

Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach
Credit: Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach by montagehotels.com

Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach is a quintessential luxury Southern California beach resort, offering the best of the best in the region, set atop a coastal bluff in the picturesque arts community of Laguna Beach. Here you’ll find a unique blend of the high-end amenities of an ultra-luxury oceanfront hotel with the warmth and appeal of a cozy inn. Opulence abounds, with magnificent white sand beaches and lush landscaping along with décor and architecture that are artfully melded with the beautiful natural surroundings. Enjoy spectacular views of the Pacific Coast, excellent restaurants, particularly Studio, its most upscale option, along with a world-class oceanfront spa and fitness facilities. Join in on yoga on the beach and wine tasting, or indulge in in-room dining and on-site shopping. You’ll also find multiple sparkling pools and poolside cabanas.

Key Amenities:

  • Multiple restaurants and swimming pools on-site

  • Access to a world-class spa and fitness facilities

  • Activities like yoga on the beach and wine tasting

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point
Credit: Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point by ritzcarlton.com

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point

Perched atop a 150-foot bluff providing panoramic Pacific Ocean views, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel premiered as the very first luxury beach resort in Southern California, along seven miles of scenic coastline in Dana Point. Today, it features a revamped, re-imagined vibe with top-notch accommodations, extraordinary service, and beautiful spaces, retaining its unsurpassed setting. Rooms are equipped with extra-comfy beds and marble bathrooms, some feature outdoor fire pits. Guests have access to a beach butler in the summer, while activities include eco-adventures for families, stand-up paddleboarding, cooking classes, and great surfing. There are multiple restaurants, bars, and dining lounges, and its spa is consistently rated among the top spas in California.

Key Amenities:

  • Rooms come equipped with marble bathrooms and some with outdoor fire pits

  • Access to a beach butler during the summer months

  • Activities like surfing, cooking classes, eco-adventures, and SUP

  • Multiple restaurants, bars, and dining lounges on-site

L'Auberge Del Mar, Del Mar L'Auberge Del Mar, Del Mar
Credit: L'Auberge Del Mar, Del Mar by laubergedelmar.com

L'Auberge Del Mar, Del Mar

The upscale L’Auberge Del Mar is ideal for romance and frequently hosts weddings. Located in the heart of the region’s most picturesque coastal village of Del Mar, overlooking the ocean, guests enjoy stunning views as well as a historic ambiance. Formerly the site of The Stratford Inn, it was built in 1910 and became Hotel Del Mar in 1926, attracting many Hollywood celebrities and Southern California locals alike, including Lucy and Desi Arnaz as well as Jimmy Durante, who were said to be frequent guests. Today, guests can enjoy the open-air terrace at Coastline restaurant and drinks and live music in the sociable living room area, as well as a spa, a private path to the beach, and a relaxing pool area. Horse racing and outstanding golf courses are available nearby.

Key Amenities:

  • Open-air terrace restaurant on-site

  • Regular live music events in the living room area

  • Access to a private path to the beach, a spa, and a relaxing pool area

Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai
Credit: Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai by ojaivalleyinn.com

Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai

Ojai Valley Inn is a luxury resort in the picturesque Ojai Valley surrounded by the Topa Topa Mountains. The sprawling property of white-washed Spanish-style buildings features terracotta-tiled roofs designed for the discerning traveler. Guests will find numerous activities as well as options for relaxation and rejuvenation. Facilities include the Golf Academy, offering amateur and moderately skilled golfers the chance to fine-tune their technique and learn from some of the best in the game. Guests can also visit the award-winning Spa Ojai, the focal point of the resort village, which features two pools, the Mind and Body Studio, the Spa Boutique, and the Artist Cottage and Apothecary. Horseback riding, tennis, and fishing are all options too.

Key Amenities:

  • Home to an award-winning spa and a golf academy

  • Access to three pools, one of which is adults-only with cabanas and day beds

  • A wide variety of dining options, including multiple poolside options

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa - Greater Palm Springs Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa
Credit: Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa by Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa - Greater Palm Springs

If you’re seeking a resort in Southern California offering great mountain views, relaxing bedrooms, and plenty of onsite amenities (including an outdoor waterpark!), then look no further than Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa. Guests to this greater Palm Springs area hotel can cool off in the 450-foot lazy river or one of the seven pools here. It’s a perfect spot to take the kids, as they’ll love plunging down the two 30-foot water slides, while little ones can enjoy the on-site splash pad as well.

Key Amenities:

  • A 450-foot lazy river and outdoor waterpark

  • Multiple pools, a splash pad for younger kids

  • Wellness spa with private garden patio

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